2017 Literacy Throwdown Book Review! – The Art of Smart Football

Do you lie awake at night wondering what the difference is between the “veer” and the “inverted veer”? Do you try to memorize the details of the Don Coryell pass route tree for no good reason? Do you often find yourself trying to work the term “mesh point” into everyday conversation? Well, friend, I have a book for you!

The Art of Smart Football is a collection of articles by Chris Brown (not the Rihanna-slapping Chris Brown; the other one) that explore the fine points of gridiron strategy and tactics. I don’t know how Brown became a football savant, but his knowledge of not just the fine points of the modern game, but also their history and evolution, is encyclopedic.

If you love football, this book is a great way to get to know it on a more intellectual level. Brown is great at explaining why teams try to do what they do, and telling the story of how they got there. Like when Chip Kelly was inspired to develop his spread offense when he was an assistant to a high school coach who had run the power-I his entire career. At one scrimmage, Kelly had a player line up out wide, and no one went to cover him. When an excited Kelly pointed this out, the coach chewed him out and told him to get that player back in the formation so he could block somebody.

I love football, and I love stories like this. Highly recommended.

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