Shutdown Corner - NFL

I appreciate it when an athlete or a coach is willing to open up about his personal life. We get too many standard quotes and pat answers. I'm interested in knowing the little details of a public figure's life, as you might have gathered from the standard questions I ask when interviewing someone.

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, as it turns out, is extremely comfortable talking about that sort of thing. Among the personal tidbits he revealed to the Associated Press:

• He listens to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden
• He has a flame tattoo just above his right ankle
• He is, or at least used to be, an avid reader, plowing through 500+ pages a day
• He doesn't read books by women

I'd like to focus on that last one, because that's the one I find most interesting/disturbing. Let's go to Schwartz for a deeper explanation:

"If I find an author -- David Morrell, Mario Puzo, John Grisham or any guy I hear is good -- I'll read everything he did," Schwartz said. "I don't read books by women. I've tried to, but their perspective is different, so I stick with what I like."

Wow. Well ... everyone's entitled to read what they like. It's not my place to tell anyone what should or shouldn't adorn their bookshelves. There are so many great books out there by women, though. Why would anyone want to limit themselves like that?

It's not like I'm talking about some tiny little sub- genre here, either. "Books by women" covers a hell of a lot of ground. It's not like Jim Schwartz said he won't read books by left-wing atheist burn victims from Holland. Have you taken a walk through a Barnes and Noble recently? Did you happen to notice the number of books written by females? It's a lot.

Get in touch, Coach Schwartz. I'll send you a female-written book from my own collection, and I guarantee you'll like it.

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