Megan Drier ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The end of March brings with it one of the most exciting times of a basketball fan’s year. Here are a few books to pick up if you catch the sports bug this March Madness!
1. When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Earvin Johnson Jr.
There are very few names more iconic to NBA fans than Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. With the help of Johnson and Bird themselves, Jackie MacMullen is able to give a compelling inside look into their fascinatingly intertwined basketball careers. This biography is capable of invoking nostalgia, even from those of us who weren’t alive to witness these two greats in their prime.
2. The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
Before Michael Oher’s story was an uplifting movie with Sandra Bullock, it was told in a 2006 book by the same name. The plot alternates between the heartwarming story of Oher, the eventual NFL offensive lineman, with an analysis of how the position of left tackle became increasingly important in the NFL. Lewis combines technical aspects of the sport with a more human side of the game to create a good read for those who love football and those who don’t alike.
3. Belichick and Brady: Two Men, the Patriots, and How They Revolutionized Football by Michael Holley
After their epic Super Bowl 51 comeback, the Brady and Belichick duo cemented their place to many as the greatest. Michael Holley’s 2016 release provides a compelling and informative case on why this pair could be considered the best even before earning their fifth ring. The book provides a good insight into Patriots Nation from the perspective of a Boston sportswriter and radio personality.
4. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
Published in 2003. Moneyball told the story of how a coach used a then unheard of strategy to create a successful baseball team on a low budget. Lewis gives an inside look at how the Oakland A’s were able to draft their 2002 team using sabermetrics, a practice that could be credited for not only the A’s historic season but also the 2004 Red Sox’ World Series win. Moneyball provides insight into the origin of a drafting strategy that would later become widespread in the MLB.
5. Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger
H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger moved his family to Odessa, Texas for the entirety of the 1988 high school football season to write a book on the role of high school football in rural society. His profile about the Permian Panthers is about so much more than football, making it a good book for a reader with any level of football knowledge. Compelling enough to inspire both a film and TV show, Friday Night Lights is often considered one of the greatest sports books ever
6. The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
This book switches between two plot lines: the memoir of a sportswriter’s experience in the age of the 50’s Brooklyn Dodgers featuring Jackie Robinson, and the lives of those same players twenty years later. The insight into the life of these players after their prime is a look at normal people who happened to be famous, rather than the life of celebrity that former athletes live today. This book focuses on the people who play baseball rather than the sport itself, making it enjoyable even for those who are not sports fans.
7. Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters by Joan Ryan
This book gives a chilling inside look into the world of elite gymnastics and figure skating. Ryan does a good job of backing up her claims with research. The book mixes the stories of girls whose lives were ruined by the sports with expert opinions and statistics, to create an eye opening look at the life of the most elite gymnasts and figure skaters.
8. Orr: My Story by Bobby Orr
Hockey legend Bobby Orr was never one to talk much about himself. 30 years after the end of his hockey career, he has finally provided his fans with an inside look into his life. But this autobiography is not just a look at Bobby Orr, the hockey legend. It’s a lively and engaging telling of Bobby Orr’s life story.