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XLVIII Reasons to Watch

The 2014 Super Bowl, the 48th in the venerable NFL series, will be played on Sunday 2 February. In addition to the 80,000+ fans watching the Seattle Seahawks (in their first Super Bowl outing) take on the Denver Broncos at New Jersey’s Meadowlands (MetLife Stadium), an estimated 110 million viewers will follow the action on television. As you wait for Super Bowl Sunday to arrive, you can brush up on your Super Bowl and NFL knowledge with the following titles from Richland Library’s collection.


Amazon Says: An unrivaled portrait of day-to-day life in the NFL: "Riveting...An instant classic." -- New York Times Book Review By spending a year with the New York Jets, Nicholas Dawido more...
Amazon Says: An unrivaled portrait of day-to-day life in the NFL: "Riveting...An instant classic." -- New York Times Book Review By spending a year with the New York Jets, Nicholas Dawidoff entered a mysterious and private world with its own rituals and language. Equal parts Paper Lion, Moneyball, Friday Night Lights, and The Office, this absorbing, funny, and vivid narrative gets to the heart of a massive and stressful collective endeavor. Here is football in many faces: the polarizing, brilliant, and hilarious head coach; the general manager, whose job is to support (and suppress) the irrepressible coach; the defensive coaches and their in-house rivals, the offensive coaches; and of course the players. Wise safeties, brooding linebackers, high-strung cornerbacks, enthusiastic rookies, and a well-read nose tackle-they make up a strange and complex family. Dawidoff makes an emblematic NFL season come alive for fans and nonfans alike in a book about football that will forever change the way people watch and think about the sport. less...
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Amazon Says: “PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS DO NOT SUSTAIN FREQUENT REPETITIVE BLOWS TO THE BRAIN ON A REGULAR BASIS.” So concluded the National Football League in a December 20 more...
Amazon Says: “PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS DO NOT SUSTAIN FREQUENT REPETITIVE BLOWS TO THE BRAIN ON A REGULAR BASIS.” So concluded the National Football League in a December 2005 scientific paper on concussions in America’s most popular sport. That judgment, implausible even to a casual fan, also contradicted the opinion of a growing cadre of neuroscientists who worked in vain to convince the NFL that it was facing a deadly new scourge: A chronic brain disease that was driving an alarming number of players -- including some of the all-time greats -- to madness. League of Denial reveals how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage. Comprehensively, and for the first time, award-winning ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru tell the story of a public health crisis that emerged from the playing fields of our 21st century pastime. Everyone knew that football is violent and dangerous. But what the players who built the NFL into a $10 billion industry didn’t know – and what the league sought to shield from them – is that no amount of padding could protect the human brain from the force generated by modern football; that the very essence of the game could be exposing these players to brain damage. In a fast-paced narrative that moves between the NFL trenches, America’s research labs and the boardrooms where the NFL went to war against science, League of Denial examines how the league used its power and resources to attack independent scientists and elevate its own flawed research -- a campaign with echoes of Big Tobacco’s fight to deny the connection between smoking and lung cancer. It chronicles the tragic fates of players like Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, who was so disturbed at the time of his death he fantasized about shooting NFL executives; and former Chargers great Junior Seau, whose diseased brain became the target of an unseemly scientific battle between researchers and the NFL. Based on exclusive interviews, previously undisclosed documents and private emails, this is the story of what the NFL knew and when it knew it – questions at the heart of crisis that threatens football, from the highest levels all the way down to Pop Warner. less...
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Amazon Says: The inside story of the most colorful decade in NFL history―pro football’s raging, hormonal, hairy, druggy, immortal adolescence. Between the Immaculate Reception in 1972 more...
Amazon Says: The inside story of the most colorful decade in NFL history―pro football’s raging, hormonal, hairy, druggy, immortal adolescence. Between the Immaculate Reception in 1972 and The Catch in 1982, pro football grew up. In 1972, Steelers star Franco Harris hitchhiked to practice. NFL teams roomed in skanky motels. They played on guts, painkillers, legal steroids, fury, and camaraderie. A decade later, Joe Montana’s gleamingly efficient 49ers ushered in a new era: the corporate, scripted, multibillion-dollar NFL we watch today. Kevin Cook’s rollicking chronicle of this pivotal decade draws on interviews with legendary players―Harris, Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach, Ken “Snake” Stabler―to re-create their heroics and off-field carousing. He shows coaches John Madden and Bill Walsh outsmarting rivals as Monday Night Football redefined sports’ place in American life. Celebrating the game while lamenting the physical toll it took on football’s greatest generation, Cook diagrams the NFL’s transformation from second-tier sport into national obsession. 8 pages of photographs less...
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Football Now! by Mike Ryan
Amazon Says: The latest facts and stats on the NFL's greatest players. With second-edition sales more than 60 percent higher than the first edition, Football Now! has pr more...
Amazon Says: The latest facts and stats on the NFL's greatest players. With second-edition sales more than 60 percent higher than the first edition, Football Now! has proven itself as a favorite of football fans everywhere. This third edition brings the fast-paced book up to date with the latest teams, players and statistics. Packed with more than 150 full-color action photos, Football Now! profiles 75 of the biggest stars in the National Football League lineup. Selections include those players most important to their teams from all positions--quarterbacks, defensive linemen, running backs, linebackers, receivers, defensive backs and offensive linemen. Up-to-the- minute facts and breathtaking photos boast the inarguable talent and determination of these gridiron immortals. Here are just some of the pro stars in Football Now!: Drew Brees Tim Tebow Aaron Rodgers Eli Manning Calvin Johnson Troy Polamalu Charles Woodson Adrian Peterson Wes Welker Maurice Jones-Drew Clay Matthews Larry Fitzgerald Jake Long. Football Now! is a must for fans of the game. It will be a popular choice in the holiday season. less...
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Amazon Says: Relive the greatest moments in the NFL The Immaculate Reception. The Ice Bowl. The Music City Miracle. The Catch. For nearly a century, the National Football League has prov more...
Amazon Says: Relive the greatest moments in the NFL The Immaculate Reception. The Ice Bowl. The Music City Miracle. The Catch. For nearly a century, the National Football League has provided fans with pulse-pounding moments on the gridiron.       In the tradition of their best-selling collaboration And the Crowd Goes Wild, veteran chronicler of popular history Joe Garner and broadcast icon Bob Costas team up to bring fans this one-of-a-kind compendium of NFL history. 100 Yards of Glory celebrates 100 of professional football’s greatest moments, players, coaches, teams, and triumphs. The richly illustrated text is accompanied by an original ten-part documentary, hosted by the inimitable Bob Costas, produced by an Emmy Award–winning team, and featuring thrilling game footage, commentary, and highlights, direct from the NFL’s own archives.       From the great dynasties to the improbable catches, the legendary coaches to the heroic QBs, the most incredible comebacks to the most notorious collapses, 100 Yards of Glory relives—in print and on screen—the most unforgettable moments in the game’s history. 100 Yards of Glory is a must-have for any football fan. Don’t miss: • The infamous 1934 “Sneakers Game” • Roger Staubach’s Hail Mary pass • Tony Dorsett’s amazing 99-yard run • Coach Vince Lombardi’s first—and last—playoff loss • The 1985 Chicago Bears defense—the “Monsters of the Midway” • Johnny U in the 1958 AFC Championship: “The Greatest Game Ever Played” • Eli Manning’s Giants toppling Tom Brady’s Patriots in Super Bowl XLII • Landry’s Cowboys, Walsh’s 49ers, Belichick’s Patriots, and Lombardi’s Packers • Drew Brees hoisting the Lombardi trophy for jubilant New Orleans Saints fans • And much more. less...
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Amazon Says: A stirring portrait of the decade when the Steelers became the greatest team in NFL history, even as Pittsburgh was crumbling around them. In the 1970s, the city of more...
Amazon Says: A stirring portrait of the decade when the Steelers became the greatest team in NFL history, even as Pittsburgh was crumbling around them. In the 1970s, the city of Pittsburgh was in need of heroes. In that decade the steel industry, long the lifeblood of the city, went into massive decline, putting 150,000 steelworkers out of work. And then the unthinkable happened: The Pittsburgh Steelers, perennial also-rans in the NFL, rose up to become the most feared team in the league, dominating opponents with their famed "Steel Curtain" defense, winning four Super Bowls in six years, and lifting the spirits of a city on the brink. In The Ones Who Hit the Hardest, Chad Millman and Shawn Coyne trace the rise of the Steelers amidst the backdrop of the fading city they fought for, bringing to life characters such as: Art Rooney, the owner of the team so beloved by Pittsburgh that he was known simply as "The Chief"; Chuck Noll, the headstrong coach who used the ethos of steelworkers to motivate his players; Terry Bradshaw, the strong-armed and underestimated QB; Joe Green, the defensive tackle whose fighting nature lifted the franchise; and Jack Lambert, the linebacker whose snarling, toothless grin embodied the Pittsburgh defense. Every story needs a villain, and in this one it's played by the Dallas Cowboys. As Pittsburgh rusted, the new and glittering metropolis of Dallas, rich from the capital infusion of oil revenue, signaled the future of America. Indeed, the town brimmed with such confidence that the Cowboys felt comfortable nicknaming themselves "America's Team." Throughout the 1970s, the teams jostled for control of the NFL-the Cowboys doing it with finesse and the Steelers doing it with brawn-culminating in Super Bowl XIII in 1979, when the aging Steelers attempted to hold off the Cowboys one last time. Thoroughly researched and grippingly written, The Ones Who Hit the Hardest is a stirring tribute to a city, a team, and an era. less...
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Amazon Says: From the advent of the vertical passing game to the development of ever-more-sophisticated blitzing schemes on defense, professional football in the last half century has been more...
Amazon Says: From the advent of the vertical passing game to the development of ever-more-sophisticated blitzing schemes on defense, professional football in the last half century has been a sport marked by relentless innovation. For fans determined to keep up with the changes that have transformed the game, close examination of the coaching footage is a must. In the words of Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, “The film does not lie.” In The Games That Changed the Game, Ron Jaworski, a one-time NFL MVP turned Monday Night Football analyst and pro football’s #1 game-tape guru, breaks down the film from seven of the most momentous contests of the last fifty years. With an eye toward the brilliant game plans and seminal strategic breakthroughs that revolutionized play on both sides of the ball, Jaworski offers readers a drive-by-drive, play-by-play guide to the evolutionary leaps that now define the modern NFL, as well as portraits of the seven men who exhibited both creativity and courage in bucking established strategies. From Sid Gillman’s development of the Vertical Stretch, which culminated in the San Diego Chargers’ victory in the 1963 AFL Championship Game and launched the era of wide-open passing offenses, to Bill Belichick’s daring defensive game plan in Super Bowl XXXVI, which enabled his outgunned squad to upset the heavily favored St. Louis Rams and usher in the New England Patriots dynasty, the most cutting-edge concepts come alive again through the recollections of nearly seventy coaches and players interviewed for this book. Writing with the same vivid, passionate, and accessible style that has made him television’s go-to X’s and O’s maven, Jaworski fills in the blanks for fans who aren’t satisfied with merely dropping the terms “West Coast offense” or “46 defense” into conversation, but want to understand them fully, in context, as they were experienced by the men who played the game. You’ll never watch the NFL the same way again. Foreword by Steve Sabol, president, NFL Films less...
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Amazon Says: A fascinating portrait of the National Football League, the Super Bowl, and all the position players who come together to create the biggest cultural phenomenon in American sp more...
Amazon Says: A fascinating portrait of the National Football League, the Super Bowl, and all the position players who come together to create the biggest cultural phenomenon in American sports.   Think the Super Bowl is only about two teams of titans clashing on the field? Think again. The Super Bowl is about fans, hundreds of millions of fans. It’s about money, more money than the GDP of twenty-five sovereign nations. It’s about precision, the timing of everything from the notorious commercials to the epic halftime show. And it’s about the vision and skill of designing a state-of-the-art stadium to house the great show. Here, Allen St. John reveals how America’s biggest sporting event is more than just a couple hours on a Sunday: it’s a high stakes, real-life dramatic story, with millions of participants all hoping for the same thing—the greatest game ever. less...
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Amazon Says: In Giant, Plaxico Burress takes you into the locker room, onto the practice field, and into the huddle, providing a flat-out-honest look at life on and off the field with the more...
Amazon Says: In Giant, Plaxico Burress takes you into the locker room, onto the practice field, and into the huddle, providing a flat-out-honest look at life on and off the field with the New York Giants and at the making of a champion. Throughout the 2007 season, Plaxico battled near-crippling injuries, and despite rarely practicing, being heavily bandaged, and on serious painkillers, he led the New York Giants in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He continued to play through pain in the playoffs, only to be further injured before Super Bowl XLII. Playing the arrogant Patriots—who were inviting the Giants to their victory party before the game was over—Plaxico concealed a significant injury that might have changed the outcome of the game if the Pats had known.When he first joined the Giants, Plaxico expected to be the go-to guy for the young quarterback Eli Manning. What he didn't expect was the media and fan scrutiny that was heaped on Manning as they battled to win games.What Plaxico also didn't expect was the difficult relationship he had with head coach Tom Coughlin, who was a stickler for discipline and who would fine players for even the mildest offenses. For five years Plaxico had played for the laid-back Bill Cowher and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In contrast, within weeks of joining the Giants, Plaxico and Coughlin were butting heads, and the fines followed. But there to make things a little easier were friends like Jeremy Shockey and Amani Toomer, nearly polar opposites. With Shock, everything was always full-tilt and his mouth would usually get him into trouble. Toomer was the easygoing elder statesman—at times absentminded, but a brilliant receiver. And in 2007, Manning, with Plaxico's advice and support, would rise above the scrutinizing media and come into his own, and Coach Coughlin would relax his grip somewhat and let the team breathe. The results were obvious.It's all here. The ups and downs, the trash-talking, the sweat and blood, and what it takes to be the best. less...
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Amazon Says: An insider look at the New England Patriots' amazing championship season From an inauspicious beginning and against all expectations, the 2001 Patriots fought their way from l more...
Amazon Says: An insider look at the New England Patriots' amazing championship season From an inauspicious beginning and against all expectations, the 2001 Patriots fought their way from last place to an upset Super Bowl XXXVI victory over the heavily favored St. Louis Rams, completing a remarkable season that will not soon be forgotten. Now Won for All gives fans the inside story behind this amazing run to victory. Pepper Johnson, the Patriots' inside linebackers coach and a 13-year NFL veteran, follows the Pats from training camp to Adam Vinatieri's game-winning field goal and its aftermath, revealing the behind-the-scenes story of how a great football team, maligned for decades, overcame injuries and distractions to win it all. Alongside his retelling of the Patriots season, Johnson also gives the reader an authentic, behind-the-scenes glimpse of pro football as it is played today. less...
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Amazon Says: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE WORLD'S GREATEST ONE-DAY SPORTING EVENT One of the Super Bowl's founding fathers reveals 36 years of game-day history Here is the untold more...
Amazon Says: BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE WORLD'S GREATEST ONE-DAY SPORTING EVENT One of the Super Bowl's founding fathers reveals 36 years of game-day history Here is the untold saga of the creation and growth of sports' premier event, the Super Bowl. What started out very humbly in the autumn of 1966 as a hastily organized football game between the respective champions of the two leagues­­NFL's Green Bay Packers and AFL's Kansas City Chiefs­­ the following January has now, 36 years later, turned into one of the biggest sports/media/entertainment/marketing extravaganzas of the year, with more than 800 million fans tuning in worldwide. A riveting and richly entertaining behind-the-scenes look at the game, The Making of the Super Bowl offers priceless insights for anyone connected with sports. It has been chronicled by Don Weiss, the former NFL executive director who still directs Super Bowl game-day operations. In his NFL career, Weiss also shaped unique perspectives; now they can take their place within football and sports history, where they belong. In Making the Super Bowl, Weiss shares his fascinating firsthand accounts of the development of the game and how this relatively modest sporting event was consciously transformed over three decades into the major spectacle it is today. Throughout the book, Weiss reveals his insider's knowledge of the history of the Super Bowl and exposes previously unpublished facts and insights from meetings with owners, coaches, players, and others who helped define the event over the years. A 16-page color insert enlivens this fascinating story, making this a must-read for all football fans­­both casual and committed­­who will devour this inside scoop from the most influential architect of the Super Bowl. less...
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Amazon Says: Each of the 36 Super Bowl programs has featured at least one story from a writer or celebrity of worldwide renown, and for the first time ever, the best of those stories are more...
Amazon Says: Each of the 36 Super Bowl programs has featured at least one story from a writer or celebrity of worldwide renown, and for the first time ever, the best of those stories are now bound in one collection. The list of entries ranges from Jimmy Carter to Dave Barry to David Letterman with each looking at different aspect of football. These stories and dozens more pack the The NFL Super Bowl Companion, a collection of the best writing about football by some of the biggest names in literature, politics, entertainment and sports. The entire library of writings from the past 14 Super Bowl programs has been distilled to this prime collection of 38 essays, observations and stories that chronicle the pain and pleasure in being a football fan. Among the authors included in The NFL Super Bowl Companion are, Carl Hiaasen, Tony Hillerman, Pete Rozelle, Pete Hamill, August Wilson, Jack Kemp, and Jay Leno. Published in conjunction with the NFL, The NFL Super Bowl Companion is a truly unique collection of stories available for the first time in one epic volume. less...
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Amazon Says: Super Bowl Sunday is considered by many as the greatest day in sports. In this special book, presented by CBS Sports, read stories from the players, coaches, broadcasters, and more...
Amazon Says: Super Bowl Sunday is considered by many as the greatest day in sports. In this special book, presented by CBS Sports, read stories from the players, coaches, broadcasters, and fans. Relive the successes and failures of some of football's greatest dynasties and get more familiar with this American tradition! less...
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