Football season is almost upon us and there are lots of great football books out there for kids and adults. I’ve added to a previous list to include several biographies and one of the best feel-good stories out there, a memoir by Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles.
You don’t have to be an avid football fan to appreciate these stories, so take a look and see what I mean!
Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure, and Overcoming the Odds by Nick Foles: a first-person account of the journey that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles experienced in the 2017 season, which culminated in the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory. After entering the season as the backup, he was thrust into the starting role after the starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, tore his ACL. Foles embraced his faith in God and overcame countless odds to achieve the greatest feat in an NFL season—winning a championship.
Football for a Buck by Jeff Pearlman: This book highlights the rise and fall of the United States Football League (USFL), which lasted for three seasons in the 1980s. It dives into the incredible highs that the league experienced, such as enticing the talents of Steve Young, Jim Kelly and Reggie White to play in the league. But it also goes into detail on the laundry list of reasons why the league failed so quickly, as well as its ties to current US President, Donald Trump, who was one of the league’s team owners.
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger: Excellent account of the Permian Panthers high school football team in Odessa, Texas, the “winningest team in Texas history.” Bissinger chronicles the 1988 season and tells the story of the small town that revolves around Friday night games and elevates its players to hero status. If you like to know the real story behind ultra-competitive high school football programs, check out the book and the movie. And for those who like the relationship drama behind any story, the television series is a good choice.
Gunslinger by Jeff Pearlman: Excellent biography of Brett Favre, one of the most famous NFL quarterbacks to play the game. Favre’s career lasted nearly two decades, playing for the Green Bay Packers and later, the New York Jets and Packers’ rivals, the Minnesota Vikings. Pearlman provides an in-depth look at the ups and downs of Favre’s career and the complex character behind the football legend.
Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica: Great young adult book. A story of 13-year-old Nate, star quarterback for his 8th grade football team. Nate gets a chance to win a million dollars if he throws a thirty-yard pass through a target during half-time at a New England Patriots game. The companion story is about Nate and his best friend Abby who are struggling with health and family issues. Nate’s parents are under financial stress and Abby is losing her eyesight due to a rare condition. These pressures affect Nate’s performance on the football field and, what seemed like a fun contest suddenly becomes too much.
QB1 by Mike Lupica: a feel-good read geared towards the middle school or early high school reader. Two Texas quarterback brothers, four years apart and sons to a famous quarterback whose NFL career was cut short, Wyatt and Jake Cullen have different challenges. Wyatt is a freshman quarterback for the Texas Longhorns and is living his father’s dream. Younger brother Jake has lived in Wyatt’s shadow for as long as he can remember. The story begins when Jake enters ninth grade as the third-string quarterback, for a coach and team that are still celebrating big brother Wyatt’s leadership the season before.
Sweetness by Jeff Pearlman: a post by Austin Vitelli about the life of NFL legend Walter Payton. He wrote it after reading Sweetness by Jeff Pearlman, a biography about Payton. If you’re not a football fan, you may not know the name, but Walter Payton is the namesake of the annual NFL Man of the Year award.
Vitelli writes, “One thing I struggled with throughout the book was weighing the good and bad in Payton’s life. Payton was likely one of the nicest and most genuinely caring NFL players ever. But he also made lots of questionable decisions that seemingly get left out in many people’s stories of him.”
Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow: Interesting memoir about Tim Tebow’s high school, college and professional football careers. Written during a period of Tebow mania, this book has few surprises, but fills in the details about the famous quarterback’s early life and explains his personal religious beliefs and message. Not all professional athletes want to be viewed as role models, but they are in the public eye anyway and stories about the bad role models make headlines regularly. Tim Tebow wants to be out there in a positive way. He wants to be noticed and, besides sending his religious message, his biggest goal, a kid himself, is to reach out to kids. If you can take the rest of it, then he’s your man.
Check out a comprehensive Amazon list of football books here.
Click here for an Amazon list of children’s football books.
What football books can you add to this list?
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12 thoughts on “Books for football fans, and anyone who likes a good story”
Great list, Barbara. You know I enjoy football, so these all sound good to me. I don’t know if it was ever a book, but my favorite football movie is Rudy. I’ve watched it over and over.
I haven’t watched that one – thanks for the recommendation, and the visit, Jill!
thanks for putting this list together; I’ve got some reading to do.
Go for it! Thanks for stopping by, Jim!
as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I should probably start with the Nick Foles book!
Great list! I read “Football for a Buck” earlier this year, and enjoyed it.
Two titles I’d recommend adding:
-“Between the Lies,” a light-hearted novel by Hall of Fame football coach Marv Levy about a plot to rig the Super Bowl.
-“Paper Lion,” journalist George Plimpton’s account of his time as the Detroit Lions’ “last-string quarterback.” Plimpton’s play was abysmal–he lost 29 yards in five plays–but his writing is awesome, and the colorful characters on the Lions roster are unforgettable. One of my all-time favorite books.
Thank you, Berthold – these are great additions!
Wonderful list. Tim Tebow is from Jacksonville, Florida, my home town. His mother just published a new book, The Ripple Effect. I see her sometimes at my church.
Oh, interesting! Is it an inspirational book? Memoir? Thanks for commenting 🙂
It’s probably both. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Ripple-Effects-Miraculous-Motivating-Influence/dp/1496431316/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=280IGH9SZ4K49&keywords=the+ripple+effect+pam+tebow&qid=1566912448&s=books&sprefix=The+Ripple+%2Caps%2C154&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExRDVaTFFRNkpZNTNJJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDYwNjYzMkZQT0UxVTUzQjM1TiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMTcyMDI3SFEzQk9DSVZWUVVUJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
Ha, I am SO not a football fan, but I’ve actually read one football book (The Blind Spot) and thought it was great. (I was very impressed with myself for reading about football!)
I’ve heard that The Blind Spot is a good book – I really liked the movie! I live in a family of football fans so I’ve learned to like the sport. In almost every sport there is a human interest part and that’s what I like. Thanks for reading!
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