1984 EditionAs Sports Illustrated's pro football genius-in-residence, Paul Zimmerman ("Dr Z") has established himself as the presiding dean of America's pro football writers. Now, critics, sports writers and fans across America are cheering The NEW Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football as the worthy heir to Zimmerman's 1971 classic The Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football,1984 EditionAs Sports Illustrated's pro football genius-in-residence, Paul Zimmerman ("Dr Z") has established himself as the presiding dean of America's pro football writers. Now, critics, sports writers and fans across America are cheering The NEW Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football as the worthy heir to Zimmerman's 1971 classic The Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football, which Howard Cosell called "the best book of its kind I've ever read." Far more than a revision, The NEW Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football is virtually a brand-new book (in 1984) prompted by, as Zimmerman writes in his introduction, "a whole new generation of players and coaches (who have) given rise to a new set of reflections about a world that is ever changing." Zimmerman examines positions, tactics, the great players and moments of peak performance, football scouting, broadcasting, minor leagues, the rule changes of the pst decade and how they have inspired new playing stategies (crisply illustrated with diagrams). And with characteristic verve, insight and no-nonsense prose, Zimmerman pays close attention to the effect of football''s pounding nose-to-nose competition on the everyday player's personality....
|Title||:||The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football|
|Format Type||:||Unknown Binding|
|Number of Pages||:||416 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football Reviews
Zimmerman's revised version of the Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football contains about 66% new material, with some of it coming from his post-1971 columns and some of it from his excellent book on Weeb Ewbank's last season with the Jets. The older material is easily identifiable--if he's discussing some player or event from the 1960s, it's almost assuredly can be found in the earlier book. None of this changes the fact that TMG--despite its haphazard arrangement--is the absolute best "serious" introduction to pro football, as prepared by its best "serious" writer. Zimmerman, who played college football at Columbia and Stanford and later "bummed around" (his words, not mine) various minor leagues, understood the sport in a way that few before or since have come close to approximating, and his unfortunate 2008 stroke has left Sports Illustrated's football department--once the best in the business, owing to "Dr. Z's" analytical abilities and quirky, strangely literary style of writing--in the far less capable hands of hacks like Peter King and Don Banks (two men who, like most sportswriters, rely on the sort of cliches and empty "filler" observations that Zimmerman abhorred (e.g., "he's got raw speed," "he's a pure passer," "they've really turned it on lately," etc.). A few quick points about the book: 1) In addition to providing readers with a more-than-rudimentary understanding of the game--through diagrammed plays, a reproduction of the Wonderlic examination, Zimmerman's game charts, etc.--it's also a wonderful time piece, capturing the modern game in its state of "coming-into-being" ca. 1984 (much as the previous version of the book encapsulated the NFL ca. 1971, at the dawn of the era of brutal defenses such as Miami's "No-Name Defense," Pittsburgh's "Steel Curtain," and Dallas' "Doomsday Defense," an era that ended with rule changes designed to facilitate more passing while reducing player injuries).2) Zimmerman's argument that former Cleveland Browns FB Marion Motley is the best football player of all time is not only persuasive but downright convincing, as is his argument to include AAFC statistics in the official NFL records despite the fact that the NFL absorbed only three teams from that league.3) Many of Zimmerman's insights about statistics--particularly his claim that passer rating should be calculated in the aggregate, and used to rate team pass defense--have been adopted by cutting-edge sport statisticians like the folks at Football Outsiders and Cold Hard Football Facts. He also notes in passing that Vince Lombardi hadn't been seriously scrutinized by an impartial biographer, a problem that was redressed at the end of the 20th century by David Maraniss. 4) The section on offensive line play--Zimmerman's position in college--should serve as the last word on that subject.If you're into serious sportswriting, pick this up. Zimmerman hasn't written many books, but what he has published is top-notch.
Paul Zimmerman was Sports Illustrated's #1 football columnist for many years, and his knowledge of the pro game is encyclopedic. I was a huge fan of his work when he wrote for SI, and sought this out as a result. My only problem with this book, which is somewhat unfair, is that it's a little dated at this point. This was published almost 30 years ago, and the players that Zimmerman covers have long since retired. The schemes that dominated the game in that era have also been passed by, at least to some extent. But Zimmerman is a tremendous writer, and fans of NFL history will eat this up. 4.5 stars, highly recommended.
The book is more than 30 years old and yet I haven't seen any book that has tried to update or emulate it. Now my knowledge of football literature is much less than baseball and I have been trying to find a book like this for some time so even if the game has changed and the players have changed there is much wisdom here as to how football works. Zimmerman breaks down the positions and explains what their typical function is in the game and how their function shifts due to circumstances. This could be a very dry exercise in the wrong hands so thankfully the author has talent as a writer as well as a teacher. He also sprinkles through the prose stories and quotes from players to illustrate points or to explain how others see the game. There are also some tidbits like a copy of an IQ test an NFL team gives new players and then a breakdown of which positions require the smartest players. You'll never guess. Offensive Linemen. Okay, I blew it for you. I won't ruin anything else.
This book covers timely topics in the NFL like:- concussions and the use of headgear as a weapon- rule changes nerfing the defense and turning offenses loose, ruining the game- innovative new, wide open offensive approaches changing the gameOf course the book was written in 1983 (then an update of a book from 1971). Zimmerman rightly noted that the "new" aggressive spread offenses actually dated back to the 30's and that the dominance of offense or defense was a cyclically thing. What it's really about though, is people. He has great stories, candid quotes, and anecdotes about guys who were legends then and up-and-comers we see as legends now. Regardless of the age of the book, it's a real treat for serious football fans.
Finished this a while ago & forgot to review it. Excellent overview of football, even if it is dated at this point. Dr. Z has a level of knowledge & passion about football that few other writers can match. What's surprising is that even though this was last revised in the 80s, a ton if the information is still relevant. Most of the records he mentions have bern broken, but most of the underlying philosophy is still intact.
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the game, curious about how different strategies developed over time. Its also a book I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to understand all the action on screen and the terminology bandied about by tv announcers. Let me hasten to add, its not just for men!
I'm not reading the same book twice. This is the updated (mid-80s) version. The chapters and layout are the same, but this is basically a different book.