The Best Sports Books Of 2013


Besides a donation to the human fund, books make the best gifts. If people don’t appreciate it, then you can loathe the fact they don’t read, and probably aren’t very smart. If you decide to be that guy, or girl (and I am) to give a book as a gift, you should peruse the sports section at Barnes and Noble, Borders or local book store. This list of the years top sports books is obviously subjective. So don’t expect to find any books about the WNBA or steeplechase, horse and human.

1) League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for Truth, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru.

If you saw the excellent PBS Frontline documentary, then you must read this book. The elephant in the room for the NFL and other sports, are concussions. The authors document  the connection from America’s most popular sport to traumatic brain injuries and the NFL’s failure to protect their players. ESPN reportedly pulled out of the documentary, claiming lack of “editorial control.” But that didn’t stop the authors and veteran ESPN investigative reporters from exposing the NFL’s obfuscating the truth to protect the shield.

2) Undisputed Truthby Mike Tyson and Larry Sloman.

One of the most polarizing athletes of the 21st century, Tyson is brutally honest and engaging. Arguably, the greatest boxer of my generation. A look into the real Mike Tyson, his voice shines through unadulterated. He’s transformed from an repugnant, ear-biting, drug addled convicted rapist, to a sensitive vegan, and Broadway performer. A compelling read to say the least.

3) The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown.

A crew team of red-blooded males from the University of Washington and their quest for gold at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. This will be the best non-fiction book you read this year. I’ve never sculled an oar, or embraced the shores of Old Father Thames, but I could not put this book down. And who doesn’t like beating Nazis?

4) The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, by David Epstein.

The physiological aspect of sports is fascinating. Hitting the genetic lottery isn’t always the deciding factor when it comes to athletic prowess. Epstein delves into varied topics like: skeletal structure in the NBA, the elevation sweet spot and fast twitch/slow twitch muscles. Still not convinced? Read an excerpt here.

5) Orr: My Story, by Bobby Orr.

One of the greatest players of all time. Orr touches on his younger days at Parry Sound, the parent player relationship, todays game, where it’s going, and the arguments for and against fighting. Off the ice, Orr is soft-spoken and modest. On the ice, he let his superior play do the talking. If you’re a fan of hockey, or just elite athletes, you’ll want to read Orr.

Honorable Mention:

Alex Ferguson: My Autobiographyby Alex Ferguson.

One of the greatest managers ever to grace the pitch. Sir Alex led Manchester United to 13 Premier League Titles. I’ve always been interested in the underbelly of championship organizations and the men who run them. Chronologically, Ferguson touches on tactics, star players and even the shroud of loneliness he sometimes felt in his office. If you’re not a fan of Manchester United, or even soccer, this book is still a must read for every sports fan.

Michael Mazzuto

Michael Mazzuto

A former patriot living amongst civilians. Detractors need not apply. Sometimes I have things to say, so I write it down. Holler in my vicinity @_MMazz, but not too loud.
Michael Mazzuto
Michael Mazzuto

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