The NFL season kicked off last night, with a victory by the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints over the Minnesota Vikings. Between now and February 6, 2011, the date of Super Bowl XLV, Sunday afternoons mean nestling on the couch, with chips and the remote in easy reach, following all the football action we can.
Baseball may be "America's pastime," but professional football ranks higher in popularity surveys, revenue numbers, and with television viewers. We love the crunching hits, the rivalries, the brute strength, and the finesse of plays measured in inches. It's a world where everything is black and white -- a play either goes your way or it doesn't -- right down to the referees' striped uniforms. And each team has a history of glory and heartbreak, especially those most popular in this part of the country: the Giants, Jets, and Patriots. Each of our locals has a shot to have an outstanding season this year, and the Giants and Jets are playing in the brand-new Meadowlands Stadium, so fan excitement is very high!
As we get ready for the new season, there are plenty of classic football books that evoke the game's great history. See our list below for recommended NFL reading and remember, as former coach Marv Levy once said, "Football doesn't build character. It reveals character."