Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

Howdy,

Iíve been watching [american] football regularly since 2004 when I moved here. Over the past couple years my interest in the game has increased, and Iíve been thinking about getting involved in the game in some way, perhaps in a coaching capacity. I enjoy chess, and to me, football is really live chess.

As is my way, I read up on whatever subject Iím going to attack next. Iíve got a fair understanding of the game. What Iíd really like is to find something that goes into detail on game theory (offensive + defensive), such as breaking down formations, plays, as well as gameplay styles (e.g west coast v whatever).

Ideally, this is interspersed with a narrative of some kind, containing some sort of biography and philosophy. I understand that all that might not fit into one book. Iíve attempted to do some research on the net, but havenít gotten anywhere besides obvious recommendations of books by former coaches.

I love books by former coaches, nothing wrong with them, but before I pull the trigger I wanted to reach out to fellow goons here and get your feedback! What are your favorite football related books [yes, plural] (and recommendations), and why?

Looking forward to your responses!

geezersteez fucked around with this message at 04:13 on Nov 24, 2020

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

The Timeless Child is THE DOCTOR? Oh, for God's sake!


T.G. Webbís Battle of the Brazos: A Texas Football Rivalry, a Riot, and a Murder is a very interesting book on old-time college football and how people will just go nuts over rivalries. I wonít spoil anything beyond the fact that yes, someone is killed.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh. It was never reprinted and copies can be very expensive online, although I think you can maybe find it via . Itís basically the coaching bible and does include breakdowns on plays, practices, and almost everything.

EDIT: Just for fun, the Football Life episode on Walsh talks about the book heavily, particularly in the first few minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd_CnRkKOqA

fartknocker fucked around with this message at 04:03 on Nov 24, 2020

Kull the Conqueror
Apr 8, 2006



Paper Lion by George Plimpton is a classic thatís great for getting introduced to the fundamentals because you learn along just as the author does. Itís certainly an older school form of football but itís cool to see just how much scheme/culture has made it fifty years to today.

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004



i recommend if you're not familiar with george plimpton it is imperative to watch some interviews with him so you can hear how he talks.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

R.D. Mangles posted:

i recommend if you're not familiar with george plimpton it is imperative to watch some interviews with him so you can hear how he talks.

Alternate option:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhmFCX9Bq3k

I like how they have his Lions #0 jersey on the wall in the background

geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

fartknocker posted:

Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh. It was never reprinted and copies can be very expensive online, although I think you can maybe find it via . Itís basically the coaching bible and does include breakdowns on plays, practices, and almost everything.

EDIT: Just for fun, the Football Life episode on Walsh talks about the book heavily, particularly in the first few minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd_CnRkKOqA

Definitely heard about this book many times, and not just in the context of football, but in regards to coaching in general. Plus, who wouldnít want to know what Joe Walsh knows.

I wonder whether Shula wrote any books.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

geezersteez posted:

Definitely heard about this book many times, and not just in the context of football, but in regards to coaching in general. Plus, who wouldnít want to know what Joe Walsh knows.

I wonder whether Shula wrote any books.

Yeah, itís very much in depth NFL coaching and organization management, including seemingly mundane stuff like to run practices or speeches to give to players in camp. For play stuff, the last appendix of the book is like 60~ pages just of play diagrams and breakdowns.

geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

Kull the Conqueror posted:

Paper Lion by George Plimpton is a classic thatís great for getting introduced to the fundamentals because you learn along just as the author does. Itís certainly an older school form of football but itís cool to see just how much scheme/culture has made it fifty years to today.

I saw George Plimpton, and I said why do I recognize that name? I looked him up, and then I knew why I remembered him: he did a fantastic job narrating large parts of the Ali documentary ĎWhen We Were Kingsí.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, if he wrote something itís sure to be worthwhile.

Alfred P. Pseudonym
May 29, 2006

And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss goes 8-8



This is one of my favorites:

geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

R.D. Mangles posted:

i recommend if you're not familiar with george plimpton it is imperative to watch some interviews with him so you can hear how he talks.

Yes, itís very distinctive, and I enjoy it very much; I think itís what they call a patrician drawl. Heís always very insightful, and has a way of delivering a perspective distinct from most others on whatever his subject matter is, but Iíve never heard of him speaking on the subject of football before now.

Darth Brooks
Jan 15, 2005

I do not wear this mask to protect me. I wear it to protect you from me.


Kull the Conqueror posted:

Paper Lion by George Plimpton is a classic thatís great for getting introduced to the fundamentals because you learn along just as the author does. Itís certainly an older school form of football but itís cool to see just how much scheme/culture has made it fifty years to today.

The Movie is on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duom_bUTAZM

There's also this,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjNKw4tmCT0#t=18s

Darth Brooks fucked around with this message at 04:37 on Nov 24, 2020

geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

fartknocker posted:

Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh. It was never reprinted and copies can be very expensive online, although I think you can maybe find it via . Itís basically the coaching bible and does include breakdowns on plays, practices, and almost everything.

EDIT: Just for fun, the Football Life episode on Walsh talks about the book heavily, particularly in the first few minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd_CnRkKOqA

Wow! You werenít kidding, the cheapest copy I could find was $300!! Iím not adverse to spending money on books, but that definitely makes me at least think twice. Unbelievable there hasnít been a reprint when itís obviously so popular.

fartknocker
Oct 28, 2012

Damn it, this always happens. I think I'm gonna score, and then I never score. It's not fair.




Wedge Regret

Doing some more glancing at my book shelf:

The Games that Changed the Game by Ron Jaworski: This is more about strategy, with Jaws breaking down seven games that basically created the modern NFL. For example, one is a Chargers-Raiders game from 1980 that first saw the Chargers using Kellan Winslow all over the place. Another is a Bills-Steelers game from 1992 where Pittsburgh heavily leaned into the zone blitz. Itís a well written and a great, accessible read. This is also the source of the amazing ďIf Ď18í goes down, weíre hosed, and we donít practice hosedĒ quote from Tom Moore.

The View from the O-Line by Howard Mudd: Less Xís and Oís about every play, but focused on offensive linemen. It has interviews with dozens of guys from basically every era and does get in depth about offensive line schemes and techniques. Another really awesome read.

Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson. This isnít an Xís and Oís strategy book, but a very well written account of a guy who was mainly a practice squad and depth guy mostly with the Broncos during the mid-00ís. When the subject of football books has come up here in the past, it usually gets recommended since itís a short but good read. Itíll give you some looks into the more mundane stuff like practice squad life and being hurt all the time.

Americaís Game by Michael MacCambridge. This is basically the go-to book on the overall history of the NFL, so if youíre doing any kind of football reading, itís worth checking out at some point. Quite good, but obviously a general overall history, so some stuff is skimmed over.

EDIT:

geezersteez posted:

Wow! You werenít kidding, the cheapest copy I could find was $300!! Iím not adverse to spending money on books, but that definitely makes me at least think twice. Unbelievable there hasnít been a reprint when itís obviously so popular.

Yeah, I got lucky and snagged a copy that was perfect aside from an almost imperceptible dent in the spine for like $150 a few years back. Itís really only popular with football diehards, although business people also speak highly of the parts relevant to them and didnít have a broad appeal. IIRC, it didnít sell well in its original release, taking a while for the original printing to get moved, which is why it hasnít gotten another run since even though it is highly coveted among the aforementioned groups and a few others.

fartknocker fucked around with this message at 04:50 on Nov 24, 2020

Grittybeard
Mar 29, 2010


A Thinking Man's Guide to Football is dated, considering it was written in 1984, but Paul Zimmerman both knew the game and could really write. I think it's still worthwhile. There are two versions of this, the 1984 one at least came after the rule changes where you could no longer just kill any receiver at any time.

I haven't read it but I've heard generally good things about Take Your Eye Off the Ball?

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer is kinda fun, but it's more about the insanity of college football fans than football.

Sour Diesel
Jan 30, 2010



geezersteez posted:

Howdy,

I’ve been watching [american] football regularly since 2004 when I moved here. Over the past couple years my interest in the game has increased, and I’ve been thinking about getting involved in the game in some way, perhaps in a coaching capacity. I enjoy chess, and to me, football is really live chess.

As is my way, I read up on whatever subject I’m going to attack next. I’ve got a fair understanding of the game. What I’d really like is to find something that goes into detail on game theory (offensive + defensive), such as breaking down formations, plays, as well as gameplay styles (e.g west coast v whatever).

Ideally, this is interspersed with a narrative of some kind, containing some sort of biography and philosophy. I understand that all that might not fit into one book. I’ve attempted to do some research on the net, but haven’t gotten anywhere besides obvious recommendations of books by former coaches.

I love books by former coaches, nothing wrong with them, but before I pull the trigger I wanted to reach out to fellow goons here and get your feedback! What are your favorite football related books [yes, plural] (and recommendations), and why?

Looking forward to your responses!

you have def come to the right place may i start you off with CRACKERJACK HALFBACK

aka HALFBACK ATTACK that deals with a player who is afraid to tackle.

very informative stuff here but if you want the ins and outs of the league when it comes to things such as free agency you might wanna check out FOOTBALL FUGITIVE



unfortunately i dont know what this book is about but i'm sure you can find something there

Crescent Wrench
Sep 30, 2005

It Hurts to be replaced.


Grimey Drawer

Seconding Paper Lion, as well as The Games That Changed the Game.

Paint Crop Pro
Mar 22, 2007

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.


Grittybeard posted:

A Thinking Man's Guide to Football is dated, considering it was written in 1984, but Paul Zimmerman both knew the game and could really write. I think it's still worthwhile. There are two versions of this, the 1984 one at least came after the rule changes where you could no longer just kill any receiver at any time.

I haven't read it but I've heard generally good things about Take Your Eye Off the Ball?

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer is kinda fun, but it's more about the insanity of college football fans than football.

I would 100% recommend Take your eye of the Ball.

Look for the updated 2.0 version (Original was written in 2010, the updated version in 2015, some of the strategies and players discussed are changed as to be more recent.

It was my first step into reading about football strategy and is a very good and easy read to learning about what goes on during a play. It can change the way you watch games, such as when the ball is snapped Im usually not looking at the QB, but what routes are being run vs what coverage. The broadcast angles are usually garbage for any route past 5 yards, but in the red zone its pretty good.

(It also makes me wish there was a Madden View camera 100% of the time in NFL games.)

We Got Us A Bread
Jul 23, 2007



Kull the Conqueror posted:

Paper Lion by George Plimpton is a classic thatís great for getting introduced to the fundamentals because you learn along just as the author does. Itís certainly an older school form of football but itís cool to see just how much scheme/culture has made it fifty years to today.

A Few Seconds of Panic by Stefan Fatsis is kind of a modern day take on Paper Lion. Fatsis even says that he read Paper Lion, loved it, and set out to do something similar. In this case, a sportswriter learning how to be an NFL kicker by..well..joining the Denver Broncos and being a kicker at training camp.

Bellmaker
Oct 18, 2008

Chapter DOOF




I'm not sure The Code was really good, but it's worth it just to read about Sean Payton complaining about Spygate three seconds before he got suspended for a season

Big Beef City
Aug 15, 2013


When I was a kid in the very early 90's and going to a tiny, rural catholic school in Wisconsin, in their one room library, I uncovered a dusty, old book on how to PLAY football, as in, proper way to grip the ball, how to punt, how to do dropkicks(!), field goals, various basic formations and their uses.
If I had to guess, it was written around the early 30's-40's at the latest.

I dunno how many times I read that thing, but it was great and actually DID teach me how to both kick and punt fairly well! I've tried searching for anything on this as a result of this thread but haven't found it yet. I'll update it if I can.

e: it looked something very akin to this:


but even OLDER if you can imagine that. And it was wonderful.
I spent many a social studies class drafting up defenses to cover single wing offensive play-ground formations as a result of this book and haven't thought of it in probably almost 25-30+ years.
ee:and even then it was nearly a century old. So, woah!

Big Beef City fucked around with this message at 18:27 on Nov 24, 2020

Paint Crop Pro
Mar 22, 2007

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.


Also take a look at the various youtubers who do video breakdowns.

The one that comes to mind off the top of my head is Brett Kollman.

When I get off work I can make a list of a bunch who I am subscribed to.

Paint Crop Pro fucked around with this message at 15:56 on Nov 24, 2020

Kalli
Jun 2, 2001




Yeah, I was going to say, if you want to get into formation x-o stuff, youtube is probably going to be more insightful.

Also full of more wrong information, if you fall into a Cian Fahey-type hole, but definitely more illustrative.

Also seconding fartknocker's recommendation of The View from the O-Line. It's not about the x-o's at all really, aside from minutiae about how some blocking schemes work through anecdotes, but it's hilarious and really illustrative of where offensive linemen come from.

Also it contains the Screwdriver story:

Ed White posted:

Joe Greene and I had been defensive tackles in the college all-star games. We played in one in San Francisco and one in Hawaii, so I got to know him pretty well.

We were playing the Steelers in my first game, and Joe had been their number one draft choice. We had a guard from USC named Jim Vellone. He was quite spicy. Apparently Jim called Joe a name he didn't like.

On the next series, Joe came back into the game with a screwdriver he'd gotten from the sideline. Unfortunately, they'd pulled Vellone out and put me in.

So there's Joe standing there seething, his eyes widened as open as he could get them, expecting Vellone to come back at left guard.

He had this screwdriver in his hand and I thought whoa. I'm yelling at him, "Hey Joe, It's me Ed!" I don't remember exactly what happened next, but he went off the field. So I avoided having to block an angry defensive tackle holding a screwdriver.

Blowjob Overtime
Apr 6, 2008

And the rockets red glare! Buncha bombs in the air! Came proof to the night that we still had a flag.

OxySnake posted:

I would 100% recommend Take your eye of the Ball.

Look for the updated 2.0 version (Original was written in 2010, the updated version in 2015, some of the strategies and players discussed are changed as to be more recent.

It was my first step into reading about football strategy and is a very good and easy read to learning about what goes on during a play. It can change the way you watch games, such as when the ball is snapped Im usually not looking at the QB, but what routes are being run vs what coverage. The broadcast angles are usually garbage for any route past 5 yards, but in the red zone its pretty good.

(It also makes me wish there was a Madden View camera 100% of the time in NFL games.)

Very happy to see this and also endorse Take Your Eye Off the Ball (which I could not remember the name of). Not really any narrative, but it does a great breakdown of different techniques and their advantages.

If you really want to go nuts and train yourself to notice the stuff coaches do, it also has tables you can fill out watching games. I think a lot of the stuff that most people don't even notice would get to be second nature if you really dig into everything that book offers.

Eifert Posting
Mar 31, 2007

Sweet, pointless victory.


Grimey Drawer

fartknocker posted:



Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson. This isn’t an X’s and O’s strategy book, but a very well written account of a guy who was mainly a practice squad and depth guy mostly with the Broncos during the mid-00’s. When the subject of football books has come up here in the past, it usually gets recommended since it’s a short but good read. It’ll give you some looks into the more mundane stuff like practice squad life and being hurt all the time.


Second.

General Dog
Apr 26, 2008

New Year, New Me!



this is real

geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

Big Beef City posted:

When I was a kid in the very early 90's and going to a tiny, rural catholic school in Wisconsin, in their one room library, I uncovered a dusty, old book on how to PLAY football, as in, proper way to grip the ball, how to punt, how to do dropkicks(!), field goals, various basic formations and their uses.
If I had to guess, it was written around the early 30's-40's at the latest.

I dunno how many times I read that thing, but it was great and actually DID teach me how to both kick and punt fairly well! I've tried searching for anything on this as a result of this thread but haven't found it yet. I'll update it if I can.

e: it looked something very akin to this:


but even OLDER if you can imagine that. And it was wonderful.
I spent many a social studies class drafting up defenses to cover single wing offensive play-ground formations as a result of this book and haven't thought of it in probably almost 25-30+ years.
ee:and even then it was nearly a century old. So, woah!

Very cool! Please let us know if you happen to remember or find something similar.

geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

Perusing my little local library last week, I checked out the 3 best football related books from their PUNY selection I could find.

The first one I read is called ĎNext Man Upí by John Feinstein.

Basically in the first year of Steve Bisciottiís full ownership he gave Mr. Feinstein total access behind the scenes for the season. Itís a very quick, easy read, giving a comprehensive overview of the nuts and bolts of HOW an NFL team operates. From the nuances involved in the process of building a team from free agency and the draft in the off season from the GMís perspective to the decisions and situations, and the resulting pressures a coach faces during the season. All interspersed with background on the key players in the organization and an overview of the gameplay and key game and personnel decisions throughout the season. 3.5/5

Sorry, canít figure out how to post pictures of them from my phone right now...do you still have to upload and link to a host site?

The second book I finished is ĎTHREE and OUTí by John Bacon.

Itís very similar to the above in format, almost identical, except that the emphasis is really on Rich Rodriguez, how he became a coach, his football strategy (a solid analysis on the football side), and how he ended up at Michigan. Thereafter the body of the book is dedicated to the epic poo poo-show which was his tenure at Michigan. The writer does a great job of taking a balanced approach on that topic, and again, the backdrops are the actual seasons, games, supporting cast, and players. Happened to be a great follow up book to the above because the format was somewhat similar, but now youíre just learning all the nuance and minutiae a college coach has to put up with, see: boosters, presidents, athletics directors, alumni, etc. A very entertaining read as well. 4/5 because of the quality of the research.

Both are definitely worth reading for the sake of reading.

geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

As far as books written by - or about - former coaches do you guys have any preference?

Some of the coaches whose mind Iíd like to climb into are: Shula, Gibbs, Walsh (I know weíve mentioned his magnum opus already), Pete Carrol, Bilichick, Payton.

I know there are some big names missing from that list such as Noll, Parcells, Holmgren, Coughlin, and whoever else Iím forgetting e.g. Landry, Lombardi, etc.

Lastly, who do you think Iím missing? I just really enjoy the game the coaches I listed up top play.

Basically, have the people on my list written a book you really enjoyed, and secondly, whatís a football biography you really enjoyed from a coach not on that list?

Shinji2015
Aug 31, 2007
Keen on the hygiene and on the mission like a super technician.

Not a book recommendation, but I suddenly remembered a football book I read all the time as a kid:



It was just a kids' book with barebones, probably incorrect information, but there was a period where every time I came across it, I would sit down and read it. I didn't even care about football at the time, but for years, Barry Sanders was the only athlete I'd recognize besides Michael Jordan until I started following the Panthers and sports in general

RC and Moon Pie
May 5, 2011



geezersteez posted:

Very cool! Please let us know if you happen to remember or find something similar.

I have something very similar called Practical Football, printed in 1934 and written by a couple of coaches. Abe Books has a reasonably priced copy.

Yates
Jan 29, 2010

HIP THRAWST

Stretch the Cornfield is a fun little book about Hal Mumme and Mike Leach working out the kinks of the Air Raid at Iowa Wesleyan.

If you are looking for more X's and O's you can find a ton of older books floating around the net. Depending on what level you plan on trying to coach at, they might be more usable for you. I've coach a lot of youth and middle school aged teams and the plain fact it most kids can't throw that well that young, so you will be running the ball a lot. You're probably going to get a lot more use out of books about the various "T" formations (Wing T, Slot T, Split T, Straight T, Power T, ect...) then something about a more modern approach to college/NFL football.

Phyein
Jun 19, 2009

~Sucka Tried To Play Me
But You Never Paid Me, Never, Oh No You Didn't~
~Pay Back Is A Comin, You Will Be Runnin Forever~


I recommend "Give Me The drat Ball" by Keyshawn "Give Me The drat Ball" Johnson

I haven't read it but I'm sure it's good

Product Description
"Well, son, I guess we have to go the to bank." That's what Leon Hess told me the day the Jets drafted me as the number-one player in the NFL draft. But that first day, the day of the draft, was one of the happiest days in my life, because I knew I was ready to make things happen in the league and help turn things around for the sorry-rear end Jets. But what a nightmare! Week after week, loss after loss. The Jets went in with a loser reputation, and they were earning it all over again. We had no emotion, no energy, no hunger. The media tried to cover it all. Rich Kotite tried to explain the disasters away. But nobody outside the team knew the real truth of what really went on. This book is going to change all that.

Review
Keyshawn Johnson, the highly touted second-year receiver for the Jets, is a man of few words--he seems to know only a few, most of which are unprintable.... Johnson has caught just 63 passes so far in his pro career, and the only record he holds is "most pages per catch." -- The New York Times Book Review, Allen Barra

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

geezersteez
Dec 10, 2004
from now till infinity

Phyein posted:

I recommend "Give Me The drat Ball" by Keyshawn "Give Me The drat Ball" Johnson

I haven't read it but I'm sure it's good

Product Description
"Well, son, I guess we have to go the to bank." That's what Leon Hess told me the day the Jets drafted me as the number-one player in the NFL draft. But that first day, the day of the draft, was one of the happiest days in my life, because I knew I was ready to make things happen in the league and help turn things around for the sorry-rear end Jets. But what a nightmare! Week after week, loss after loss. The Jets went in with a loser reputation, and they were earning it all over again. We had no emotion, no energy, no hunger. The media tried to cover it all. Rich Kotite tried to explain the disasters away. But nobody outside the team knew the real truth of what really went on. This book is going to change all that.

Review
Keyshawn Johnson, the highly touted second-year receiver for the Jets, is a man of few words--he seems to know only a few, most of which are unprintable.... Johnson has caught just 63 passes so far in his pro career, and the only record he holds is "most pages per catch." -- The New York Times Book Review, Allen Barra

😂

I thought you made this up, until I googled it.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply