Dec 5, 2008

Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game!

A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football
by Holly Robinson Peete and Daniel Paisner

I'm almost embarrassed to mention this book, but the record of my blog would not be complete (or honest) without it. It's been floating on and off my bedside table for more than two years. I picked it up a library sale once because my husband is a football fan (of the San Francisco 49ers) and I wanted to learn a little and appreciate his enthusiasm for the sport. But this book did not give me what I was looking for. It does have tons of information about football- how the game is played, breakdowns of all the positions, spotlights on famous players, even historical aspects- like how certain plays originated, or what the first football was made of. Some of it was interesting, other parts really technical. What I couldn't stand was reading over and over about how the author (a famous football player's wife) has a childhood association of football with ice cream, or of all the things football-related she finds cute, or the name-dropping of her husband's famous friends. I'm sure all her little interjected woman-to-woman remarks were meant to be engaging. But I didn't feel connected, or amused, just annoyed. So after plodding though sixty pages of this book, I've finally pulled it off my shelf for good.

I think I'd do better with a novel that describes someone's experience learning to play football, rather than an instruction book. Something like The Power of One, which taught me a bit about boxing through the personal story of its main character. I hardly ever read fiction that features sports, so I don't know where to start looking. Any ideas?

Abandoned                        228 pages, 2005

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Elizabeth Willse


  1. HA! How awkward. Thanks for being honest. I always felt like I should pick up something like this, because how confusing is football? What the devil is a 'third down'? Seriously, hockey I get, baseball I get, basketball I get. Football? I am le stumped, and it's easily Joel's favorite sport.

    Probably won't snag this one, though. Maybe they have a 'Pretending You Understand Football For Dummies' or something.

    Also, my word verification is 'ploupbal,' which is what I think the sport should now be called.

  2. My husband loves football, and I've never really had time to sit and figure it all out until this season. I read Football for Dummies and really learned a lot from it, and I actually look forward to the games now! I'm no expert, and I didn't read every page (thus, no review), but it was helpful.

  3. Raych- Aren't those word verifications amusing? I saw a blog post the other day where someone was making up definitions for them but alas, I can't recall where now (I read too many).

    My husband always says football is like chess, another game which totally confuses me. Several people have tried to teach me to play chess, and failed.

    Chain Reader- thanks for the suggestion! It would be nice to find the time enjoyable; usually I'm reading a book alongside but frequent jumpings up and shoutings interrupts the flow of words.

  4. My husband is a big football fan, (well he pretty much likes all sports), and I've learned about football through simply watching games with him and asking questions when I don't understand what is happening. Now, I'm pretty familiar with everything, and I really look forward to football season. (We watch college football, but not much pro-football.)

  5. Laura- I've been trying this. My simple questions often get complex answers, as my husb (bless him!) gets over-exuberant at any show of interest in the sport. I was hoping for a more familiar medium to give me a better feel for the game, as I tend to get lost in his long-winded explanations! I'm patiently trying to learn as I go...

  6. Jeane,
    Your response made me laugh. Our husbands sounds a lot alike! Or maybe most men are that way!

  7. Anonymous12/10/2008

    "The Girlfriend's Guide To Football," by Teena Dickerson and Chuck Brown is a much better guide that actually explains things.

    For just watching football, it's easy enough- the team with the ball has four chances to run ten yards down the field. The defense wants to jump on top of the guy with the ball to stop that progress. At the fourth down (fourth time the guy with the ball is down on the ground) the kicker has to kick through the goal posts.

    There are four quarters to repeat this process in both directions as many times as possible. And drink beer.
    also- football has to go on during snow and rain. Players are more fun to watch when they are slipping and sliding.

    Hope that clears everything up. :-)

  8. Thanks for the basics!


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