In honor of the Super Bowl, I've compiled a list of some of my (and my brother's) favorite football themed books.
1. Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer
A wonderful book that tells the story of Pat Tillman, the professional football player who gave up his NFL contract to become an Army Ranger after 9/11. There is so much more to Tillman and his story than was ever portrayed in the media. After you finish, pick up his mother's memoir Boots on the Ground by Dusk, but be sure to have some tissues ready. A girl that I went to grad school with named her baby Tillman after reading these books if that is any indication of how inspiring the life of Pat Tillman's life was.
2. I Am Third by Gayle Sayers
For awhile, I think this book was my brother's Bible. I think it must have been a hand me down from my dad, because his copy had the original 1974 cover. This autobiography details Sayer's life from a childhood in the Omaha ghettos to becoming one of the best running backs in the NFL. It was also the basis for Brian's Song, one of the few movies that makes crying acceptable for men.
3. This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of the best authors of contemporary romance, and this title is one of my favorites. This book, a love story between QB Kevin and children's author Molly, is the third in a fabulous series about a fictional football team in Chicago. If you like humor, romance, and football then This Heart of Mine is sure to score (haha!).
4. Never Die Easy by Walter Payton
This is another one of Billy's favorites. I'd recognize this cover from a mile away because I saw him carry it around so much. Payton was a role model both on and off the field and this memoir captures that through the words of Payton himself and the people who knew him best (the autobiography was not finished before Walter Payton died of liver failure in 1999).
5. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
I'll be honest. I've never read this book. I saw it lying around the house for years but never picked it up. However, I did like the movie (which follows the book pretty closely) and I LOVE the tv show (which doesn't follow the book at all) so I felt like I needed to include it on my list. Maybe I'll try reading it in honor of its inclusion.