September 12, 2007
News & Opinion: Business Books About The NFL
I am a sucker for NFL books. I love the sport (yes, my fantasy team posted their first win this week) and I am even more fascinated by the business of the NFL. Last year I interviewed Mark Yost about his book Tailgating, Sacks, and Salary Caps which deal with the business of the NFL.
This fall, there are two more books that caught my attention:
Hiring Secrets of the NFL: How Your Company Can Select Talent Like a Champion by Isaac Cheifetz uses the NFL as a metaphor for bringing the best people into the organization. Did you know second round picks more often become Pro-Bowl players than first round? Yet look where all the emphasis is placed by teams and in the media. At 120 pages, it is quick and punchy.
The second book is called Brand NFL By Michael Oriard. This one might be hard to place at the local bookstore having been published by University of North Carolina Press. I'll let you read the Washington Post review for more on the title, but let me quote one paragraph from the piece constrasting Oriard's book with two others:
Oriard traces this evolution in convincing detail. He is scarcely the first former player to write about the game -- Jerry Kramer's Instant Replay (1968), published while its author was still a member of the Green Bay Packers, remains to this day the best book about football qua football -- but the combination of his playing experience and his deep knowledge of the league's inner business workings makes for a unique and useful point of view. Much of the material in the first two-thirds of the book will be familiar to readers of Michael MacCambridge's America's Game (2004), the best history of pro football to date, but his discussion of what can fairly be called the game's larger meaning is especially interesting and insightful.
(I had to get a Packers reference into this post :)