Price, Christopher

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Price, Christopher

PERSONAL:

Married; wife's name Kate.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Boston, MA. Office—Metro Boston, 320 Congress St., 5th Fl., Boston, MA 02210. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Sports journalist. Metro Boston, Boston, MA, football writer, 2001—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Awards from Northeastern University, New England Press Association, and the North Carolina Press Association.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

Baseball by the Beach: A History of America's Pastime on Cape Cod, Parnassus Imprints (Hyannis, MA), 1997.

The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor of sports stories to periodicals and Web sites, including Metro Boston, Boston Sports Review, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and Miami Herald.

SIDELIGHTS:

Christopher Price is a sportswriter whose work frequently focuses on football, particularly the New England Patriots team. His work in sports journalism uniquely qualified him to write a book analyzing the successes of the Patriots, titled The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower. For years, the New England team played at a mediocre level, and management of the team was poor. In one memorable incident during the 1990s, the team found itself shorthanded and recruited a former player—who had been released from his contract earlier—to join the play. The substitute player, who had been drinking, vomited on the sidelines shortly after the game began. Within a few years of that incident, however, the team's fortunes had turned around almost completely. Instead of being the brunt of jokes, the Patriots won three championships in four years. Much of the credit for this reversal, according to Price, was due to new management and coaching. In 1993 Bill Parcells took over as head coach, and in 1994 Robert Kraft bought the team. Coach Bill Belichick and personnel head Scott Pioli also contributed much to the winning ways of the Patriots. Price's book explains how Pioli and Belichick built up the team by looking for team members who would work well together and fit with the established coaching style. They looked for players whose talent was perhaps less spectacular than some, but who were highly motivated. In this way, they were able to build up a deep base of talent in the team, and although they lacked flashy superstars, they were also able to avoid overtaxing the team financially with superstar-sized salaries.

A reviewer for Kirkus Reviews described the book as the story of "how an NFL team went from league doormat to model franchise in five fast years." The writer felt that although the book brought little new information to light, it was nevertheless "a solid addition" to the many books written about the Patriots after their winning streak. The writer found the book "most entertaining when Price is recounting tales from the team's less-than-glory days" or relating anecdotes that were probably familiar only to Boston-area fans. The reviewer did, however, feel that the author sometimes indulges in exaggeration and hyperbole; for example, when he claims that the Patriots's hiring of Mike Vrabel, a linebacker, would bring major changes to professional football. A different view was expressed by a Publishers Weekly writer, who stated that the book was "neither pumped full of steroidal sports hyperbole or weighted down by bloated play-by-play." The Publishers Weekly writer recommended The Blueprint as "a highly diverting read."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 2007, Alan Moores, review of The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower, p. 44.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2007, review of The Blueprint.

Publishers Weekly, July 30, 2007, review of The Blueprint, p. 66.

ONLINE

Patsfans.com,http://www.patsfans.com/ (June 12, 2008), author biography.

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