By John P. Lopez

When Dan Pastorini and I first began discussing writing his life story, I told him, “You don’t have to let me write the book. But you’d better damn well do a book before you leave this earth.”

I knew some of the details already. I knew there were multiple layers to his story and many things that were not known that needed to be told.

I knew there were a lot of people who could learn and understand more about themselves by reading Dan’s story.

Fortunately, since the book has been published this month, many people have written Dan and told him they feel better equipped to deal with family issues and personal demons like drug and alcohol problems because of Dan being so candid telling his story.

We have received nothing but 5-Star Reviews on every front. But some stand out more than others.

Like this one from “Tony D” on Amazon:

“I have not had a good year. I was diagnosed with cancer in April, and most of the rest of the year is a painful blur. Fortunately, a few good things did happen to me this year … a couple in particular stand out. God was kind enough to give me a break … a recent CAT scan showed no signs of cancer, and a month or so ago a friend of mine in Houston sent me a copy of this book. I have read many biographies/autobiographies of sports figures I have admired over the years, but I have never read one that was more honest and “from the heart” than this one. It’s basically a story of a very talented and lucky man who lived life, made his share of mistakes as we all do, and isn’t ashamed to come clean about it. This man bravely tells us what God only knew before. I laughed and cried, and laughed and cried some more, because the pure honesty made me. It was uplifting and restored my faith in the human spirit. We all get knocked down, make mistakes and have regrets, but if you just keep trying and do the right thing you will eventually rise above.  This book is not a “tell all” story … it’s a “success” story.  Thank you Mr. Pastorini !!!”

Dan told me of  the heartfelt responses and reviews Taking Flak has received:

“Just one story like that makes it worth it. To hear so many, I get overwhelmed.”

More reviews are available and Taking Flak can be purchased at

Comments (5)
  1. Houston Oilers Live On..... says:

    What a great review and blog entry…… People talk about how brave Pastorini was as a player…..

    I read the book and he has never been more brave than to tell his story this “honestly”… Take a lot of guts to review and reflect on your life, good and bad, use the teaching moments to refine your path, then honestly and unflinchingly share it with the world… What a story!

    God Bless You Dan Pastorini – God Speed Dan Pastorini…

    Thanks for the memories, both on the track and the football field!!

  2. mofoe says:

    Please make this available on the amazon kindle.

  3. Joel says:

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
    I am reading the book and I came across Dante’s recount of a pregame prayer by Bill Peterson where he couldn’t remember the words to the Lord’s Prayer. In 1970, after he left Florida and before he started at Rice, Peterson had a book published. In this book, citing it as an example of how focused the coaches can get that they forget simple things, Peterson told the story where he inserted “now I lay me down to sleep”, and even went so far as to say he passed off to a catholic player to lead the prayer.
    I find it hard to believe w/in 2 years of writing it in his book, Coach Pete would make the exact same mistake and have to find another Catholic player to lead the prayer.

  4. Michael P says:

    First off, John I wanted to commend youon this book. It is an excellent read, and I have recommended it to my Facebook group ‘Lets Talk Texans’. I was a teenager during the Luv Ya Blue era, so I was more into Earl and the cheerleaders than Dan. Reading this book did give me another view of the man that I remember people blasting during this period. I would love to meet Dan sometime, and shake his hand. I was introduced to another side of the man with the big arm, who I see now was the heart and soul of the Luv Ya Blue era. God bless you Dante, and best of luck in all of your future endeavors!

  5. J.R. Russell says:


    I go back a long way with the Oilers, the book about Dan really put a bow on the entire life of my Oilers. Several of the players mentioned in the book I had the chance to meet as a child. One of my best friends growing up out in Cypress was Andy Breen, son of John Breen. everything you said, even the brief mention of Sid Gilman and his sour attitude towards people was so accurate. Thanks for the read, outstanding job.


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