An UnderratedRead revisited: A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game – Mark Oristano

(Reviewed by JD Jung)

It’s my favorite time of year: football season. Now that we’re in the middle of NFL playoffs, some of you may  be wondering what all the fuss is about.

Maybe you’re not from the United States and this obsession seams totally strange to you. Maybe you are American but just not interested.

The problem is that you’re sick of being an outsider. You love spending Sunday afternoons with your friends, but they’re partying as they watch the NFL games. They’re  screaming for the local team at a sports bar, but all you can do is sit there looking dumb because you know nothing about the sport. In fact, you’re embarrassed even to open your mouth, since you have no clue as to what the rules are.

Don’t worry, there’s help on the way. Former football anchor Mark Oristano will teach you everything you need to know and help you feel like a part of the action in A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game.

Oristano, a former sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers, feels for the football-challenged spectator. In this book, he starts by explaining the basics, such as the roles of offense, defense, and special teams, as well as the positions within each—and how a team gets points on the board. He also includes strategy and clock management. For instance, when does the quarterback pass—and what makes a good running game? Also, should a fan focus on the ball at the start of a play?

Oristano explains all of this through humor and anecdotes. He even includes sections entitled “Cool Thing to Say During the Game.” Yes, some are rather corny, but it’s all in good fun. He even includes a comprehensive glossary of terms with thorough explanations. It’s all accomplished in fewer than 150 pages—and it’s anything but dull.

If your goal is to find a guide to help you pick the ultimate winning fantasy team or to learn strategies for choosing which players to play each week, then this book will be of no use to you. However, if you enjoy watching football and you really want to learn more about the game, then A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football is the perfect source.

Go Saints!

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