Book Review: Football’s Greatest


A lot has already been written in recent weeks about Sports Illustrated’s awesome new coffee table book, FOOTBALL’S GREATEST and I know that I’m not going to be the one to discover new lands in my review of it.

Instead, I’ll take a different tack.  With a name like FOOTBALL’S GREATEST, you can imagine that it’s full of glossy photos from the SI archives, lists of the best players at particular positions, the best overall teams, the best coaches and the like.  All of this is interspersed with writing from many of SI’s current roster of writers along with snippets from writers of days gone by.  It’s a little bit of time capsule and modern day analysis all rolled into one big book.

Since the Jets have only been able to secure one championship during the existence of the franchise, unfortunately the lists are not littered with Jets.  Instead, I’ll give you a quick run-through of where the Jets do make appearances in the book.

Leaving out any Brett Favre references, of course …

Namath’s iconic #1 salute makes an appearance in the introduction

Darrelle Revis – 8th Best Defensive Back

Bill Parcells – 10th Best Coach

Super Bowl III – 4th Best Game

Jets-Patriots – 8th Best Rivalry

Boomer Esiason – 7th Best Interview

While the pickings might seem slim, a further look down the list in the results section (page 286-7) reveals that the Jets were knocking on the door of the top ten in many categories.  For instance, Namath came in 11th overall at the quarterback position,  Don Maynard came in 19th among all receivers and the Monday Night Miracle game ranked 14th.

While Jets fans might be disappointed with the overall representation that the team gets, you can understand that while Curtis Martin is one of my favorite players of all time and is now a Hall of Famer, you can look at the list and respect why he didn’t crack the top ten when put against players like Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk.

If anything it’s a great way to start conversations with your friends and family about football.  Who did you thought think was the greatest? What games were most memorable for you?  What single season teams you remember as most dominant?  In the end, this is subjective and while it’s a great collection of greatest lists from a fantastic group of experts, it’s still all up for debate … and that’s the fun part.  This book is a great jumping off point.  It’s a great book for any football fan out there to leaf through, learn about the history of the game.  If you are looking for a gift for a football fan this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Buy it here on Amazon.