If we’re being completely honest, American football fans do not have the time to find NFL books to read during the season. Once the games get started in Week 1, it’s hard to find downtime with games each Sunday, Monday, and most Thursdays. However, since we’re currently in the middle of the summer, without the unrelenting schedule of an NFL season upon us, there figures to be ample time for NFL die-hards to dive into the best NFL books out there this year.
Best NFL books
Novels allow fans to take a deeper dive into the stories behind their favorite players, coaches or teams. We think we know all the details that led to a certain season or circumstance playing out, but many times books can reveal additional context in a new light.
Let’s take a closer look at the pages of three must-read American football books this summer.
Finished Business by Ray Didinger will be a most attractive read to die hard fans of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The novel is punctuated by the team’s win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, but chronicles the long road to get back to the top through Didinger’s unique lens.
Now in his mid seventies, Didinger grew up in Philadelphia living, eating and breathing the “City of Brotherly Love” and its professional sports teams. He spent his childhood attending Eagles training camp, rubbing elbows with players from the early days of the AFL-NFL merger. Didinger has had a storied career with numerous local media outlets in Philadelphia, and is a voice Eagles fans trust. The book also goes into the delicate balance of covering the team objectively while hoping for their success year in and year out.
Payton and Brees
Even though Sean Payton and Drew Brees won’t be working together to carve up defenses each Sunday any longer, fans can relive the run they had together through Jeff Duncan’s book. Payton and Brees is a memorable trip down memory lane, recounting the run of one of the most successful coach-quarterback duos in NFL history. The novel goes into Brees’ uncertain health when he signed with the team in 2006, as well as Payton’s inexperience as a head coach at that time as well.
As one can expect, the book also goes into the role the two men played when Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans a few months before they arrived.
Heart And Steel
Heart and Steel is a behind the scenes look into the life and career of former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.
Taking over for the legendary Chuck Noll at the young age of 34, Cowher reminisces on his early years adjusting to head coaching in the NFL, and recalls the biggest games of his 15 year career in the Steel city.
Cowher was actually born in western Pennsylvania, so the book takes a full circle approach from his time as a child, to his success with the team he grew up rooting for.
It also highlights the personal obstacles he had to go through, losing both his wife and his father in a short window in 2010.