Best Football Books?

Submitted by canzior on October 18th, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Does anyone have any recommendations for good football books?  I just oredered Take Your Eyes Off The Ball 2.0, and the parts I read in the preview were quite entertaining.  I have about 90 minutes per day on the train to read, so would love to hear some of your favorite books.

I'm familiar with Endzone, 3 and Out, Bo's Lasting Lessons, and 40 Years in the Big House.  Also have read a bit of Essential Smart Football by Chris Brown.



October 18th, 2016 at 3:17 PM ^

I recently gave my copy to my mother to read, as she had not yet done so, and about three days later I get a call from her as she's reading through the gory descriptions of the fall of 2014 and all she tells me is, "Now I understand why you kept saying in 2014 that the only way to mod that blog would be to tear it down and start over."

SoDak Blues

October 18th, 2016 at 2:16 PM ^

I assume you have read the originial "Bo" book with Mitch Albom. I am going to get negged for this, but I did always like "Something For Joey". Additionally, "When Pride Still Mattered" (Lombardi) is a good read.

For the record, Fuck Penn State.  

SoDak Blues

October 18th, 2016 at 3:31 PM ^

You are absolutely correct. I remember that story about him looking at his jersey in a store window selling for 80 or 90 bucks, but couldn't even by a slice of pizza for $1.50 (sob). I agree completely that the book is quite a load of shit. However, the first time I read that book, I was 12 or 13 and none of the other shit had come out. Webber attended Country Day with a couple of my friends' older brothers, so I did get to meet him a few times. The dude was not hurting for money at any point in time, but was always very nice/cordial (remember, I am 12 and he is a huge super star at the time).

Upvoted because I never assume animosity on an anonymous message board, but appreciate you saying so. 


October 18th, 2016 at 2:18 PM ^

Covered the Packers 1967 season that culminated in the famous Ice Bowl NFL championship game against Dallas.  Gives an inside look on what is was really like to play for Vince Lombardi.

Image result for instant replay jerry kramer


October 18th, 2016 at 2:26 PM ^

Was just about to recommend this one. Was one of my favorites as a kid growing up and watching football in the 1970s and 80s. Really well written, tons of great stuff about Lombardi, and Kramer is a very likable guy. Plus the added bonus at this point of some real historical perspective. 

Despite my love/hate thing with the Lions you should also read Paper Lion by George Plimpton where he takes part in training camp with the team as a QB. Hysterical.


October 18th, 2016 at 2:54 PM ^

When I was in 7th grade at Cranbrook (1971) we actually shared practice fields and lockers with the Detroit Lions for the first two weeks of school.  Picture that for a second - a 7th grade football team sharing lockers, fields and showers with professional athletes.  I can rember having to show my school ID to a security guard to get to the field cause the Lions HC Joe Schmidt was convinced the Vikings were spying on him.  I can remember fielding punts (or at least trying to) from Herman "Thunderfoot" Weaver and holding the ball so Errol Mann could practice field goals.  The times were VERY different back then.

I passed the late Alex Karras leaving the locker room the day he was cut (I had turned my ankle at practice and had to leave early) and almost got knocked down as he charged out.  And the day I decided to take a shower and found myself surrounded by Lem Barney and Mel Farr was truly terrifying I was I discovered that God didnt create all of us exactly "equal" if you know what I mean.


October 19th, 2016 at 5:56 AM ^

... the point about us not all being "equal" reminded me of a "cool story, bro" - which actually is a cool story from my bro.

Back in the early 90's, my brother graduated from Specs Howard and got an internship with Channel 2. One night he was at The Palace helping with some post-game work, and was in the "Bad Boys" Pistons' locker room. He told me all about it, said it was lots of fun, but then lowered his voice and confidentially told me,

"Jesus Christ - James Edwards is hung like a bear!"

I thanked him for sharing such valuable information.

Number 7

October 18th, 2016 at 4:47 PM ^

The author embeds himself with the Jets coaching staff/front office for a full year.  You get a great sense of the people involved, from Ryan and Pettine to Revis and Sanchez. You'll come away with a great appreciation of how complicated the game of football -- and runnign a football team -- is, how f*'d up it is to be a coach, and a little bit of why the Jets are, well, the Jets.

Plus David Harris gets a little love, if you need a Michigan angle to keep you going.


October 18th, 2016 at 2:35 PM ^

Image result for bo schembechler man in motion


This thing is great not so much for the information, but for the true throwback style of sportswriting that was going strong through the mid-70s (Falls, Puscas, Green), but clearly dying by a thousand Albom cuts by the mid-80s


October 18th, 2016 at 2:25 PM ^

My favorite football book is about 55 inches and sits in my living room. It has words and pictures and sounds, though some of the sounds are annoying.

It's a great story. Different every time I read it. Makes me angry, happy, sad...and aroused.

Pretty much the best book ever for football. Highly recommend it.


October 18th, 2016 at 2:43 PM ^

I was probably 10 and saw a book with football players on the cover and picked it up.  I immediately started having to swallow my hysterical laughter.  The opening scene is still a little risque, but back in the day.... whoa!!!.  Anyway, a few minutes later mom yells from another room "JIM, ARE YOU READING MY BOOK???!!!"  Busted.  


October 18th, 2016 at 2:45 PM ^

1. Meat Market - Inside College Football Recruiting - Highly reccomend.…


2. The System - The Glory and Scandal of Big Time College Football…


3. Friday Night Lights - Same as the movie but a great straight up book


There's also this random guy John U. Bacon. I've heard he writes some insightful stuff about the team we've all learned to love!

L'Carpetron Do…

October 18th, 2016 at 2:43 PM ^

Friday Night Lights is amazing.  The storyline is pretty great but most people tend to overlook the terrific social commentary in that book and there's plenty of it.   

I also like Natural Enemies.  100 Yard War about the Ohio State rivalry is OK too.

I saw End Zone at the library yesterday and I passed on it, although I'll probably grab it at some point.