The Essential Smart Football

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I have to say that I was a bit disappointed in this one, if only because it lacked any sort of structure. Basically, this is a collection of short articles about specific football tactics some offense, some defense, some based on players, some based on coaches, etc. There are 18 articles in all and, while most of them are at least somewhat interesting, they are so "all over the map" that it is tough to go from one to the next. Perhaps it is my fault for not "reading the directions" carefully enough as I somewhat knew this was an essay collection going in , but I guess I was expecting something with a bit more structure.

I mean, some of these "articles" are only a couple of pages long! There is nothing here even as remotely interesting as previous baseball analysis books I have read although maybe baseball just lends itself better to such readings than does football. I did learn a little from it, but its theories and essays were so scattered across the board that it introduced too many new ideas in such a short space only pages.

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View 1 comment. May 25, Oliver Bateman rated it it was amazing.


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Two things need to be said about this short but compelling volume: 1 Chris Brown deserves to be commended for self-publishing this book. It's his writing, he has a preexisting audience, and there's no need for him to waste time with publishers, rewrites, etc. He's also selling it for mere "coffee money," which is justifiable given how brief it is. The opening essay, on Charlie Strong's defense which Two things need to be said about this short but compelling volume: 1 Chris Brown deserves to be commended for self-publishing this book.

The opening essay, on Charlie Strong's defense which is available to read for free on Grantland , is tremendous; it's bookended by the even better "Ode to the War Daddies," a historical piece on 2-gap and 1-gap defensive techniques also available in slightly different format on Grantland.

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Support his good work by purchasing this extremely cheap book. Aug 15, David rated it really liked it Shelves: sports , essays.

I love the sport of football for the same reason Chris B. This book is a compilation of essays Brown posted on his website smartfootball.

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He goes fairly in-depth over coaching strategies, techniques like the five versus seven step drop, and tactics for I love the sport of football for the same reason Chris B. In addition, because these essays are essentially pieces lifted from his blog over time, they lack any particular coherence or unifying theme. But for those of us who love the sport, learning more about what is actually happening on the field is like an art lover studying art history. It gives you that much more of an appreciation of the masterpieces you love.

Jun 05, David Klotz rated it really liked it. I came to SmartFootball. When I found out that Chris Brown was putting putting out a book of "best of" combined with new material, I was very excited to see the result. I have not been disappointed. The book will be especially enjoyable to those who are unfamiliar with or new to the site. I had read only two of the older articles, but even there I found new insights after re-reading them. I suspect that even if you are familiar wit I came to SmartFootball.

I suspect that even if you are familiar with all of the older content, the book is still going to be a must have based on the new content alone. My only minor complaint is that I wish some of the articles had been longer, and the older ones expanded on further. Several times I felt like I was getting into the meat of the essay only to find it ending on the next page.

Despite that, I would consider this to be required reading for anyone interested in a deeper understanding of the strategy of football, at any level. Feb 04, Daniel rated it really liked it. Great book. I would say the central theme is that football strategy over the past sixty years or so is basically a "punch, counter-punch" system. An offense comes up with a scheme or strategy that no one is equipped to stop.

A few years later, some brilliant defensive coach comes up with a scheme that stops it and more. This cycle has continued forever, and shows no sign of stopping. It's sometimes cyclical, like all things in history. The book focuses a lot on the people behind the innovations Great book.

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The book focuses a lot on the people behind the innovations if only to provide a little context into their backgrounds and coaching styles. The X's and O's are relatively light, thought some terms are not defined and prior knowledge or a search engine will be required to fill in a few gaps for newcomers to the game's strategy zone blocking, for example.

This is a great "first book" for someone who watches a lot of football and wants to understand it a bit better and also see if they're interested in further, deeper reading. Jul 18, Kasey rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction. If you care about football gridiron and you aren't reading Chris Brown's Smart Football blog, you are missing out.

He consistently is one of the best bloggers on the subject. He gets deep with play calling and game theory. His explanations of what are happening on plays with video annotations make you a better fan. This is a collection of previously published work, some of it reworked a bit. I don't know that there was much here that I hadn't read, but it was all useful to go back through and If you care about football gridiron and you aren't reading Chris Brown's Smart Football blog, you are missing out.

I don't know that there was much here that I hadn't read, but it was all useful to go back through and review. If you haven't been a regular reader of his blog, this is the perfect place to start. This is a self published title so the production quality is not superb. That said, it doesn't detract from the content and does a fine job delivering the knowledge. One of the best books on football I've read. I don't think I like football enough to appreciate this book. While Brown's explanations of basic schemes and plays are often enlightening, his exposition throws around play and formation names as though the reader is intimately familiar with those names, and I found that I usually forgot the detailed descriptions of the plays after a chapter or so.

I feel like I have learned a lot in this whirlwind tour through some more "advanced" football tactics and history, but I'm not sure I have the motiv I don't think I like football enough to appreciate this book. I feel like I have learned a lot in this whirlwind tour through some more "advanced" football tactics and history, but I'm not sure I have the motivation to keep learning about football in this much depth, seeing as how it's only my second favorite sport at the moment a distinction which may seem trivial, but it's a lot of work for me to keep up with even one sport!

It's a good introduction, and I could see it really drawing in more dedicated fans of football, but I don't think I was quite the right audience for it. Dec 03, Scott rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Sports fans eager to understand their passion.

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This a great encapsulation of the current popular schematics of football play calling. The book does a good job explaining why certain coaches, from professional to college, are enjoying success based on their unique style of football. It would help to have a basic understanding of football since this is not an introduction yet an analysis of contemporary football.

My basic understanding of the game has been changed for the better as well as my perspective of the game. To be able to notice the int This a great encapsulation of the current popular schematics of football play calling. To be able to notice the intricate play calling and determine a coaches game plan leads to a more than satisfying game watching experience. This book notes how the game has changed over the years and it will be interesting to compare this book to the style of football play several years from now.

Oct 17, Jake rated it really liked it Shelves: sports-books. Finishing SC Gwynne's wonderful book on Hal Mumme and the evolution of the forward pass made me remember that I had this small book on my kindle and I had been meaning to get to it for awhile. I enjoy Chris B. Brown's columns though my concern for the sport of football has led me to become less invested in it than I used to be. However, pouring through this excellent tome on football strategy and theory was a lot of fun and reminded me of why I still love the sport in spite of myself.

I've alway Finishing SC Gwynne's wonderful book on Hal Mumme and the evolution of the forward pass made me remember that I had this small book on my kindle and I had been meaning to get to it for awhile. I've always preferred football knowledge that went a little beyond surface deep and Brown does a great job of breaking down key concepts in the game through multiple tales and charting. Now I'm going to have to pick up his other book. Oct 30, Jack Friedland rated it really liked it. This book was a joy to read for me because it is just football football football.

It talks about big name coaches and players, and how they changed and shaped the game on all levels. It also teaches things like how to read defenses and how to interpret the game. One reason I liked it was because it teaches a lot about the history of football.

Turch Tidbits #1: The Essential Smart Football by Chris Brown — Turch Tidbits

It includes stuff like where certain parts of the game came from or which coach created which plays that were very successful. Another reason I liked it wa This book was a joy to read for me because it is just football football football. Another reason I liked it was because this book has language only a football player could understand. After a while I would take a close look at the text and think "this would sound like nonsense to a regular person.

Jan 27, Geoff rated it really liked it Shelves: read , essays , sports. My relationship with football is increasingly complicated. I'm becoming increasingly convinced that being a fan is to contribute unethically to the destruction of human minds and bodies. Does this make me a hypocrite? But either way, this was a great book, pitched at the non-novice whuch meant it was over my head a good amount , that shows like millitary history just how much thought and effort goes into preparing to destroy other humans.

Feb 09, Ryan Routh rated it liked it. The book is really articles by Brown about interesting football tactical observations.