College football season is upon us. Here’s our own Nick Moran’s list of recommended of books and articles.
By not playing football, but instead experiencing it through story and observation, I was able to cultivate a personal mythology of the sport without seeing the darker sides. I ran post patterns in my backyard, diving to catch Mike’s well-timed passes. I rushed into an imagined end zone bordered by bushes. I created notebooks full of imagined Saturday afternoon collegiate results. But I never played a second on the football field. My brothers attended a local Catholic school, but I went to a public school, where soccer was king. The football team struggled. The main draw of our Pep Rally was the soccer team’s shutout streak, not the football team. I’d seen photographs from my sister’s years at the school, when Pep Rally ended with a bonfire that smoked to the clouds, the football players flexing in front of the flames. That past seemed so distant it felt fake. I wonder if it felt the same way even then.
"The 1973 Sugar Bowl, like this year’s Bowl Championship Series title game, featured Notre Dame playing Alabama for the national championship. Late in the game, [Howard] Cosell uttered some of the truest words ever to travel through a press box microphone: ‘At Notre Dame, football is a religion; at Alabama, it is a way of life’.”
- To Love, or Hate, Notre Dame by Bill Morris
the “aw-shucks” Rodriguez blundered at his first press conference by answering “Gosh, I hope not!” to the question of whether he needed to be a “Michigan Man” in order to coach the Wolverines. In Ann Arbor, that’s tantamount to saying you’ve never heard of The Beatles. Months later, he would be reprimanded for using the word “ain’t” in an interview.
—Nick Moran reviews John U. Bacon’s Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football