Check It Out: Fall is all about football

School's back in session and there's a crisp autumn feeling in the air. That can only mean one thing: a new National Football League season is here. Every year millions of Americans get caught up in the excitement of American football. Why not catch up on the sport in between NFL games on Sunday afternoon with a great book from the Newport Beach Public Library?

How did football surpass baseball in the hearts of Americans to become "America's Game"? Michael MacCambridge explains in this detail-packed story. Learn how television changed the nation's leisure time and the effect it had on how we watch and relate to sports and the men who play the game.

The penultimate football story comes to life with H. G. Bissinger's pen in "Friday Night Lights," chronicling how a high school team in a small town, Odessa, Texas, captured the nation's hearts with its determination and never surrender attitude. Enduring incredible pressure, these boys and their families, friends and coach showed us all just how important heart is in football.

Rich Eisen has the greatest job in the world: He's an anchor for the NFL Network and lives and breathes football all year long. In his revealing book, "Total Access," he takes us behind the scenes of some of the NFL's most hallowed halls: the Columbine scouting camp, the annual owner's meeting, and the Pro Bowl. Get a first-hand look at how the big decisions are made.

John Feinstein spent a year with the Baltimore Ravens, attending every practice, meeting, and game. He chronicles his year in "Next Man Up," which gives the reader a rare opportunity to look into the hearts and minds of the pro athletes that make up a team.

The Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s were arguably one of the most flamboyant teams in football history. In "Boys Will be Boys," Jeff Pearlman describes the excesses in page-turning detail. Love 'em or hate 'em, there's a very good reason why the Cowboys are called "America's Team."

Former Ravens' Head Coach Brian Billick writes about his concerns for the future of the NFL in "More Than a Game." Billick loves football and is able to makes subjects such as salary caps and contract negotiations interesting and understandable. More importantly, he casts a much needed light on what is wrong in the NFL hierarchy and what needs to change so fans can continue to enjoy the game in the years to come.

The 1970s were a terrible time to be a blue-collar worker, especially in the steel mill industry in Pennsylvania. Chad Millman's "The Ones Who Hit the Hardest" shows why the hard working men and women in Pittsburgh had, and continue to have, such pride for their championship Steelers.

Make sure to check out these and many more touchdown celebration inducing books on football at the Newport Beach Public Library!

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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