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Sports Illustrated Blood, Sweat and Chalk: The Ultimate Football Playbook: How the Great Coaches Built Today's Game Kindle Edition
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The problem is with the format of the book, is that each chapter is one play. Just one play. That's often useful, in describing Student Body Right. Lombardi's power run game could use more than the power sweep, explaining the bedrock play of NFL rushing, the 'Power O'. Readers should know 'power' means the man blocking schemes for running with pulling guards. But the book is still informative and interesting, and will show you how cyclical things are.
If you like books like this, read Smartfootball the books and the website. NFlbreakdowns and insidethepylon, web only authors like Mike Tanier are great resources too. Read the book, understand the history, than check out those resources for what's happening right NOW. Following Football's strategic evolution is the most rewarding and enjoyable way to be a football fan. It's a shame that the national sports discourse is so tawdry and cheap, so full of nonsensical beliefs, when fans really thought 'deflategate' last year would prevent the Patriots from being able to focus on the Seahawks and would lose the Superbowl...'is this distraction distracting you?' 'how about now?' , 'now??'. "Distractions" as reported by ESPN, have nothing to do with what happens on the field. They are distractions for the fans, preventing them from learning, reading, discussing ANYTHING that Matters to the games being played. The plays in this book, mattered, immensely, in winning and losing games. The plays diagrammed, animated in motion on NFlbreakdowns and insidethepylon, MATTER. 99% of the things Sportstalk radio, ESPN and all talking heads talk about, DO NOT.
I really wish this was a book about schemes, but unfortunately it's a book about coaches. Layden gives you every detail about the coaches he has decided to profile: their daily routine, their personality, their preferred restaurant to meet Layden, etc. What this book is missing is discussion of X's and O's football! I've been looking for a good book on the history of football strategy, and after wasting money on this, I'm still looking.
I won't fault it for that. This book works on that level and many will love it for exactly the reason I wanted it to be different.
Students of the game will learn more about the people in the game than about the strategies they invented (or reinvented.)
What you are getting are great stories behind the plays. What I missed was the reasons how and why these strategies worked.
Worth the read.
I thought the book was great. I learned a lot. It was fun seeing the philosophy behind plays I ran in high school when I played. It was also enlightening to see how some plays work and it helped me understand why the read-option was so effective this season with the 49ers, Seahawks and Redskins. It's even more surprising when one takes into account that the book came out three years before the read-option made its splash appearance on the NFL scene this year.
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