Jonesy: Put Your Head Down and Skate: The Improbable Career of Keith Jones

I am finally getting to my review of the book above, "Jonesy" an autobiography by Keith Jones, and written by John Buccigross (my favorite hockey journalist). Keith Jones took the long way to carve out a 12 season career with the Washington Capitals, Colorado Avalanche, and Philadelphia Flyers, before becoming a decent announcer on Vs. NHL coverage.

Even if you don't read the book, it's worth buying for the sole reason that all the proceeds go to Alex's Lemonade Stand, which is a charity dedicated to helping children with cancer, always a worthy cause to donate money too. However I do recommend actually reading the book too, as it details Keith Jones unlikely journey to the NHL, from his eyes.

The best stories are in the first half of the book for the most part. In this day and age of kids, and more parents, taking sports so seriously that all the fun gets taken out of it for the child. Jones does a good job detailing how he was able to stay a kid, and have fun yet still work hard and get to the NHL. His stories about juniors are fun and help people see what the life of a young kid playing hockey is like.

The NHL stories are good too, and it makes you appreciate just how tough these hockey players are. Jones spent just under 1/2 his career playing on a leg he couldn't even do simple stuff such as running and jumping on. It's interesting to see just how much the typical athelete is willing to put himself through.

Unfortunately the most endearing thing about hockey players, their modesty, also makes them sub-par story tellers at times. He continually sells himself short and downplays events that are made for the pages of a good book (which this is). It wouldn't have hurt him and Buccigross to exaggerate, instead of downplay, some of the events in the book. The humility is endearing and honest but some events could have been better with a few more details. Make no mistake though, the book is good and you never get the sense he's saying anything to sell books. The opposite of James Frei, he is always honest.

But I'm being nitpickey, and the book is a good book and well worth the read. IT is pretty short and easy to read, and can be read in 2-3 sittings. If you have a cross country flight you could probably finish it and a couple soduku's in the same flight.

Overall I highly recommend this book to any fan of hockey. A good read that only enhances any library.

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