Paper or Plastic Gridiron

It's that time of year again. The end of football season. The Big GAME. You know the one.

It's also a perfect time to talk about football books, old and new. And what goes better with football than...advertising? Well, that seems to be the most popular sideshow to the BIG GAME. The Big Ads.  Heck, we could even call them SuperAds.

Greg Rosenthal from Around the League over at did a list of favorite football books. The first book on the list, The New Thinking Man's Guide to Football by Paul Zimmerman is out of print, and doesn't appear to be available in a newer version than the most recent (1984) version. The list is wide ranging, though, and a great starting point for readers depending on their purpose. Are they coaching? Are they interested in players? Are they interested in knowing all there (or was) to know about the history of the game? This list is the place to start. 

Bleacher Report's list is called "The 11 Football Books Any True Student of the Game Must Read" and, while there are some duplicates on the list, not as many as I would have expected. This list includes The Blind Side by Michael Lewis, which is particularly relevant this year since Michael Oher is playing in the big game. But, it also includes Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look. Which is a great book for new fans of the game, or someone just there for the chili and taco dip!

For those of you wanting a more library inspired list of football books, Kirkus has also come up with their picks for the "10 Best Football Books." Once again, a list of titles substantially different from the others. It features names and teams your patrons probably know, although your mileage may vary according to your location.

There aren't many neat and tidy lists of football food books specifically designed for game day. Football, in Northern locations, stretches across two seasons: Tailgating season and OMG it's COLD season. Some people tailgate the whole season, but...OMG it's COLD! There are books specific to tailgating, which is, of course, outside and requires specific tools. I'm focusing on inside cookery this time.

The NFL Gameday Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Feed the Hungriest Fan from Preseason to the Super Bowl seems like it would be the most complete football cookbook available. Whether it's August, and you're sweating for training camp, or January and rooting for your team during the playoffs, this book has you covered.

The NBC Sunday Night Football Cookbook: 150 Great Family Recipes from America's Pro Chefs and NFL Players. Apparently, the optimum amount of NFL-inspired recipes is 150.

Even football cookbooks can fall prey to the newest trends. Pigskin Paleo seems to fit that bill.

And, sometimes, it never hurts just to keep the concept simple. Football Food. Yep, that's what we're after!

Seriously, ribs must be the official food of football cookbooks! At least know where to start in the grocery store without even cracking the cover!

Of course, if you're like me, you might start your recipe search online. There are plenty of big game specific recipe links, here are just a few:

All -- SB recipes -- SB recipes -- SB recipes
Food & Wine -- SB recipes
Taste of Home -- SB recipes
Huffington Post -- Dream SB Snack Recipes

The list could go on and on. As far as displays go, if you have some of these books, great! Put 'em out. If you don't, worry not! You could also pull recipe books (or travel books, or history books, or fiction books....) from New Orleans (Superbowl location), San Francisco, and/or Baltimore (teams playing in the game).

Mix it up and put in Treme vs. The Wire on your shelves. Charmed was set in San Franciso, a little magic makes any display better! Musicians from any of these places can go on display. The possibilities are endless.

Happy Wednesday!


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