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Now in paperback, the definitive anthology about the sport that dominates our culture Since football's meteoric rise in the mid-twentieth century, the standout writers on the sport — an All-Pro line-up that includes Red Smith, Frank Deford, Jimmy Breslin, George Plimpton, Richard Price, Charles Pierce, Michael Lewis, and Roy Blount Jr — have gone behind and beyond the spectacle to reveal the complexity, the contradictions, and the deeper humanity at the heart of the game. In this landmark collection, which the San Francisco Chronicle called the finest football volume of all time and Men's Journal the ultimate football reading list, The Library of America and editor John Schulian bring together the very best of their work: gems of deadline reportage, incisive long-form profiles of football's storied figures, and autobiographical accounts by players and others close to the game. Celebrating the sport without shying away from its sometimes devastating personal and social costs, the forty-four pieces gathered here testify to football's boundless capacity to generate outsized characters and memorable tales. For the paperback, Schulian offers a new preface assessing the state of play in the wake of the 2014 NFL scandals.