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Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,537 ratings  ·  214 reviews
The bestselling inspirational book in which the author reunites with a childhood football hero, now a minister and coach, and witnesses a revelatory demonstration of the true meaning of manhood—Season of Life is a book that “should be required reading for every high school student in America and every parent as well” (Carl Lewis, Olympic champion).

Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Simon Schuster (first published August 24th 2004)
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 ·  1,537 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There is generally a theme or a good story I get from every good book. Here's my favorite line from this book, spoken after a mother asked the coach how good this year's team was going to be. "Won't know for twenty years," the coach responded. "That's when we'll know what kind of husbands and fathers they'll be. That's when we know what kind of men they'll be."

Boy, I love that.

I love it when sports books transcend the facts and figures and final scores and goes into what life is all about.

This i
Anita Pomerantz
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book probably should be handed out to new fathers when their babies are born in the hospital. Not kidding. It's really a philosophy book disguised as a book about a high school football team. The coach, a former player for Baltimore Colts (now the Indianapolis Colts) ended up coaching this team, and he brought a unique perspective on masculinity to his coaching style. He points out that boys are constantly measured - - first by their athletic prowess, then by the number (and hotness) of gir ...more
John Kelley
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Purported to be a book about a relationship with a father, and it loomed in the background, but wasn't really there until the end. More about men being able to express express love as seen through the lens of sport and football. The coaching philosophy may seem corny to some, and certainly you're never going to get along with everyone, but I'd rather I play for (or my kids play for) this type of coach. You can be hardnosed and demand excellence, but it doesn't have to be demeaning. You see too m ...more
Kevin Page
Jan 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-i-own
Bad book. Boring and uneventful.
Matthew Eisenberg
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the 214th book review I've written on Goodreads, and this is the third time I will characterize a book as "required reading."

The first 2 books I characterized as "required reading" (Profiles in Courage and Between the World and Me) were 5-star books. Season of Life is not a 5-star book. The narrative, which follows The Gilman School football team for a season, is rather ho-hum. But the 2 men who lead the Gilman football program are more invested in communicating the sage perspectives th
Eileen Keefe
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book . Loved it.
Philip Meinel
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fathers
This book gives good examples of teaching life lessons through sports, specifically to boys. The purpose is about replacing false masculinity: athletic ability, sexual conquest, and economic success; with true masculinity: strong relationships, a transcendent cause, and a code of conduct.

The main thing I learned and immediately started to implement with my children is teaching them empathy.

I need to reevaluate what I want for my children, and methods to achieve these goals. I have a few principl
Robert Ellington
Really enjoyed this. If I ever get back to coaching, this will be a book that I reference frequently.
Ben Goldberger
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
When the issue on gender stereotypes come up in a conversation, most people will think of discrimination women face because of gender norms. Though this discrimination is evident and is an issue in society, so are gender norms put on men. Season of Life: a football star, a boy, a journey to manhood by Jeffrey Marx is a book that focuses on the gender norms put upon young men growing up. Marx uses literary techniques in his writing to inform the reader about the lesser known stereotypes high scho ...more
Zachary H
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book starts with the Author Jeffrey Marx flashing back to his childhood where as a child he went through his life with a weak connection between him and his father. As a child Marx was interested in football and was amazing when he found that the Baltimore Colts where practicing just a few feet away from his tennis Camp. Jeff would find himself over watching and finding every chance to help out the colts as he could after he was done with Tennis practice. Eventually became great friends wi ...more
Nate H
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book written by Jeffrey Marx, "Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood," is a story of Jeff (a Boy) growing up as a child being a big fan of the Baltimore Colts NFL team along with being a fan/friend of Joe Ehrmann (A Football Star) a D-Lineman on the Baltimore Colts. It starts where Jeff is at a tennis practice with the Colts in a close radius to his practice and being the football fan Jeff is, he would spend more time watching practice, than playing tennis. By being f ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
“In the end it’s not the mistakes you make that matter. It’s what you do with what you learn from those mistakes. And it’s how you respond to the mistakes of others.” —Biff Poggi

Season of Life by Jeffery Marx is a wonderful story about Joe Ehrmann, who played for the Baltimore Colts. After his football career and the death of his brother he changed his life and his purpose to helping others. In doing so, he aligned himself with some other remarkable people and together they started the Building
Josh Martin
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
To My Sons,

I recently read a book called Season of Life. It raised many interesting points and brought to my attention a deficiency in my parenting thus far. The book made me understand the importance of defining to each of you what it means to be a man from my perspective. I am sorry for not doing this sooner. In order to explain what I believe being a man means, I first want to explain what it doesn’t mean.

How many points you score, how many girls you conquer and how much money you have are th
Dylan S
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book teaches one of the less talked about but very important issues in today's world, which is the process of turning boys into men. Many boys don't have the right guidance during this journey, and that could be due to a lack of father figure, or simply a lack of proper attention and care.

In this book, Marx rejoins a childhood friend, ex-NFL player, Joe Ehrmann, and they go through a high school football season together. Joe coaches the Gilman High School football team, and he does everythi
Brett Gorney
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having grown up near Baltimore in my elementary school days, this book brought back some old memories when different high schools were named as my older brother competed against all of them in Lacrosse. Also mentions of the old Memorial Stadium where I watched countless Baltimore Orioles and a few Colts games brought back so many memories! But on to the book...

In a nutshell... kids need more coaches like Joe Ehrman and Francis “Biff” Poggi. This is a great true story that should tug on the heart
Season of Life, by Jeffrey Marx, is about ex-NFL player and current minister, speaker, workshop-leader, and part-time HS football coach Joe Ehrmann. Season of Life offers Marx's mini-biography of Joe Ehrmann, as well as an explication of Ehrmann's philosophy of 'strategic masculinity' and developing character in student-athletes through sports.

The PE staff, coaches, students and parents with whom I have met in recent years to discuss Ehrmann's 'code of conduct' have found many themes in Season o
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informative
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Estes
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Joe Ehrmann and Biff Poggi have crafted a unique philosophy of manhood as applied to the ultra-masculine world of football, and their efforts to impart said philosophy to the high school team they coach are truly inspiring—how many football coaches out there talk as much about loving each other and living life in service of others as they do about x's and o's? However, there's not a ton of depth to the story, and it felt like the thread involving the author and his father received somewhat short ...more
Shanna Wright
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh WOW! I don’t know that I would have picked this one up on my own (it was a staff-required summer read for my school). I’m not a big football fan, but you don’t need to be for this book. The author does such a good job of keeping the language relevant to multiple audience while still keeping the “Friday night lights” sort of excitement for the team being followed. But the point is not is the life lessons their coaches are teaching them in what it means to truly be a man. This boo ...more
David N
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the most influential pieces of literature in my life. It was a very motivational book and it helped me get perspective on how I was lucky to have the father that I have. When I was done reading I wanted to read it again. I was also pondering what kind of man I've been in the past and who I want to be in the past.
It was a great book by jeffrey marx. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially guys. It can teach you something that you probably won't hear from anyone els
Jared Battaglia
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
¨Season of Life¨ is a non fiction book about a boy growing up as a part of an NFL football program. He is the ball boy for the Baltimore Colts, and grows up surrounded by superstar athletes. His best friend on the team, Joe ends up staying in touch with the boy as he grows up and moves on into his own life. They reunite and end up becoming part of one of the most influential football progams on the planet. Read the book to find out more details. I recommend this book for anybody who likes a good ...more
Ben Hawk
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Season of Life”, by Jeffrey Marx, includes football, but it is definitely not about football. This book explains how football coach, Joe Ehrmann, showed his players what true masculinity was. He said it isn’t about being strong or tough, it’s about caring for others around you and making sacrifices for them. The players responded each and every day by becoming true men, men who love everyone around them no matter what. The author of the book followed this team around for a whole season and lear ...more
Parker Dalton
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Favorite line in the book:

Fan: “Coach, how good is the team going to be?”
Coach: “I don’t know know; we will find out in 20 years.” (To find out what kind of husbands, fathers, and being a man built for others they turn out to be)

The book addresses false masculinity and how it drives us toward personal achievement, selfish comparison, and away from relationships throughout our lives. A great story of how coaching high school football can be a way to really build boys into true men.
Michael Garry
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well worth the read

I found this book very helpful in the sense that as a coach, I need to intentionally make an effort to foster positive relationships with players. Players must know that you care and they must care about each other. This book goes against a lot of people's opinions of what the mold of a football coach should be but opens your eyes to a whole other side of coaching that should be incorporated everywhere. 10/10
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While the football play descriptions went right over my head and heart, the content of this book is golden. The philosophies contained within about raising and discipling young boys to be men is strengthened by the examples given of the football team coached and how the author witnessed those philosophies being integrated into their lives. His account of the changes he sought with his own father after the time spent soaking up these ideas is heartwarming. Highly recommended.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx is a book that shows how playing a sport of violence can be a positive thing. Jeff is lead to love and respect his teammates, family and friends through the game of football. He also is lead to loving everything through his all time favorite Baltimore Colts player, Joe Ehrmann. Joe devotes life after playing in the NFL to helping younger people grow and learn to love what they do through football.
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is - Wow! This book packed a punch. I picked it up at the library thinking it was a book about football but football was only a tiny part of it. This book is about a couple of former football players who are trying to help highschool boys learn how to be men who are in touch with their feelings and who will make a difference in this world. Having read this book, I went out and bought this book.
Travis Hamilton
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: coaches, scout leaders, anyone working with young men
Recommended to Travis by: Joe Claunch
A great read. This book was referred to me by my friend Coach Joe Claunch. The book teaches the higher lessons of life that can be taught through sports, and specifically football in this book.

My mind has been expanded on how to lead young men into manhood. I recommend to all working with young boys to young men and who can see the deeper meaning of such work.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
My son read this for school and I loved the general premise: teaching high school boys to be responsible, compassionate, and to focus on being good people who serve others. Good concepts and I was glad to see what he was reading, but there was too much football in the story so I skimmed more than read.
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent exploration of what makes a good person and how to be a good person without bringing in a big religious bent and with some fun high school football mixed in. While this book is overtly about men and how to raise good ones, everything discussed applies to all genders, and can honestly be applied at any point in one’s own life.
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Play Book Tag: Season of Life/Marx - 4 stars 1 11 May 19, 2017 04:19AM  

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Jeffrey Marx is the New York Times bestselling author of Season of Life and
The Long Snapper: A Second Chance, a Super Bowl, a Lesson for Life. He is also the recipient of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He has also written for numerous publications, including Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Baltimore Sun. Marx lives in B

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