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Best Books On Football – Clayton Trutor Interview (Part 2)

Dr. Clayton Trutor stops by on the show to share his opinion of the best books on football.  During the interview, he provides 10 primary categories for the books discussed.  In the first part of this interview, Dr. Clayton covered the categories that he calls League History, Biography, Strategy, A Season in the Life, and Expose’.  If you have not listened to Clayton’s first episode covering his first five categories for his best books about football, I suggest you do so.

In this episode, Dr. Trutor picks up right where we left off last week.  He covers the rest of the best books on football starting with the Competing Pro Leagues category.  The other four categories are Fiction, Early Pro Football, Franchise History, and rounding it out with a Page Turner.  It’s near impossible to pick the best football book in each category, so he also provides some alternative options for you.  These football book recommendations are not a direct endorsement from The Football History Dude podcast, but as a dude, I’m always open to some great reads.  So, strap on your seat belt, and let’s get ready to take this baby up to 88mph.

BTW – I reference William James Sidis at the end.  He was considered one of the smartest dudes to ever live.  Listen to see why I compare Dr. Clayton Trutor to this guy.

You can reach out to Clayton on Twitter – @ClaytonTrutor

Here you can find the dedicated Clayton Trutor page.

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Clayton Trutor Bio

He is a historian and sportswriter.  He writes about college football and basketball for SB Nation at Down the Drive and Underdog Dynasty.  He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Boston College and is the author of a forthcoming book on the history of professional sports in Atlanta.

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Clayton Trutor Best Books On Football

Below are the best books about football covered in the first part of the Clayton Trutor interview.  Each category has a main book, and then there are some within the body of the text to give you more options.

Note – As an affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.

Competing Pro Football Leagues

Dr. Trutor stated how Jeff Miller interviewed over 200 former AFL players for this book.  It pretty much goes through the entire timeline of the AFL to show us how the league changed Pro Football forever.  You can learn more about the AFL and the merger with the 3 episodes below:

AFL – NFL Merger

The Founding of the American Football League

American Football League – Road to a Merger

The other books he suggested in this category:

The League That Didn’t Exist: A History of the All-American Football Conference, 1946-1949 by Gary Webster

Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL by Jeff Pearlman


Clayton says this is a pretty funny book and just entertaining overall.  It goes into some of the locker room shenanigans and “just a good book to read on the beach” ~ Dr. Clayton Trutor.  I reminisce of good football stories that go beyond the actual games on the field.  There’s a comradery amongst football teammates that do not exist in many other sports.  Maybe it’s the physical nature of grinding it out and “going to war” with your teammates.

Other books mentioned in this category.

Everybody’s All-American by Frank Deford

North Dallas Forty by Peter Gent

Early Pro Football

This book is a compilation.  Doc calls it an oral history of football in the 2os and 30s.  He said it was the first book of its kind to go around in the late 70s and early 80s talking to the players from back then to put it together.  I sure wish I could go check that out.  Dr. brought up Bronko Nagurski, which you can hear at that link.  



There are plenty of books about “America’s Team,” but Dr. Trutor says this is his pick as an all-encompassing kind of deal.  It covers the rise of the Cowboys to become America’s Team.

Another book recommended:

Ten-Gallon War: The NFL’s Cowboys, the AFL’s Texans, and the Feud for Dallas’s Pro Football Future by John Eisenberg


Page Turner

He had to take a dig at me as a Lion’s fan again.  This time it’s the Green Bay Packers, and I get to listen to Brett Favre as the choice for a page-turner.  I did actually like Favre, though, so I’m not complaining.  This book takes you on Brett Favre’s wild ride that is his football career.

Another book in this category (well, he brought it up in our discussion during this category):

Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback


For fun, I asked Clayton about his favorite football movies.  I’m not sure why, but The Replacements (to the left) popped in my head when he asked me.  It’s not an accurate movie about football, but it was great.  There are so many I think of now, but I will just list the ones we bring up in the episode.  Here are Clayton’s top 3:

1.  Everybody’s All-American

2. Dallas North Forty

3. Remember The Titans

About the author, Arnie Chapman

My name is Arnie Chapman, and I am the host of The Football History Dude, a podcast dedicated to teaching fans about the rich history of the NFL. The show officially launched on 4/15/18, and I have not looked back. I have always been passionate about football, and learning about the history of the game has intrigued me, as well. I'm asking you to come along with me on my DeLorean to travel back in time and learn about the yesteryear of the gridiron. To get started, you can go to my website for more details.

1 Comment

  1. Clayton Trutor Interview - Part 2 on 07/29/2019 at 9:24 PM

    […] you check out the episode to hear his take on each book, and head on over to my page titled Best Books On Football – Clayton Trutor Interview (Part 2). I provide a quick overview of what he discussed, as well as some links […]

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