Ten football books for the season’s home stretch

Enjoy these 10 titles as the football season reaches its last days.

9. ’SEC Football’s Greatest Games: The Legendary Players, Last-Minute Prayers, and Championship Moments,’ by Alex Martin Smith

While college football is popular across America, its most fervent followers are in the South, most especially of the teams in the mighty Southeastern Conference. Not surprisingly, therefore, fans of the SEC cling to the memories of the many great games that date back to 1910, when Vanderbilt traveled to New Haven, Conn., and managed to play defending national champion Yale to a 0-0 tie. And this isn’t the only distant memory that author Alex Martin Smith brings back to life in “SEC Football’s Greatest Games.” He recounts Alabama’s 20-19 upset of the University of Washington in the 1926 Rose Bowl as “the game that changed the South,” essentially making football the region’s calling card. There have been numerous protagonists along the way (Joe Namath, Bo Jackson, Bear Bryant, and Tim Tebow, to name just a few) and this review is their story, too.

9 of 10

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.