It will come as no surprise that I didn’t play team sports in school. However, I was in Band, which I would argue takes more coordination as we played instruments while performing maneuvers on the football field. Not to mention how it fostered teamwork and camaraderie. But I digress.
This is the season when football takes center stage in the sports world and it can become part of your reading agenda. “Friday Night Lights,” by H. G. Bissinger was one of the first sports books to spawn both a movie and TV show. I’ve not read FNL (big surprise) but often recommend Joe Drape’s “Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen”—which I have read and enjoyed—and have yet to hear back from anyone who didn’t like it. Since the book is as much about life in a rural Kansas community as it is football, I think it’s a good choice for any reader.
As a student, I much preferred basketball season (it was played indoors and pep band didn’t require marching routines) so a recently published book caught my attention. “My Home Team: A Sportswriter’s Life and the Redemptive Power of Small-Town Girls’ Basketball” by Dave Kindred sounds like it could be a companion to Drape’s look at small-town football. Kindred’s work has garnered so much praise that this is going on my “to read” list. I’ve also had my eye on Lydia Reeder’s “Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory.” It’s not a surprise that these two books interest me since I don’t believe sport is the main theme of either.