Inside the Pressure Cooker (about the 1973 Jets)

Inside the Pressure Cooker (about the 1973 Jets)

Postby Evan » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:03 am

Anybody ever heard of or own this book about the 1973 Jets?

Inside the Pressure Cooker: A Season in the Life of the New York Jets by Kay Iselin Gilman (daughter of Jets President Phil Iselin) - ... 0399113835

I ordered this on Amazon recently (it was published in 1974) although having never heard of this book I wasn't sure if it was real or a mistake in the listing. It was indeed real.

My opinion is that the author wrote the book with the assumption that the 1973 Jets would be interesting, with a storyline of Weeb Ewbank's final season and the passing of the torch to Charley Winner. She had apparent unfettered access to the team, and came up with some interesting anecdotes about the players with their families and their personal lives.

But there's way too much of useless quotes by unnamed coaches criticizing unnamed players for their effort as the losses mount up. Overall I found the book rather dry and very depressing, and I'm not sure I understand why it was ever even written as it seemed like the presumptive reason for the season to be documented fell completely flat.

What makes matters worse is the first line in the book's dust jacket (I'm not making this up, this is really what is on there): "When twenty-fifth century archaeologists research our time and want the lowdown on the mass public obsession with pro football, they will have to turn to Kay Iselin Gilman's unique book along with, say, a complementary work, Instant Replay, Jerry Kramer's classic."

Hmm, that might be the only time this book and Instant Replay were mentioned in the same sentence. Anyone from the Forum know any more about this book or have any thoughts?
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Re: Inside the Pressure Cooker (about the 1973 Jets)

Postby SixtiesFan » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:56 am

I recall it seeing it in a bookstore. I looked through it and decided it wasn't worth buying. I seem to recall somebody reviewing it in Pro Football Weekly and calling it a downbeat story.

It might have helped if Namath had a relatively healthy season close to his 1972 performance, and the Jets went over .500.
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Re: Inside the Pressure Cooker (about the 1973 Jets)

Postby Retro Rider » Fri Mar 06, 2015 4:06 pm

I purchased a copy back in the early 1980's to go along with Paul Zimmerman's 1974 book, The Last Season of Weeb Ewbank. I was an 11 year old Jets fan in 1973 and that season was a real disappointment (Namath spent significant time on the injured list for the 3rd time in 4 years). Thankfully, New York finished with enough wins to keep Ewbank over .500 lifetime @ 130-129 (regular season). Dr. Z's book is a much better account of the '73 Jets season in my opinion. There seemed to be an endless number of books published about Namath and the Super Bowl III Jets that extended well into the mid-1970's (even Namath's mother wrote a book about Joe).
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Re: Inside the Pressure Cooker (about the 1973 Jets)

Postby Evan » Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:14 am

One bizarre anecdote revealed in the book that I did not know:

After the Jets lost to Miami to fall to 1-3 and with Namath and Al Woodall both out with injuries, San Diego representative Ron Mix asked Jets President Phil Iselin if they would be interested in trading for Johnny Unitas for a first-round draft choice. Iselin was intrigued about reuniting Unitas and Weeb Ewbank, and his other options were bleak at the time (they had Bill Demory on the roster and would sign Tim Van Galder to a short-term contract while Woodall healed).

But Ewbank made a few calls around the league and confirmed that Unitas was through, his arm was done. Meanwhile, Mix and Iselin had more back and forth and eventually Mix lowered his asking price from a first-round to a fourth-round pick, but the Jets still thought it was too high a pick and for too much money, as they would have to pay Unitas two years at $125K per annum.

The Jets went to New England with Bill Demory as starting QB. On a very windy day, Demory went 1 of 7 for 11 yards, and was sacked once for a loss of 11 yards, for a net of zero team yards passing. But the Jets won, 9-7, on the strength of a rushing attack that gained 232 yards on 58 carries, and three field goals.
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