The Super Bowl is over and thus starts the long hibernation until football returns. This is always the longest part of the year for football fans and some take it harder than others. However, you never have to be too far from the game with the NFL books on this list.
These are some of the best NFL books to read while you wait for the 2021-2022 season and hold you over until the games get back underway. From legendary teams to play calling to Hall of Fame players and groundbreaking moments, this list of NFL books has a little something for everyone.
Check out Home Run Reader’s list of 7 NFL Books To Read This Offseason.
Tom Brady just won his seventh Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This book is a look back at the first six and how the Patriots built a dynasty during that time, based on interviews with those who helped build it.
Of course, the Patriots dynasty wasn’t built in one night. It began with the purchase of the team by Robert Kraft in 1994 who then brought in Bill Belichick as head coach followed by the late draft pick of Tom Brady. This book takes a look at not only how the Patriots built that dynasty, but how they were able to maintain it in an era that thrives on parity.
Jeff Benedict was also the co-author of Tiger Woods.
Football is an ever-changing game on both offense and defense. Things that worked so well ten years ago might not work at all in today’s game. It’s what keeps coaches up all night and what keeps the game of football from getting stale.
Doug Farrar, the lead NFL scout at Bleacher Report, looks back the schematic history of the pro game via a series of moments that created a paradigm shift in the game of football. Starting in the 1920s and going all the way up the present, the book is not only about schemes but also that of the true innovators of the game from George Halas to Greasy Neale, Paul Brown to Sid Gillman, Bill Walsh to Chip Kelly.
The Genius of Desperation is one of the must-read NFL books if you’re looking to take your knowledge of football plays and strategy to another level.
The NFL is the king of sports in American with billions of dollar of annual revenue and fans all across the world. If you’re looking to see how The League got to be where it is today, you have to start with this book.
As you will read in this one, the NFL was not always the massive success that it is today. There was no guarantee of survival as the league struggled to stay afloat during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s; a time when college football reigned supreme.
Five men believed in the sport’s future at that time and did what it took to ensure the league’s long term success. Those men were the owners Art Rooney, George Halas, Tim Mara, George Preston Marshall, and Bert Bell, who all sacrificed their own short-term gains for the long-term good of the league. Sacrifices that have long since paid off for them and their families.
Vince Lombardi is a true legend of the NFL and a great example of the American dream come to fruition.
Before becoming one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, Lombardi was the son of an Italian immigrant butcher who loved coaching the game of football. His chances didn’t come right away though. He spent twenty years as a high school coach before finally getting an opportunity as an assistant coach at Fordham, West Point. His big break didn’t come until he was forty-six years old when the Green Bay Packers came calling on his services.
Lombardi’s move to Green Bay would turn the Packers into champions and him into a legend. He was a symbol of leadership, discipline, perseverance, and teamwork, and his words are still quoted on a regular basis. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss enters the world of NFL books with this excellent biography that manages to captures= the myth and the man, football, God, and country.
The Games That Changed the Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays by Ron Jaworski with David Platt and Greg Cossell
Ron Jaworski is one of the best at breaking down film in the NFL and his insights are highly respected as a television analyst and announcer.
In this book, Jaws breaks down the film from seven of the most momentous contests of the last fifty years. His expertise takes down these legendary games drive-by-drive, play-by-play as he delves into the game’s evolutionary leaps that define today’s game.
The most cutting-edge concepts of the time, from Sid Gillman’s development of the Vertical Stretch to Bill Belichick’s defensive game plan for Super Bowl XXXVI, come alive thanks to the recollections of nearly seventy coaches and players.
Tom Brady’s greatest rival throughout his career was Peyton Manning, but it was actually Peyton’s younger brother Eli who handed him two Super Bowl losses. The Mannings are as synonymous with football as the Kennedys are to politics, and this book takes an in-depth look at the football family.
The father, Archie, was an a Ole Miss hero and New Orleans Saints star. Then there were Peyton to Eli, two NFL stars with Super Bowl resumes. There is also the oldest, Cooper, who is said to have been the best athlete of them all, but had his career cut short by a rare spinal condition at the age of just eighteen.
An inspiring story of a family of quarterbacks by long-time Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson.
Lost Champions: Four Men, Two Teams, and the Breaking of Pro Football’s Color Line by Gretchen Atwood
The story of Jackie Robinson breaking the MLB color line is one of the most enduring stories in all of sports, but the story of the NFL’s integration has never really been told in the same way.
Lost Champions seeks to change all that as it tells the story of Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Bill Willis, and Marion Motley who all managed to break that color barrier in the year 1946. The story starts before that when NFL owners instituted a ban on black players in the 1930s and continues through the re-integration.
The players dealt with a lot of racism and death threats for their roles. Their integration came at a time when America was at its ugliest for black Americans with a spike in lynchings, threat of legal expulsion from their own homes, and segregation all the way down to the simple act of going to an amusement park.
Atwood’s book deals with all this, the lives of the men, and why these stories have been in the shadow of Jackie Robinson for so long.
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That’s our list of some of the best NFL books to read this offseason. What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!