Take Your Eye Off the Ball - Playbook Edition by Pat Kirwan (Shane's book 33, 2011)

I don't re-read books very often, as regular visitors to this site will know, but this is my second reading of Take Your Eye Off the Ball this year. Strictly speaking, it's somewhere between a re-reading and a new book, since this Playbook Edition updates the original with more than 50 pages of new material. [amtap book:isbn=1600786170]

The main changes are in updated examples from last season as well as new sections on this year's NFL Draft and an added chapter on the special teams game.

Other significant changes are to the packaging of the book. It has expanded margins, to facilitate annotation, and is now ring-bound to make it a little sturdier for repeated reference. There's also a DVD, which features Kirwan explaining many of the book's key concepts with the aid of a whiteboard and a marker. It's fascinating if you're an NFL fan but soporific if you're not.

As I wrote in my review in March, this is only for those who already understand the basics of American football. Kirwan assumes a degree of familiarity with the rules and terminology. For all those beyond the novice level, this is an extraordinary resource.

My understanding of the game increased after the first reading and so, as the start of the NFL season approached, I was keen to read it again. I wasn't disappointed: I got just as much out of a second reading. There is so much here, in fact, that I will probably read it again before the next season begins, just to reinforce what I've learned.

I recommend this to all NFL fans.