Friday, September 19, 2008

Watching Football on the Wayback Machine

The closest I come to watching football these days is reading the knee MR's of local players. However, I was fascinated by this Mark Bowden article in the Atlantic Monthly: Distant Replay.

As part of his research for a book, The Best Game Ever, Bowden watches game footage of the 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants with Andy Reid, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dead tree & Kindle versions of the book

A great review of the evolution of professional football over the past 50 years, as seen through the eyes of a Jedi master:
“Okay,” he’d say, when he had examined a play from snap to tackle, “here’s what happened.” Then out would pour a detailed explication: what the offense was trying to do, how the defense was trying to stop it, the techniques (good and bad) of the various key players, the historical roots of the formations and the play’s design, and ultimately why it worked or failed, and who was responsible, either way. The wealth of information Reid gleaned from a single play reminded me of the way Patrick O’Brian’s 19th-century naval hero, Jack Aubrey, eyeballing an enemy ship during a sea chase, could read from the play of its sails and the disposition of its crew the experience, intentions, strengths, and weaknesses of his opponent.
(via Daring Fireball)

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