Recommend Football, especially Patriots Books

reggiecleveland

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I like to read and my usual topics, politics, history, etc are not the distraction from the current state of things, that I need.

As a coach and fan I am interested in Belichick, and what he does, but more I am want to read good books.

I have read Education of a Coach and the Jerry Kramer Books Instant Replay and Distant Replay
I am reading Bellichick and Brady by Holley, and have The Dynasty by Benedict.
Anyway look forward to your ideas.
 

nattysez

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Sep 30, 2010
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I am glad I read The Dynasty, but I doubt that even Bob Kraft himself could've written a more flattering biography. The author clearly relied heavily on the Krafts as sources. It is the perfect book for a Pats fan looking to relive the dynasty.

My favorite things the book does are (1) constantly quote Shank saying things that turned out to be wrong and (2) refuse to actually state Tomase's name -- he's just cited as a nameless Boston Herald writer.
 

Warning Track Speed

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Jul 20, 2005
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I enjoyed The Perfect Pass -- about Hal Mumme and Mike Leach and the passing attack they created. For all the football I watch I still have very little idea what's going on out there, and this book was instructive, in addition to providing a look into the nomadic life these guys lead at the grassroots levels.

Also, if you're into fiction, I really liked The Throwback Special, a quick read about 22 middle age guys who get together once a year and re-enact the Joe Theismann/Lawrence Taylor play. It's less about football and more about being a middle-aged man, I suppose. It resonated with me.
 

Hoya81

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Feb 3, 2010
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I can’t recommend the MacCambridge book enough, it’s probably the definitive history of the early NFL.

I enjoyed Mark Leibovich’s Big Game, which covers a lot of the Goodell Era and is heavy on the Pats.

David Maraniss’ biography of Vince Lombardi When Pride Still Mattered is one of the best biographies I’ve ever read and doubles as a popular history of the America from the Depression through the 60’s. In particular, the period covering Lombardi’s time as an assistant at Army and with the Giants is really fascinating.

Jeff Pearlman’s Football For a Buck covers the almost rise and fall of the USFL. The former guy features prominently in the last third of the book and probably gives as detailed a look into his public persona as any thinkpiece from the past few years.
 

mauf

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David Maraniss’ biography of Vince Lombardi When Pride Still Mattered is one of the best biographies I’ve ever read and doubles as a popular history of the America from the Depression through the 60’s. In particular, the period covering Lombardi’s time as an assistant at Army and with the Giants is really fascinating.
I’ll second this recommendation. By the way, the title of the book is meant to be ironic; Maraniss portrays Lombardi as a thoroughly modern football coach, as ahead of his time in looking past players’ misconduct as he was in defending the civil rights of his players and treating gay men with compassion. So don’t worry that you’re getting some kind of whitewashed history of the man.
 

Saints Rest

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Going way back, when I was a teenager, and reading "inside baseball" type tell-all books was my bag, I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Three Bricks Shy of a Load" by Mel Blount, telling the inside stories of the 70's era Steelers dynasty.
 

cornwalls@6

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Apr 23, 2010
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I'll add to the chorus recommending When Pride Still Mattered. An outstanding read, and really transcends football as an American story. Most of the Patriot-centric books I've read have been covered by others. I'd also include A Civil War by John Feinstein. A really compelling, inside look at both service academy football teams, coaches, players, etc., during the 1994 season, culminating with their rivalry game. Right there with A Season On The Brink, IMO, as his best all access stuff.
 

Phil Plantier

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I have a deep cut for you: "Out of their League" by Dave Meggyesy. Written in 1970, it was prescient about the things we discuss today: injuries, drug use, player disposability, etc. It's a little flower power-y at times, but he wrote a great memoir of what it took (and still takes) to be a professional football player.
 

mattrobot

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Jul 16, 2005
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I read "A Few Seconds of Panic" by Stefan Fatsis several years ago, and really enjoyed it. It's about his attempt as a 43 year old sportswriter to go through training camp with the Denver Broncos as a kicker; to see if a normal guy could in any way hang with the elite athletes of the NFL. Of course, the league has changed a lot since 2008 when the book was published, but it was still a really interesting look at the inner workings of an NFL team.
 

Norm Siebern

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The Best Game Ever by Mark Bowden. About the iconic 1958 Colts/Giants NFL championship game that is credited with ushering in the modern era of NFL dominance on American society.

Horns, Hogs, and Nixon's Coming, by Terry Frei. Ostensibly about the 1969 Texas/Arkansas "Game of the Century," but just as much the seismic changes in society in post Woodstock, post TET America.

Going Long, by Jeff Miller, the history of the AFL by those who played and administered it.

I also agree with the above recommendations of "When Pride Still Mattered," "A Civil War," and "The Junction Boys."
 

Norm Siebern

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Going way back, when I was a teenager, and reading "inside baseball" type tell-all books was my bag, I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Three Bricks Shy of a Load" by Mel Blount, telling the inside stories of the 70's era Steelers dynasty.
It's an easy mistake to make, but this was written by Roy Blount Jr., not Mel Blount. No biggie, and again it's easy to confuse the name, the topic, and the player.
 

Saints Rest

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It's an easy mistake to make, but this was written by Roy Blount Jr., not Mel Blount. No biggie, and again it's easy to confuse the name, the topic, and the player.
Copy that. You were kind enough not to add that I could have spent the extra 30 seconds to google the right name rather than relying on a 30 year old memory
 

Sandwich Pick

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"Bringing the Heat" by Mark Bowden is a very detailed look at the 1992 Eagles season on and off the field. Tons of characters on that team.

It's ahead of its time in a few ways, especially with calling out how people look at and evaluate black quarterbacks. It's also set in the golden age of pre-social media and pre-PR-coached athletes speaking their minds to the local press.