Content-wise . . . it's clear that Madden knows a whole heck of a lot about football[.] There's more really good football content that shows off Madden's expert status in any given 10 pages than in half the books I've reviewed on here. One Knee is now 23 years old, and in that time about all the rules changes Madden has suggested have come to pass, and generally because they were quite sagacious. Some random examples of football knowledge: talking about the importance of the strength of a defensive lineman's fingers-Bear great Dan Hampton, whose knees were famously ravaged, didn't seem to mind all that much, saying "I'd rather have a knee go than my fingers." As just a casual watcher, I know hand play is important for linemen, but it's not something I notice regularly or pay a great deal of attention to, but reading something like that makes me want to bust out the tapes and compare, say, Haynesworth's precise play in the playoff game against the Steelers his rookie year versus this year. Another thing -- Madden's first job as head coach was leading the Raiders. He knew he didn't have enough experience at game management to be successful. He could try game-planning, but it's tough to simulate the same type of rhythm and unpredictability within structure. So, he attended local high school games in the Oakland area and basically called plays as though his team was in that situation-on 3&8 from the 34, how do I attack this team's defense. Simple, but a very effective strategy. . . .
. . . Still, this is one of the best couple books I've reviewed on this site. I originally read this as a library book, but I'll be ordering both a copy of this one for my library and a copy of Madden's first book as well. Not recommended for getting a sense of the modern game, but enthusiastically recommended for fans looking for an enjoyable book written by an expert and who can stand the dated factor.
Smart Football has moved!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
So says Residual Prolixity in reviewing Madden's book, One Knee Equals Two Feet: And Everything Else You Need to Know About Football: