Game day reading.
By Allen St. John
Wall Street Journal reporter Allen St. John looks at the big game from every possible angle in preparation for the most spectacular single day in sport. From television execs to party planners, from city officials to devoted fans and the players themselves, St. John examines the event’s pervasive influence on Americans from every walk of life. With last year’s game garnering 111 million viewers and making more money then the GDPs of twenty-five different sovereign nations, this Sunday’s match-up is sure to break records.
By Ross Bernstein
Named for the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers and victor of the first two Super Bowls, the Lombardi Trophy is the gleaming emblem that either the New York Giants or the New England Patriots will hoist at the end of Sunday’s contest. Bernstein’s book uses this symbol of hard-earned triumph as a key to understanding what it takes to win the big contest. Along the way, he mines anecdotes and wisdom from over 100 players and coaches who have held it at the 45 previous Super Bowls.
By Gary Myers
Life can change in the blink of an eye. For the men involved in the 1982 National Football Conference Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, it all came down to a miraculous touchdown catch with 51 seconds left. The 49ers won in stunning fashion and went on to win the Super Bowl, the first of five for this storied franchise. Myers demonstrates how that one play affected so many lives and revolutionized the game of football, underlining the ascendancy of the pass-heavy West Coast Offense.
By Ed Gruver
Prior to winning the first-ever Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers faced a daunting hurdle in the 1967 NFL Championship Game (this was prior to the NFL-AFL merger of 1970) when they took on the Dallas Cowboys. The contest pitted two future Hall of Fame Coaches, Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, against one another in a rematch of the previous year’s title game. Adding to the intrigue was the biting weather at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, where it was so cold that the refs’ whistles wouldn’t work and reporters’ coffee froze in their cups. What ensued is considered by many to be the greatest game in the history of the sport.
By Michael Holley
When Patriots head coach Bill Belichick leads his team onto the field this Sunday, it will be his fifth appearance in the Super Bowl in ten years. An astonishing record. How did he take what was once a laughingstock of the league and establish such a dominant dynasty? Former Boston Globe sportswriter Michael Holley, who has previously written about the team’s winning ways in Patriot Reign, embedded himself in Belichick’s draft-day “war room” to understand the methods that allow the Pats to discover unsung talent (like quarterback Tom Brady, drafted in the sixth round in 2000) and assemble unstoppable teams.