I’m reading a book about the art of watching American football called Take Your Eye Off the Ball.
The author, Pat Kirwan, says that if you’re watching football by following the ball around, you’re missing the whole game. (Whoops, totally guilty of that.) It’s the opposite of what young athletes are taught, Kirwan admits, but if you really want to be a knowledgeable fan of the sport you have to understand what everyone on the field is doing during each play, not just the quarterback and the other ball handlers. Apparently, there are blocking and play-calling strategies, pre-emptive positional moves and shifting formations plus all sorts of faking techniques going on all over the gridiron.
I suppose I should have known, since I learned the same lesson about baseball years ago.
A co-worker who pitched for his college team sat me down at a Cleveland dive bar…
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