So what is the story behind this abandoned, perhaps vandalized, little book library located in a public park near my house? It's been that way for months. It's not filled and curated like many of the little book libraries that you see in nicer neighborhoods. What makes this repository with it's missing glass more pathetic is that the only book in there is Pete Carroll's Win Forever: Live, Work and Play Like a Champion. Originally published in 2011 after a successful tenure as a football coach at University of Southern California (before the NCAA issued heavy sanctions against USC) Carroll extols the virtues of a winning attitude (read: good timing). I am not surprised that this once mighty book had found itself in a lowly state. Even the average football fan knows that later, as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Carroll lost to New England when he blundered in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XLIX. More recently Carroll was fined by the NFL while the Seahawks lost a draft pick when the league discovered that Carroll had held illegal off-season workouts.
But then again how many "great football books" are there-- really? They all could fit in a well-organized neighborhood book library. Here's a stab at a list though I have not read any of them:
- Jerry Kramer's Instant Replay: The Diary of a Green Bay Packer (1968). Noted sportswriter Dick Schaap co-wrote an account of Kramer's season under legendary coach Vince Lombardi.
- Art Donovan's Fatso: Football When Men Were Men (1987). The ex-Baltimore Colt Hall of Famer, who played in the Johnny Unitas era, was a frequent guest on David Letterman's talk show.
- Peter Gent's North Dallas Forty (1974). This book is more known for the movie adaption starring Nick Nolte. Long before there was any discussion about the effects of concussions, the movie revealed how football players used marijuana and painkillers just to endure the weekly suffering between games -- sanctioned by the team owners and winning coaches of course.
P.S. This is in contrast to all the great books about baseball -- just mentioned on this blog alone. It is no coincidence that I am posting this on the last day of the regular baseball season.