Football Books

The dog days of summer are upon us and unfortunately for Royals fans that means another slow march to the end of the season and another 90+ loss year.  Normally we would be talking about the Chiefs hopes for the upcoming season, but with the NFL lockout still underway all of the discussion has been about labor agreements.  Hopefully the lockout will end soon, but until it does some great football books may help you get your fix until the season starts.

The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL by Mark Bowden

Whether or not the NFL championship of 1958 is the greatest game ever is probably debatable; what is not debatable is the impact the game had on pro football.  Bowden offers interesting insights into the game and the players who played it that make you feel like you’re inside one of football’s most memorable games.

Breaker Boys: The NFL’s Greatest Team and the Stolen 1925 Championship by David Fleming

Breaker Boys which tells the little known story of the Pottsville Maroons.  The Maroons were a semi-pro football team located in the heart of coal country in Pennsylvania that joined the National Football League in 1925.  In a very short amount of time the Maroons became an NFL powerhouse.  Breaker Boys tells about their rise to power, the backroom dealings that denied them a championship, and finally the end of the franchise by 1930.  An entertaining book about the early years of the NFL.

Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger

The classic book about a year in the life of the Permian High School football team of Odessa, Texas.  Friday Night Lights focuses on the intense pressure that accompanies the players and coaches as they try to live up to the expectations and tradition of their high school football team.  The book has subsequently been made into a very good movie and TV series, but in this case the cliché is correct; the book is better.

The Pro Football Historical Abstract: A Hardcore Fan’s Guide to All-Time Player Rankings by Sean Lahman

Modeled after The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (which is highly recommended) The Pro Football Historical Abstract brings statistical analysis to football.  While Lahman is not as skilled of a writer as James, he does a good job of providing of overview of NFL history and the top players of all time.  Players are ranked historically at each position with a wealth of information behind those rankings.  There are also sections on the history of the game, how it was played, and how it has changed in each decade.  A great book to open up and read whatever section comes up, it is sure to get you thinking about who the best players are and see where your favorite players rank.

And for those of you who are planning on playing fantasy football this season, we have a program coming up at the library that will be right up your alley.  Join WIBW’s Terry Blount and Bruce Steinbrock on Saturday afternoon, August 13 from 2:00-4:00 in Marvin Auditorium 101A, as they present a fantasy football strategies program geared to help you dominate your league.  Whether you’re experienced, or a rookie, Terry and Bruce will help give you the knowledge you need to navigate your way through your league’s season, including your draft.

We would also like to invite you to join the library’s first fantasy football league.  Our draft will be Thursday evening, September 1, from 6:00-8:30 in the Hughes Room.  There is no fee to join, and no experience is required.  All experience levels are welcome, and the winner will take home a prize at the end of the season.  Registration is required and can be done at the Red Carpet Desk, by phone at 580-4545, or by email at  We look forward to seeing you there!