The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower

Christopher Price, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-36838-8

Given the almost perverse ratio of fans and media attention on the one hand (massive) to the minuscule number of NFL games (a mere 16 per team in regular season, compared to 162 in baseball), the level of attention paid to each play, press conference or trade is astounding. So when Bill Belichick took over as coach of the famously inconsistent New England Patriots in 2000 and quickly turned them into what Boston Globe sportswriter Price terms the “unlikeliest dynasty in the history of the NFL,” the coach's low-key recipe for success was bound to be anatomized within an inch of its life. Fortunately, Price's account of the team's elegantly simple transformation from league laughingstock (his stories of their 1970s foibles are legion and hilarious, to nonfans at least) to Tom Brady powerhouse is a breeze to read; neither pumped full of steroidal sports hyperbole or weighed down by bloated play-by-play. From the soap opera that was the Bill Parcells era to the high drama of Drew Bledsoe's injury, when he unwittingly handed the quarterback crown to an untested Brady, this is a highly diverting read perfectly timed for the start of a new season for a team that, in Price's mind, “has become the gold standard for the rest of the National Football League.” (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/30/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Paperback - 322 pages - 978-0-312-38485-2
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4668-5642-4
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