My choice for best book about football

My choice for best book about football

Postby Bob Gill » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:54 pm

I just reread The Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football by Paul Zimmerman. (Well, the 1984 revised edition, so it's actually the NEW Thinking Man's Guide.) Anyway, it's just as good as I remembered, if not better. I first read it back in about 1988; then about 20 years ago I got the first version, from 1970, and read that one. It's also great, and he replaced at least half of it for the later edition, so they can almost count as different books.

There are other good football books, but none that seem to cover EVERYTHING so well. Despite the very broad scope of the book, it's loaded with specific details: strategy, anecdotes, character profiles. And it's very well-written, too. I really don't know how it could be any better, and I'm a naturally critical type.

Anyway, rereading it just made me want to give Zimmerman a little plug here.
Bob Gill
 
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:16 pm

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby SixtiesFan » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:16 am

I've owned both the 1970 and 1984 editions. Both are good.
SixtiesFan
 
Posts: 688
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 8:04 pm

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby Citizen » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:55 am

Agreed, both editions are worth owning. Zimmerman had a deep appreciation for NFL football in its entirety -- the strategy, the mindset of the players, the characters who always seem to be around. Thinking Man's conveys all of that, from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Citizen
 
Posts: 305
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:44 am

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby RichardBak » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:04 pm

Somebody new to this board a few months back asked for our recommendations for the 10 best books on pro football. I told him 10 copies of Zimmerman's book. (Should have specified 5 of each edition, though.)
RichardBak
 
Posts: 416
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:04 pm

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby Brian wolf » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:26 pm

My choice would probably be The Official NFL Encyclopedia by Beau Riffenburgh with various contributors. My copy is from 1986 ... great info, stats, pictures - including a rare 1963 NY Jets game pic with their Jet/Airplane helmet logo- and team histories ... Covers, a lot of ground for that time, including the early years of the league.

Also a huge fan of the Bernie Parrish book, They Call It A Game ... some of his theories can be pure speculation but an influential critique of the dirty sides of NFL ownership, the labor movement, and pro football. As an advocate of players and the players union, Parrish has helped make players' careers more beneficial while being one of the League's harshest critics and deserves to be in the HOF.
Brian wolf
 
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:43 am

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby Bryan » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:39 pm

I thought it would be "Pro Football Trivia", amirite?

Hard to choose a best book, but I would pick The Pro Style by Tom Bennett. Even the appendices at the end of the book are fascinating. I also like The Other League...it smells the same in 2021 as it did in 1971. Very unique...not sure if it was the ink they used or what. Does anyone else have The Other League? How does it smell?
User avatar
Bryan
 
Posts: 1816
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:37 am

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby JeffreyMiller » Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:47 pm

America's Game by Michael McCambridge has to be in this discussion, along with the Murray Olderman trilogy.
"Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble this football."
User avatar
JeffreyMiller
 
Posts: 737
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:28 am
Location: Birthplace of Pop Warner

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby Brian wolf » Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:54 pm

Lots of biographies of Joe Namath but Mark Kreigel's book is the most humorous ...
Brian wolf
 
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:43 am

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby GameBeforeTheMoney » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:17 pm

If I had to choose a favorite it would have to be one of the encyclopedias. I currently have the ESPN one from about 2005.

As far as just regular reading, there are so many. Reading Tom Landry's autobiography right now and it's really good.
Podcast: https://Podcast.TheGameBeforeTheMoney.com

Website/Blog: https://TheGameBeforeTheMoney.com

Author's Name: Jackson Michael
User avatar
GameBeforeTheMoney
 
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:21 pm
Location: Texas

Re: My choice for best book about football

Postby RyanChristiansen » Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:48 pm

JeffreyMiller wrote:America's Game by Michael McCambridge has to be in this discussion.


That was the first book I thought of, too. But I also think that even though The Golden Age of Pro Football: NFL Football in the 1950s by Mickey Herskowitz focuses on one decade, I think that book really helps you to understand how that post-war decade was a sort of sweet spot. It sat between the pre-war years, when the NFL was still finding its way, and the 1960s, when football became more commercial. In the 1950s, guys still had jobs outside of football, but they played for glory, and the league wasn't segregated anymore, and they were the only league (UNLESS you count competition from Canada, which was an actual real thing in the 1950s). Herskowitz named it the Golden Age and I think it's hard to argue against that label. Herskowitz brings in a lot of historical context around the decade, too. It's got a lot of flavor.
"Five seconds to go... A field goal could win it. Up in the air! Going deep! Tipped! Caught! Touchdown! The Vikings! They win it! Time has run out!" - Vikings 28, Browns 23, December 14, 1980, Metropolitan Stadium
User avatar
RyanChristiansen
 
Posts: 356
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:51 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Next

Return to Football Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 42 guests