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10 must-read NFL books

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Apart from watching games and listening to podcasts, diehard American football fans are looking to read the best NFL books out there to kill their time in the offseason or between game weeks.

Best NFL books

Some of the best football books come from legendary players and coaches themselves. They have imparted some of their wisdom, philosophies, and strategies into these books. Thus, fans can opt to read these written works to gain more knowledge about the game.

Here are the ten best NFL books…

10. Instant Replay: The Green Bay Diary of Jerry Kramer (1968)

Instant Replay is a memoir written by Jerry Kramer, a former Packer. The book tells the story of the 1967 championship season—the last season Vince Lombardi coached the Packers.

Kramer recounts the ups and downs of their team during that season. And of course, he recalls their iconic championship run.


9. Take Your Eye off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look (2010)

Take Your Eye Off the Ball is a book written by Pat Kirwan and David Seigerman. The book teaches readers to widen their perspective and to look at other important things happening on the field when watching games. After all, there is more to football than meets the eye.

The book gives the readers a deeper understanding of a complex game like football. Thus, making the readers appreciate the game further.

8. More Than a Game: The Glorious Present and Uncertain Future of the NFL (2018)

More Than a Game is a non-fiction book written by Brian Billick and Michael MacCambridge. The book explores the current state of the NFL and its future. Despite being one of the most prestigious leagues in the United States, the NFL still has a lot of improvement to make.

What’s great about this book is it provides an unbiased perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the NFL. This is one of the best NFL books that addresses critical issues around the league.

7. The League: How Five Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire (2018)

The League is a non-fiction book written by John Eisenberg. The book tells the story of five influential figures: George Halas, Curly Lambeau, Bert Bell, Tim Mara, and Art Rooney, and how they founded the NFL. Eventually, some of them became the richest NFL owners of their time.


Apart from telling the story of the development of the NFL, the book also explores the challenges, failures, and successes that took place in the NFL’s transformation into one of the most prominent sports leagues in the United States.

6. When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi (1999)

When Pride Still Mattered is a biography written by David Maraniss. The book takes a deep dive into the life of Vince Lombardi, a legendary coach who led the Packers to five championships in nine seasons.

He tells the story of Lombardi during his time as a high school coach, as an assistant coach at Fordham and the New York Giants, and as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Moreover, the book tells the story of his coaching philosophy and how it brought success to him. This is one of the best football books for coaches.

5. Finding the Winning Edge (1997)

Finding the Winning Edge is one of the best football books on coaching. Here, you will learn about Bill Walsh’s coaching philosophy, strategies, and principles that helped him achieve success with the 49ers and win three Super Bowl titles.

As one of the greatest coaches of all time, Walsh’s wisdom and insights are gold in the book. Anyone who wants to become successful in coaching or wants to start a franchise needs to take a look at this book.

4. That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory (2009)

That First Season is one of the best NFL books written by John Eisenberg. The book tells the story of Vince Lombardi’s first season as the head coach of the Packers in 1959 and how he transformed the struggling team into a championship-winning franchise.

The book also provides a detailed look into Lombardi’s leadership, coaching philosophy, and strategic mind. These are the main reasons why the Packers became one of the most successful teams.

3. The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game (2006)

The Blind Side features the story of one of the most skilled offensive tackles of all time, Michael Oher. In the book, Oher recalls his journey from poverty to becoming a successful NFL player for the Ravens. His life started to change when he was adopted by a wealthy white family who supported him along the way.

Oher also highlighted the evolution of the left tackle position in the book. He discussed how the ability to blitz from the “blind side” became one of the most important skills to have for a left tackle.

2. Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback (1966)

Paper Lion is a non-fiction book that tells the story of George Plimpton, a last-string quarterback for the Detroit Lions. Despite his lack of professional experience and athleticism, he was allowed to participate in training camp. In the book, he humorously recounts his experiences with the team.

The book was published in 1966 and was one of the first books to delve into professional American football. This is one of the most popular books on football due to its wit, honesty, and how it shows the life of professional athletes back then.

1. Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (1990)

One of the most popular books on football is Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger. The book tells the story of the Permian High School Panthers football team and their quest for a championship during the 1988 season.

The book also takes a deep dive into the impact of football on their community. The story was adapted into a TV series and movie, which also became successful.

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