Welcome to pro football in the '70s, the decade that made the NFL the supreme national sport with the advent of Monday Night Football and some truly exciting games. Author Kevin Cook takes us inside the era of immense steroid and amphetamine use, permissive drug and alcohol abuse, poor pay, and devastating brutality on and off the field. It was all part of the game. Told with great panache, a large dose of testosterone, an ear for pitch-black comedy and packed with shocking anecdotes, The Last Headbangers will leave you dizzy but thankfully concussion-free.
Fantasy Life is an easy-going, anthropological study of the Fantasy Sports phenomenon around the world. Team "owners" go to extreme lengths to ensure they draft on-time, enshrine those who win, and humiliate the losers all in the name of camaraderie, a good time, and love for the game. It's also a fascinating look at the sense of community Fantasy Sports foster, and how they keep friends both near and far together. Fantasy Sports is no casual commitment and the stories told in Fantasy Life are hilarious, heartfelt, and chockfull of the extraordinary passion the participants bring to it.
Great sports writing tells us about much more than sports, and such is the case with Nicholas Dawidoff’s superb new book about the hidden culture of the NFL. Embedded with the New York Jets and their colorful head coach, Rex Ryan, for a year, Dawidoff unveils the tensions, rewards, comedies, and tragedies experienced by NFL players and coaches but often out of view in a nation otherwise obsessed with professional football. Neither a booster nor a critic, Dawidoff relies on his immense talent as a writer, and his own humanity, to tell this fascinating story.