Best Packer Books - Part 2
Following on from our original blog about Packers Books – we thought it would be of interest to write a second part of our “Packers related books, worth checking out” blog. As with Part 1 of this blog, we’ve listed 5 books, but in each case listed an alternative – so in essence there are 10 books on this list. The only criterion I’ve used, as with the first list, is that it must be a book that I’ve personally read. Hopefully there will be one or two books on this list that you haven’t read yet and will consider picking up a copy of. If you do, happy reading!
1. Run to Daylight: Vince Lombardi’s Diary of One Week with the Green Bay Packers
(Authors: Vince Lombardi with W.C. Heinz, Publisher: Simon & Schuster)
Ever wondered what happened in a single week, as the Lombardi Packers prepared their game plan for next Sunday’s game? If so, this is the book for you. In essence, this is Vince Lombardi’s diary of a single week in 1962. The is a book for real fans of x’s and o’s.
Alternative: That First Season – How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and Set It on the Path to Glory
(Author: John Eisenberg, Publisher: Mariner Books).
A look at the Packers 1959 season and the turnaround that Vince Lombardi brought to bear. The book contains lots of thoughts and comments from the players and coaches of the time as well as a perspective from some 50 years later. It also provides a good level of detail on each of the games that 1959 Packers team played – so you get a good feeling of the ups, downs and progression of that team.
2. Packers by the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players That Wore Them
(Authors: John Maxymuk, Publisher: Prairie Oak Press)
This book is exactly what appears to be from the title. It looks at every number from 1-99 and provides detail on the best and most interesting players to have worn each of the numbers. A good way of providing a focus on not only some of the most famous players in Packers history but also some of the less well-known characters.
Alternative: This Day in Green Bay Packers History
(Authors: Jeff Iverson, Publisher: Angel Press of WI))
Again, the title gives away exactly what this book is about. If you want to learn some Packers history in a slightly different way, then this could be the book for you. Can be read from cover to cover or perhaps by looking at the entry for today’s date – either way, you’ll get interesting Packer related historical information e.g. a game played on this day, a transaction made on this day etc. that will help enhance your Packer knowledge.
3. The Ice Bowl – The Cold Truth about Football’s Most Unforgettable Game
(Authors: Author: Ed Gruver, Publisher: McBooks Press)
Ed Gruver is the author of several fine sports books including Nitschke, Koufax and AFL: A Year by Year History and his book on the Ice Bowl is a great addition to this list. This book looks at not only the crucial play-by-play of perhaps the most famous game in NFL history but also looks at the background of some of the key participants including coaches Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry – and their time together as assistant coaches with the New York Giants.
Alternative: The Ice Bowl – The Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys Season of 1967
(Author: Mike Shropshire, Publisher: Penguin Group))
Like Ed Gruver (above), Mike Shropshire has written a number of sports books (and non-sports books for that matter) of which, this addition about the Ice Bowl is most welcome. Shropshire writes about both the Ice Bowl and the years that both the Packers and Cowboys had leading up to it.
4. Packer Dynasty – The Saga of the Championship Green Bay Teams
(Author: Phil Bengtson with Todd Hunt, Publisher: Doubleday)
This book provides an excellent perspective on the Packers teams, players and strategies of the 1960s from somebody that was on the inside throughout the period – defensive coach, and later head coach, Phil Bengtson. It was published in 1969 and whilst not easy to get hold of new, I have come across several second-hand copies in bookshops in the states. Well worth spending the time seeking out a copy if you are interested in learning more about that 60s period from an often-forgotten source.
Alternative: Magnificent Seven: The Championship Games That Built the Lombardi Dynasty
(Author: Bud Lea, Publisher: Triumph Books)
Bud Lea reported on the Packers for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and was witness to some of the greatest moments in Packers history – particularly the championship teams of the 1960s. This book concentrates on the Championship Games that those 60s teams played, providing an excellent game by game narrative of the 5 NFL Championship Game triumphs and the first two Super Bowls. It’s one of those books that works well as a hardback in my view.
5. Driven: From Homeless to Hero, My Journeys on and off Lambeau Field
(Authors: Donald Driver, Publisher: Crown Archetype Books)
Autobiography written by Donald Driver after his Packers career ended. Obviously, this book details much of his time and experiences in Green Bay, but some of the most fascinating stories talk about his difficult childhood in Texas - and his life-changing experiences there. It’s also interesting to read about Driver’s charity work with his wife.
(Authors: Brett Favre with Bonita Favre and Chris Havel, Publisher: Rugged Land Books)
There have been several books written about Brett Favre. This one was published in 2004, in a large hardback format – a coffee table book if you will. This book contains lots of detail of Favre’s career and lots of great photos. It’s both funny and insightful and tinged with sadness when it talks about Brett’s father and his sad 2003 passing. If you are lucky, you may be able to pick up a copy of this book with the free DVD that came with the original version.
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