Sports Illustrated Blood, Sweat and Chalk The plays used by high school, college, and pro football teams have come a long way from the days of the "T" formation. Today, the typical NFL playbook is complex enough to give a calculus textbook a run for its money-and long enough to be given to players on laptop computers. Plays like the end-around, the Hail Mary, and the counter-trey bear the insignia of some of the game's great innovators and the players that inspired them, while the newest schemes and plays used in the pros and college are quickly studied and copied throughout the country. These days, even middle-school teams in Pop Warner leagues are running complex plays, memorized by playing them out in John Madden Football.
In Blood, Sweat and Chalk, Tim Layden will take readers back to the origins of the offenses and defenses that have changed the course of football and the men behind them. Readers will be delivered to the meeting rooms (and, in some cases, living rooms) where significant schemes were hatched, including the popular one-back spread offense that was first created by John Elway's high school coach to take advantage of his star quarterback's scrambling ability; the origins of the blitz; and the long reign of the triple option as a staple offense for high school and college.
The book will also give readers a behind-the-scenes look at how a modern NFL team formulates its game plan for the upcoming season, and will provide a tutorial for fans to better understand the powerful head games that go hand-in-hand with the big hits.