With the season getting started in earnest today, Dan Kois writes in Slate about good football books. I’ve actually never read most of the ones he mentions; I probably should.
Some of my personal favorite football books:
- Paper Lion by George Plimpton. Plimpton was a journalist and essayist who decided to write about what it was like to play football. He went through training camp as a quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and got five plays in a scrimmage at the end of camp. It didn’t go well, but the point of the book is mostly about the fascinating personalities in football at the time. It’s very well-written, and for someone like me, who was abysmal at sports in their youth, Plimpton’s experience is easy to relate to.
- The Education of a Coach by David Halberstam. It’s about Bill Belichick’s career and his knowledge of football. Sort of a biography, but it also contains some important points about strategy and tactics. I would recommend supplementing it with…
- Patriot Reign by Michael Holley. This book is not terribly well-written, but it does contain some very interesting information about football coaching. If you’re into the strategy of the game, I recommend it for chapter on how they stifled “The Greatest Show On Turf” alone.
- Where Else Would You Rather Be? by Marv Levy. The memoir of the great Buffalo coach. Levy might have been the greatest pro coach never to win it all, but his tone is light and not at all bitter. He recounts many amusing stories from his long career. I don’t think you even need to be a football fan to enjoy this book, although it helps.
- Football Physics by Timothy Gay. This book is fun; it’s an introduction to basic physics using examples drawn from football. I suppose it’s more a “physics” book than a “football” book, but it still makes the subject matter easier to read about.