I am actually a die-hard football fan, and was trying to find a great way to teach my best friend football, who wanted to impress a potential love interest who was football-obsessed himself. Since it was the off-season, I wanted to find other ways to teach just besides footage. So I did a LOT of research of all the best learning football books out there. And I will tell you this: YOU NEED A BOOK. There is no website on the internet that is even close to being as detailed in effective as breaking down the game as this book is.
This book is way better than its competitor, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Football (2nd Edition). I think the author organizes the book is a more reader-friendly way, and just has a knack of explaining things better. In The Complete Idiot's Guide, things are a bit more confusing and it does not go into as much detail. Plus, the author of this book is awesome - Howie Long!
This book covers NFL, college football, and even some high school. It's pretty thorough. Not only does it talk about the basics of football and how each position is successfully played, it gives you a history of football and introduces you to some of the most famous players ever (great way to not look like a dummy!) You'll learn all about the different officials, how managers, coaches, and other important people play their role, college/youth/high school football, a chapter specifically dedicated to the NFL, fantasy leagues, the mental aspects of the game, and conditioning and dieting. The last two chapters are about the ten best players in history (according to Long) and the the best ten teams. There's also a chapter about the most heated college football rivalries as well, if that interests you.
This is basically the bible of football. And you know how these lines of books have some snippets in the corner of a lot of pages, with some kind of story or useful tip, but its usually pretty boring? Not here! Howie Long, eight-time Pro Bowl Defensive End, has some very, very interesting stories to share and gives a lot of insightful information into the world of football. He weaves his own experiences throughout the book, but doesn't overdo it. He doesn't pretend to be a quarterback expert, but is very confident when it comes time to discuss defensive ends.
The book also has a long "football speak" section at the back, which is a very useful and nifty reference. This book is great because of the depth it goes into. No shortcuts or cheating here. At times it is information overload and you may need to take time and step back to absorb it all. It's not really a book for dummies. You have to really try to understand. The very basic fundamentals of football are easy enough to grasp, but learning about all of the different plays and line-ups and strategies is a whole different story. However, the book does an amazing job of incorporating graphs into the book to make it much easier to learn. But but don't be frustrated if it's not as simple as you'd thought it would be!
This book is definitely priceless if you are trying to learn football from scratch. There is no internet website that even pales in comparison. Get this book if you are serious about learning some football!