Let’s Hear About Your Favorite Football Books

On Tuesday, we shot the latest batch of our “Football Freakonomics” videos for the NFL Network.

This project has been a blast. There are a lot of people involved on the production, research, and digital sides, and they are all high-caliber and fun to work with. Our first two batches of videos were shot in Brooklyn warehouses. But on Tuesday we stepped it up, and got to work in the New York Jets’ indoor practice field out in Florham Park, N.J. (It was an off-day for the team, although there were plenty of players around doing individual workouts.)

Hey, Sanchez, I'm wide open! Dubner prepping for a Football Freakonomics shoot at the N.Y. Jets' training facility in Florham Park, N.J. (Photo: Bourree Lam)

I also ran into my old friend Nicky Dawidoff, a wonderful writer whose previous subjects range from ballplayer-spy Moe Berg to country music. He has been embedded with the Jets since summer and is writing a season-long account of the Jets that will, more broadly, be a book about the modern NFL.

I absolutely cannot wait to read this book. I have read a lot of NFL books (too many!) and the sad fact is that football has produced far, far less good literature than baseball. When Nicky and I started talking about the best football book, we each came up with the same title: George Plimpton‘s Paper Lion — which is more than 40 years old! I am also very fond of Roy Blount Jr.‘s About Three Bricks Shy of a Load, but that may be because I’m a Steelers fan.

Am curious to know: what are your favorite football books?

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  1. BL1Y says:

    I know this might not be a popular point of view, but frankly, I think the football TV show is just far and above better than the books.

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  2. Joe says:

    “One Knee Equals Two Feet” – John Madden (A classic)

    “Boys Will Be Boys” – Jeff Pearlman (Wild, tell-all about my favorite childhood football team, the 1990s Dallas Cowboys)

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  3. Jonathan says:

    Best overall would be a tie between Friday Night Lights and Junction Boys. I also enjoyed Mark Kriegel’s Namath biography. NFL writing is definitely a little thin…

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  4. Thomas says:

    My favorite are easily the Junction Boys and Boys will be Boys the Glory Days and Party Nights of the 90’s Cowboys. Two very good reads. I guess only one is NFL related.

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  5. Henry says:

    As a former college and semi-professional football player, North Dallas Forty captures the essence of football while also offering a compelling dramatic story as well. By far my favorite football book.

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  6. Mike says:

    If you’re a PATS fan or just a fan of good coaching, Education of a Coach, is a must read. I’m picking up “War Room” soon as well.

    The Blind Side was fascinating and much more in depth about both Michael Oher and the importance of the left tackle position than the movie was.

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  7. Mickey says:

    Best football book Ive ever read (beware where n is small, but still)


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  8. Evan says:

    “The Dawgs of War” by Dekerk Johnson

    Excerpt: http://www.derekjohnsonbooks.com/dawgsofwar_excerpt.pdf

    Remove College Football team bias and this is a very good story about overcoming tragedy, paying tribute, rising to the challenge, coming together and succeeding.

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