The Super Bowl

Game day reading.

 


 

The Billion Dollar Game

By Allen St. John

 

Wall Street Journal reporter Allen St. John looks at the big game from every possible angle in preparation for the most spectacular single day in sport. From television execs to party planners, from city officials to devoted fans and the players themselves, St. John examines the event's pervasive influence on Americans from every walk of life. With last year's game garnering 111 million viewers and making more money then the GDPs of twenty-five different sovereign nations, this Sunday's match-up is sure to break records.

 


 

Raising Lombardi

By Ross Bernstein

 

Named for the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers and victor of the first two Super Bowls, the Lombardi Trophy is the gleaming emblem that either the New York Giants or the New England Patriots will hoist at the end of Sunday's contest. Bernstein's book uses this symbol of hard-earned triumph as a key to understanding what it takes to win the big contest. Along the way, he mines anecdotes and wisdom from over 100 players and coaches who have held it at the 45 previous Super Bowls.

 


 

The Catch

By Gary Myers

 

Life can change in the blink of an eye. For the men involved in the 1982 National Football Conference Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, it all came down to a miraculous touchdown catch with 51 seconds left. The 49ers won in stunning fashion and went on to win the Super Bowl, the first of five for this storied franchise. Myers demonstrates how that one play affected so many lives and revolutionized the game of football, underlining the ascendancy of the pass-heavy West Coast Offense.

 


 

The Ice Bowl

By Ed Gruver

 

Prior to winning the first-ever Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers faced a daunting hurdle in the 1967 NFL Championship Game (this was prior to the NFL-AFL merger of 1970) when they took on the Dallas Cowboys. The contest pitted two future Hall of Fame Coaches, Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, against one another in a rematch of the previous year's title game. Adding to the intrigue was the biting weather at Green Bay's Lambeau Field, where it was so cold that the refs' whistles wouldn't work and reporters' coffee froze in their cups. What ensued is considered by many to be the greatest game in the history of the sport.

 


 

War Room

By Michael Holley

 

When Patriots head coach Bill Belichick leads his team onto the field this Sunday, it will be his fifth appearance in the Super Bowl in ten years. An astonishing record. How did he take what was once a laughingstock of the league and establish such a dominant dynasty? Former Boston Globe sportswriter Michael Holley, who has previously written about the team's winning ways in Patriot Reign, embedded himself in Belichick's draft-day "war room" to understand the methods that allow the Pats to discover unsung talent (like quarterback Tom Brady, drafted in the sixth round in 2000) and assemble unstoppable teams.

July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.