"Put aside the fact that it ended my playing career, punched holes in my memory and put life as I knew it on indefinite hold, it wasn't that tough a hit."
Thus begins Goin' Deep, Matt Dunigan's gritty, often startling memoir of his 14-year journey as a Canadian Football League quarterback, a career brought to a shattering halt on an afternoon in Hamilton in 1996 in a game he still cannot remember. It is a story that takes readers where football fans cannot go--down the stadium runway into the dressing rooms--where injury is a fact of life, injections can put agony on temporary hold, and the tough-minded live by the credo that "Pain is mind over matter. If you don't mind the pain, it doesn't matter."
But Goin' Deep is more than a football story. The concussion suffered in that game against the BC Lions marked the end of Dunigan's brilliant Hall of Fame career in the no-quarter world of professional football--and the beginning of another journey still in progress, where some days start third-and-long and memories can be shrouded in a drifting, frustrating fog that may or may not clear.
"You play the hand you're dealt," he says. "There are good days and bad days. Sometimes putting sentences together can be a struggle. Some days Kathy will say 'Remember when such-and-such,' and I can't. But these are my cards, and I'll play 'em." The way he's played and continues to play them as a TSN football CFL analyst makes Goin' Deep a riveting, heart-warming read.