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The Games That Changed the Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays Paperback – 30 Aug 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc; Reprint edition (30 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345517962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345517968
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16.1 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 336,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Mr. craiders on 13 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pretty average sport book, I see what the writer was trying to achieve as the game of Football is so complex that some times the subject matter comes across as boring, as a big fan of the NFL and American football was left feeling a bit let down.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Cook on 1 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a present for an american football player and fan, so I can't really comment, but service was excellant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 23 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
If you're no pigskin geek, wait for a reasonable price 10 Nov 2010
By TF - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a huge fan of the game itself, I truly enjoyed this book. "Jaws" takes you through 7 historic NFL games that had a lasting impact on the way the professional game was/is played - because these games introduced new coaching schemes or even ideologies that can still be felt in today's game: the grandfathers of the modern passing game, Gillman, Coryell and Walsh; defensive contributions like the Cover-2 and Dick LeBeau's Zone Blitz. Each of these schemes or concepts is demonstrated by analysis of a specific game.

The reader is taken through each game quarter by quarter describing in detail relevant plays, their impact on the game specifically and in general, including a few play diagrams. Now, if this sounds very geeky to you - then you're right. Don't get me wrong - the book is no play-by-play box score compilation. Jaworski and his co-authors focus exclusively on one team and the decisions made by that team's coach or coordinator and how each play figured into the overall scheme of that coach.

The book is fun and easy to read, a huge ensemble cast of former and current players and coaches get to have their say, and depending on your age, you either get to gain some insights of the NFL before you were born (Sid Gillman's Chargers and the Steel Curtain were before my time), too young (I only knew about Don Coryell, Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow Sr. from highlight reels), or you get to re-experience great games that you may have seen but not thought about for some time.

What I really like was the back and forth between offensive and defensive innovations - it demonstrates the arms race in the NFL very well. The offense starts to air it out - the defense catches up. The offense creates ever more complex formations and plays - the defense overloads and blitzes unexpectedly, and so on. The book also offers some refreshingly raw language that you'd expect from players and coaches in football, instead of the highly polished "speaking but not saying anything" in today's media-centric league.

The reason that I'm giving it only 4 stars is that the chapter titles are somewhat confusing sometimes - Sid Gillman's Vertical Stretch, for example is showcased in a game where the Chargers won by relying on their running attack. Which they could do only because the defense expected them to air it out, but still. The Air Coryell chapter is is actually more about Winslow's breakout game, and the begin of the receiving tight ends of the modern era.

But these minor inconsistencies didn't really bother me. The price did. Now, unless you're a die-hard NFL geek looking for something meaningful to do while ESPN is showing skateboarding or oval car races, wait until the price drops. Oherwise - read this book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Thoughtful and detailed but not for everybody 30 Mar 2011
By J. Davis - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ron Jaworski, former Eagles QB and ESPN analyst dissects 7 games that sees that permanently changed football strategies. If you're a diehard fan like me you'll love the detail. For example, one chapter explains how the Steelers defense in the 1970s was so good the league had to change its rules (the restriction on bumping after 5 yards was actually known as the Mel Blount rule).Jaworski explains in detail the contribution to the NFL by innovators such as Buddy Ryan, Bud Carson,Dick LeBeau, Bill Belichick, Bill Walsh and others. For knowledgable and passionate football fans, this is well worth reading.

However, I should point out this isn't the book for very casual fans. For instance,if you don't know what a tight end does, save your money and buy a football for dummies book. It will become tedious very quickly.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
For Football Fans having or wanting Technical Knowledge 9 Jan 2011
By John McCarthy - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Games that changed the Game is an intriguing look at what RJ identify as significant developments in football that transformed the way games are played in the NFL. Each chapter starts with an informative narrative about the history of the coaches and the traditional views of the game during the time period. Readers will like the back stories of these innovative coaches and players, especially if the persons are people you grew up watching. The authors do an excellent job of bringing these people into your room, and making them accessible.

The final third of each chapter focuses on a nearly drive by drive account of the highlighted team in their breakout game. This section reads very technical. I enjoy the game but felt lost at times in understanding the strategies and techniques used in the game. I might have rated this book 3 stars, but that would not fairly reflect the quality of the lectures. I understood enough to still appreciate these sections. Those of you more knowledgeable will find these sections quite insightful and stir your own thinking.

Whether a casual or hard core fan, this book is worth reading for the commentary and research that's provided. Also, if your favorite team is included, you won't be disappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Book - loved the explanations of defensive concepts 28 Nov 2012
By Pitt Fan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't write many reviews - but I enjoyed this book so much - I had to chime in. It was a fast read that delivered exactly what was promised in the table of contents. I'm not new to football, but I've always been more interested in the offensive side, so for me the chapters on the Cover-2, Zone Blitz, and 46 were awesome. I learned a lot. For instance, the 46 is not a 4-6 like the 4-3, or 3-4. The 46 is actually named after a player's number and if you read the chapter on it you will understand how it works. And I finally understand what is meant by a zone exchange and zone blitz. For instance, the exchange concept of dropping a D-Lineman into coverage and rushing a linebacker so that you are actually rushing the same number of players, the idea of "safe" blitzes, etc. make sense to me now. Another highlight for me was the play diagrams - there were only a handful, but they were all really nice - I'll be going back to them. Finally, Jaws avoided the dryness that frequently comes with technical books. He sprinkled in just enough anecdotes and interview excerpts from the players and coaches involved in each game he was explaining to keep things moving.
Nice 26 Feb 2014
By Katherine Porter - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great condition, my girlfriend really loved getting this and talks my ear off about what she reads in it, just happy she likes the book
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