First and foremost, since this is my first attempt at doing this, I want to recommend the supremely excellent hard cover book, Blood, Sweat & Chalk by Tim Layden. If you have even a passing interest in either the history of football or the strategy involved (or if you’re like me, both), this is an essential read. In terms of becoming a “better” fan (which is sort of the point of this whole exercise), this book will do that for you in spades. I honestly can’t recommend it enough.
All that said, I’m guessing some links to some content you can read now might be of interest as well. So here you go. Let me know if you find any of this stuff helpful/interesting.
* Smart Football (another essential read as a general rule) recently checked in with some playaction concepts, and how they can decimate a defense. Specifically, the article deals with the idea of pulling linemen during playaction, which might seem essential to some and risky to others (or if you’re like me, both), but the visual evidence supporting the maneuver … in the form of Andrew Luck and Robbert Griffin III dominating … is certainly compelling. If nothing else, the videos after the jump are a great watch.
* One of my favorite K-State wins of the 2011 season gets disected by Barking Carnival.
* When it comes to the NFL Draft, we’ve all been guilty of going with the flow on offensive lineman analysis, I think, as it’s generally easier to watch a highlight pancake or two and then just accept whatever Kiper/Mayock/whoever is telling us. I like this read from Football Outsiders, because it delves into actual technical proficiencies and deficiencies and makes a nice primer for draft night. (It is not surprising to me that he likes the two Stanford guys and is very meh on Cordy Glenn — I wonder where I read that already…)
* Finally, I’ve embedded a video of some ESPN Sports Science fun (via Dr. Saturday): Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden smashing clay pigeons to pieces with only his cannon arm and a football. Absurdly awesome.