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More than a Game: The Glorious Present and Uncertain Future of the NFL
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More than a Game: The Glorious Present and Uncertain Future of the NFL

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  281 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
An inside look at how the battle off the field affects the competition on the field of america’s most popular sport—from one of the Nfl’s most successful and respected head coaches.

Fresh off the sidelines from a nine-year stint as one of the most successful leaders in pro football, Super Bowl–winning head coach Brian Billick has written a book about the sport he knows

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Scribner (first published 2009)
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Mar 11, 2010 rated it liked it
I am enough of a football fan to like the book despite its weaknesses. It does not really deliver on its promise to show you a behind the scenes look at offenses, defenses, etc.

The more interesting parts were his comments of the evolution of the game and its future. Clearly the NFL is king, but just as clearly, there are potentially rocky times ahead. Because I am a nerd, in some ways the NFL reminds of the Roman empire. Among the potential problems:

1. Just as the empire expanded under Augustus
Dec 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
A terrific book written by someone who knows the in's and out's of the NFL. Brian Billick does a great job of walking the reader thru what the behind the scenes look like for an NFL franchise. As a former coach for Baltimore as well as working for S.F. and Minnesota he covers such topics as: salary cap (teams have a Capologist?), drafting, contract incentives, evaluating talent (especially QB's), the mystery behind the cryptic play terminology, GM's, owners, and the league in general. Billick ha ...more
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent look at football behind the scenes. Billick goes over almost every aspect of what's involved in coaching an NFL franchise, as well as valuable insights about how different GM's run their teams. It goes far beyond the X and O's, though there's plenty of breakdowns of common defensive (Tampa/Cover 2 defenses, zone blitzing, etc) and offensive (spread offense, power running game, etc) philosophies. He delves into the issues surrounding the end of the current CBA (the book was written two ...more
Sep 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Good (not great) football book. It had some fun insight, like looking into each day of a regular week during the football season, but I was looking for more stories from players and coaches. There was very little of that, and most of the quotes in there were quite bland. Billick did share a couple opinions, but I was just hoping that since he is part of the NFL fraternity he might get better info. The last chapter focusing on the possibility of an upcoming strike and the effects that technology ...more
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NFL Fans
Recommended to Mahlon by: NFL Network
Shelves: read-2010
What do you get when you combine one of the most respected offensive minds in the game, with one of the top sports authors working today? An engaging whirlwind tour of the modern NFL, combined with keen insights into it's possible future. It's a must read for every fan of the game. Given that the book is short, no subject is covered in depth, but the book is well crafted to disguise this fact, and you'll feel as if you've really learned something by the end of each chapter. Every football fan, f ...more
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Coach Billick does a fine job of explaining how all aspects of the NFL must work together: owners, coaches, players, media, etc.

Regan Miller
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
In this book, Brian Billick discusses the history of the NFL, the current state (including details about the lockout) of the NFL, and where the NFL is headed. He talks about major changes in the industry and how they have positively and negatively affected the owners, coaches, players, and even the fans. Every aspect of the industry is reviewed in great detail. From filthy rich owners who could afford all the expensive changes the National Football League was facing at the time this book was wri ...more
C Baker
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: football, sports
Brian Billick was the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens for nine years and his team won Super Bowl XXXV thanks mostly to its great defense. Prior to that he was the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, at the time one of the most prolific offenses in league history.

Having stepped away from the game for a while Billick has written a nice little monograph on today’s game. This is not a biography of Billick or the inside scoop of what it’s like to be a head coach in the National Footbal
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 8th-grade
Picture yourself in one of the top spots of the largest sports network getting paid millions of dollars. Crazy right? And not just that! Coaching about 30 - 50 players, and in charge of many other coaches and coordinators. Brian Billick, former 9 year Baltimore Ravens, Head Coach, describes his fun yet tough years in the NFL.

This autobiography was actually pretty challenging. If you are not a football fan, I recommend you look for something else. There are many tough parts in the book that cou
Paul Schulzetenberg
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Quite surprisingly, this is the rare football book cowritten by a major figure that isn't a self-indulgent memoir. Billick instead has penned a book about the external factors of the game. He chose a well-regarded coauthor who is more than a mere ghostwriter, and it shows. This result is a treat for the intelligent football fan.

The book takes a while to get off the ground, meandering and talking a little bit too much about Billick's time with the Ravens. However, finally, Billick begins to talk
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Brian Billick knows his football and presents a lot of insider information and anecdotes here. This probably isn't a book for beginners, but for fans who are looking for more advanced topics than Football 101, this will meet your needs.

My one criticism is a major one. The theme of the book is the "upcoming" collective bargaining negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA. Billick has sort of a doomsday attitude about the work stoppages and rule changes that might occur and spends a lot of time d
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Billick and his ghost-writer write clearly and concisely, but this book was ultimately disappointing in that there isn't much that is revealed in the way of inside information. A significant portion of the book serves as a warning about ways in which pro football is bound to change, and some of those apocalyptic predictions have not worn so well eight years later.
Brock Gobin
I just started reading this book yesterday and i am already very into it. I think i like this book so much because it is about football. It is very interesting how the author talks about what has happend and what he thinks will happen in the future. He talks about all the problems he has had being a coach and how he solved them. it is very interesting to read about some of the games in the past that he has had a part in.

December 15th
I am only a week into this book and i am already almost done wi
Zack Lett
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it
More Than A Game- Brian Billick- Scribner- 285 pages What do you get when you combine one of the most respected offensive minds in the game, with one of the top sports authors working today?The book talked about the coaches and even how the owners can affect the team. The coaches have a lot of responsibilities such as getting the team ready, deciding what plays they want to run that week, watching and studying opponents film, and making sure the other coaches are doing their job.The book is dram ...more
Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
A fabulous and current read about the NFL. While there have been other books written in this vein, Billick's is unique in that it's current and written in a year where he's almost immediately removed from his coaching gig. It was also current enough to include important off season changes and situations, ie.e Lynch's gun issues. The book also went in depth into the game's history to touch on things such as situations - what would Archie Manning have been like if he played with teams that were as ...more
Nov 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Football fans
And now a sports book about a sport I actually do like by an author who I had thought of as egotistical and arrogant (at least when he was a head coach). It turns out that Billick is actually funny and self-effacing, in addition to being very knowledgeable about football. He looks at lots of different aspects of football (coaching, being the GM, offense, defense, etc) and offers both his own opinions and the opinions of other professionals in the league. Almost all of it is interesting, and much ...more
Sep 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a good, quick overview of the mechanisms of the modern day NFL. It's not too out of date but was written before this recent 2011 lock out. Billick did say that there would be some form of a missed season so his instincts are pretty on. Having been a casual football fan since the 70s, I understand the game from a casual fan perspective. This book reveals a little more than what the casual fan knows so I learned a few things. And it's nice that it isn't too in depth, since that would've pr ...more
Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a decent - if superficial - overview of the challenges that all parties related to the NFL are facing. The players, coaches, owners and the league office are all sketched out, as is the current business problems and the upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotations.

However, I found most of the analysis to be superficial and brief. I was hoping for more detail on how the business is conducted - contracts, negotiations, etc. The business content it did give seemed to be fleeting, a
Lenox Parker
Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
this was an outstanding insight into the who-what-how of football coaching. billick is indeed a little bitter about leaving the league, but he appears to be most concerned with the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.

i was enthralled with the details of the game. without condescension and yet without dumbing it down, billick explained a lot of strategy that makes a football fan jump with glee. it was written well, conversationally, and a great read. I wish there were more like it.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Billick does a decent job going over many of the details "behind the scenes" related to running an NFL football team. The book is a bit brief, though. I was constantly left wishing he'd have dug deeper and gone into more explanation. Some readers might get tired of the personal anecdotes Billick scatters throughout the book, but they didn't really bother me.
Mary Kruft
Oct 18, 2009 rated it liked it
great learning experience for someone who just can't get enough NFL..3 1/2 stars......amazing to learn about the life of coaches & understand the business aspect more.....and of course, Billick is my fav coach & I may be biased. Loved his devoted references to his wife & daughters.
Jim Melcher
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Better-than-average sports book. This one pairs the longtime NFL coach with a veteran sportswriter to look behind the scenes at the National Football League. Some portions are dated as they come before the last labor agreement--the anticipation of which is a major topic in the book--but it still is a worthwhile read. It was definitely worth $1 at Dollar Tree!
Anthony Taylor
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
An intelligent and insightful look into the modern NFL by an expert in his field, Brian Billick. The only reason I didn't give this five stars is that it is a little short and it felt like it was over before it really got going.
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
An interesting book that discusses the business, future, and innovations of the modern NFL written from a former coach and football analyst's perspective.

I'd recommend this book to football fans looking to understand the game itself, the future of the game, and the marketing of the game.
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good overview - interesting perspective. Includes summaries of current labor and management positions and personalities. Also includes his views on the upcoming possible work stoppage for the NFL - if compromise is not sought enthusiastically by all.
Jan 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those whom are nutty about football
Shelves: sports
The first chapter is a little dramatic about the near future of the NFL. Billick, being a former coach, gives insights into the inner workings of the business from the players' attitudes to the NFL Network.
Joel Burgess
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great Read!! Still holds up!
Steve C
Dec 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Excellent read for fans of the NFL. Describes the business as well as the game of professional football
Tracy Bachtell
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
One if my all time favorite lines, "need is a poor judge of talent"
Ichael Otley
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great insight into the current NFL structure and politics if you are into that kind of thing. Not for the casual fan!
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