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War Room

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,625 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Sports commentator and bestselling author Michael Holley will follow three NFL teams from training camp 2010, through the Super Bowl, and into the April draft, providing a new look at Belichick’s influence, which has now spread from the Patriots to other teams, particularly the KC Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons.

This is a football book with three central characters: Patriot
352 pages
Published by Harper Collins (first published October 4th 2011)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,625 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports-books
Little disappointed with this one. The writer does a great job of covering the backgrounds for Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff, the Belichick lieutenants who left to build teams. But when you get past that and into their Patriot days, it's just a lot of fluff like "They were looking for the right player to play for the Patriots." Well that's fine except the reader never gets an idea of what kind of player that is, besides a humble one. Also, the writer eschews any sort of football acumen for qu ...more
Daniel Rodic
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: New England Patriot Fans
War Room is a very timely read as it covers the careers of Bill Belichick, Head Coach of the New England Patriots, while also highlighting the paths of Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli, Belichick disciples turned competitors as GM and Assistant GM of the Atlanta Falcons.

These two teams, the Patriots and Falcons, are set to face-off tomorrow in Super Bowl LI on Feb 5, 2017.

The early parts of the book focus heavily on Belichick, while the end of the book spends equal time on him, as well as Dimi
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a good read for any football fan, and a must read for any New England Patriots fan. I enjoyed it a lot but really wish it had been better written. Two of my favorite books about sports are David Halberstam's A Sense of Where You Are and David Remnick's King of the World and I wanted War Room to be as good as they are, which it wasn't. ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
I think you have to be a big Patriots or NFL draft fan for this one and probably both to enjoy it.
Scott Bocchio
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
The quote on the back says "The story moves along like a two-minute drill", which at times can be true, is mostly an exaggeration by the reviewer. I decided to pick up War Room after reading and thoroughly enjoying Patriot Reign also by Michael Holley. Although War Room provided insight to the behind the scenes of the NFL much like Patriot Reign did, it lacked the excitement and interest of its predecessor. I bought War Room on the intention that it served as a sequel to Patriot Reign, as I am a ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
so, listen. i came into this book thinking that it would be about bill belichick and the new england patriots/cleveland browns. NOT TRUE!

this book is more about he relationship that scott pioli and thomas dimitroff have with each other and the way that they - respectively - run the kansas city chiefs and atlanta falcons.

which would be okay, but i am coming into this late and scott pioli doesnt run the chiefs anymore and i dont really care about the falcons. i wanted to read a book about the patr
Anthony Taylor
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've seen a great deal of mixed reviews for this book, mainly because readers seem frustrated that it followers the exploits of Patriots Executives as they move on to pastures new. I personally think this adds a great deal to the story the author is trying to tell and that is the blue print of Belichick football from many different perspectives. I think the book succeeds on all levels and adds a great to the understanding of the role that many back office people play in the success of the team. ...more
Dave Rothacker
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you're a sports enthusiast who is into the technicalities and strategies surrounding the NFL draft, you'll like this book. While I am into sports, I am not into that part. But I loved this book nonetheless.

I appreciate Bill Belichick's ability to build a team around the current team's existing culture. Not only was this effective, it was influential to the book's other two main characters, Scott Pioli and Tom Dimitroff.

There are many lessons in this book that transcend sports. Most apply to
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is mainly about Scott Pioli and Thomas Dimitroff's relationship (two of Belichick's major assistants from the early days of winning super bowls). As a Patriots fan, I didn't mind because I enjoy football and the nuances of building a team. If you're looking for a puff piece about the Patriots, this is not the book for you, but it's still enjoyable for any NFL fan who wants to go beyond just Sunday football in the Fall. ...more
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book does provide some awesome inside info and conversations. The Randy Moss and Bill Belichick parts in particular come to mind as invaluable. When Holley focuses on the Pats side of things - and the NFL draft - the book is great. When talking about Dimitroff, Pioli, and whatever random NFL guy the book is "meh". Better for fans of football in general than specifically New England fans. ...more
Thomas Pringle
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thought this was a fantastic insight into a NFL draft room and the organisation as a whole. Recommend this for any NFL fan and any business person looking for another way of seeing/running operations.
Bob Hoskins
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
If your looking for an in depth how they do what they do. it's not the book for you. If your interested in the men who are in that draft room. It paints a good picture of the three men's relationships and how they changed how players are evaluated ...more
Gopal Anantha
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good book detailing the genius of Bill Belichick and the way he went about building the Patriots dynasty.
John of Canada
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Was less about Belichik than expected but it gave a good view of success in the NFL.
Troy Grube
Jul 01, 2020 rated it liked it
War Room by Michael Holley is the look into how Bill Belichick, and his team of talent evaluators built the New England Patriots into perennial Super Bowl contenders. Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Thomas Demitroff all worked for the patriots in 2001 when Belichick took over as head coach and a fateful play against the New York Jets forced backup quarterback Tom Brady into the game and starting a dynasty that led the patriots to 18 out of the next 19 AFC East Championships and 6 Super Bowl Cha ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what I was expecting with this book, but I suppose given the author's background (Boston Globe, sports radio, etc) I figured it'd lean more heavily about the Patriots and how they drafted their teams. There is a decent amount of Pats in this, but it veers sharply and heavily towards the Chiefs and Falcons once Pioli and Dimitroff (respectively) depart New England. Those parts were okay, as the book is really about some of the thinking process of constructing teams, but they definite ...more
Ian Allan
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: football
This is a good effort.

Provides a close look at three of the league's big decision makers: Bill Belichick, Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli.

You're getting a peek behind the scenes. About a dozen years back, for example, Bill Belichick decided to use early picks on Laurence Maroney and Chad Jackson. The scouts didn't like these guys and lobbied against them. But Belichick overruled them, giving more weight to the opinions of coaches at those schools that he trusted. This annoyed the scouts; they s
Benton C.
Lost the a few pages..lost it again and finally found it once more and pushed to finish to the last page. War Room didn’t give me what I wanted to read. I wanted to learn more about how Bill Belichick creates and drafts teams. I started the book thinking it was going to be about Belichick’s philosophy, how he developed a team, and his decision making process on potential players. Most of the book is about Belichick’s former lieutenants and colleagues; Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli. ...more
James Snr
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a Boston Sports Journo’s Love letter to BB so don’t expect objectivity. In praise of all things Bill this book gushes and lacks authority. We are told Bill is really human because he weeps and man hugs. He is a genius and is revered. There is no balanced assessment of his unique, dominating leadership. If he has flaws you won’t learn about them here...PS Amazon refused to post this review - censorship alive and well...
Randy Wojtasiak
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved the behind the scenes aspect to building a team. When I read a book this is exactly what I'm looking for. I hate when they rehash games and give me info that I can read in the paper. This book gave me an in-depth view of the Patriots tree. I could have kept reading for another 300 pages. I was sorry to see it end. Great work Michael Holley! ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I don't like nor dislike football. I read book just so I would be able to hold a conversation about book. Football really is war on the field and has left a lot of men seriously injured. There is a lot more to be said that has nothing to do with book. I am educated now about what goes on behind the actual game. The book was a bit boring. ...more
David Cooper
You have to be a football nut to enjoy this as the level of detail makes for intense and dry reading in parts, however for a fan of the NFL and the Patriots (you don't need to be a Pats fan to enjoy this as lots of Chiefs and Falcons in the context), this made for a very interesting read, definitely more interesting than fun. ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thorough look at Patriots, Chiefs, and Falcons and their front office operations. Story ultimately lays groundwork for 2016 post season participants and Super Bowl 51 teams. Who knew?
Matt Moran
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: football
Entertaining but far too long.

Good inside look on team building and the challenge of keeping an eye on the big picture.
Gig Wailgum
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting to learn about the NFL draft process from the inside especially concerning the Patriots. The book ends with a whimper though.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read-books
Good primer for football season.
Taylor Moser
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was a very informative book that covered a lot of different topics. It went over certain team building strategies and also gave information on league executives and coaches.
3.5 stars. Interesting stuff but just not that well executed.
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the insight into the method of scouting, the discipline and the hard work that went into the team. We also learn about the rippling effects of this method across the NFL.
Lawrence Grey
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great recap of great team
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