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‘The Diehard Football Fan’s Bucket List Blitz’

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Book offers 101 noteworthy football experiences 

Are you ready for some football?

As hard as it might be to believe, football season – college and NFL alike – are upon us. All over the country, men of varying degrees of largeness are preparing to spend the rest of 2017 giving it their all on the gridiron.

And we’ll be there to watch, of course. Football is king in these United States, after all. So many of us will tune in … but some of us will go much, much farther than a simple Sunday couch trip. But for those adventurous football devotees looking to venture forth – and looking for ideas for where they might venture to - author Steve Greenberg has something for you.

“The Diehard Football Fan’s Bucket List Blitz: 101 Rivalries, Tailgates, and Gridiron Traditions to See & Do Before You’re Sacked” (Lyons Press, $22.95) is a book whose title says it all. Contained within its pages are breakdowns of all manner of football-related places and experiences that help encapsulate the grand arc of football fandom.

There’s a chapter on football meccas – stadiums that, for reasons of history or novelty or some combination therein, warrant special attention. Green Bay’s Lambeau Field is on the list. So too is the Rose Bowl, along with various other NFL and college (and even one high school) spots.

Greenberg offers up some museums to check out as well, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton – which just held its latest induction ceremony recently – and the Hall of Fame of my beloved Canadian Football League.

From there, he holds forth on rivalries that should be experienced firsthand. There are some strong NFL examples – Eagles-Giants is probably the most notable – but the real shine here is found amongst the dozen-plus college rivalries, from The Game (Michigan/Ohio State) to the Big Game (Cal/Stanford) to The (Other) Game (Harvard/Yale). He even throws some high school rivalries and a few neutral site classics into the mix.

There’s plenty of stuff that goes beyond the game on the field. Greenberg makes note of great places to sit and great things to eat; not only does he share some stadium food highlights, but he also makes mention of a few particularly interesting tailgating experiences. Various team/school fan traditions are introduced as well.

And all of it presented with wonderful photos, allowing the reader to get a visual sense of some of these iconic places and things from within the world of football.

Most football fans are going to be familiar with at least some of what Greenberg is presenting here. But there will be plenty of newness to be found as well. What this book does is put together a larger picture of football fandom, allowing the reader to fit a personal awareness of the game into a greater context.

It’s a fast read, content to provide brief capsules for each entry. And for good reason – lists like these can become overwhelming quickly if allowed to get overly verbose. With these capsule presentations, Greenberg essentially makes the introduction, giving the reader the appetite-whetting basics before moving on to the next potential area of interest.

“The Diehard Football Fan’s Bucket List Blitz” is fun, a good read for the casual football fan. It’s light and quick, a tasty appetizer for these last few weeks before football begins in earnest.

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