A Season in the Sun: The Inside Story of Bruce Arians, Tom Brady, and the Making of a Champion

Lars Anderson. Morrow, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-316020-0

Sportswriter Anderson (Chasing the Bear) delivers a spirited account of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ historic Super Bowl–winning 2020 season. He opens with the team’s dogged and successful pursuit to sign Tom Brady as a free agent, offering him “a new challenge” in his illustrious career to carry a team “that hadn’t been to the playoffs in thirteen years” to victory. As Anderson moves through the season itself, his skills as a sportswriter shine, especially in recounting Brady’s determination to work with Bucs coach Bruce Arians—in the face of unforeseeable obstacles brought by the Covid-19 pandemic—to turn the middling team around. Anderson ably paints Brady as a 21st-century example of a player coach—recalling how the 43-year-old athlete rarely slept and was always “the first player in the building.” Woven in are players’ accounts of Brady’s outsize impact, including lighthearted moments, such as one former teammate’s recollection of a “prank war” in which Brady urinated on his practice jersey. Anderson closes with memorable play-by-plays of the team’s defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV (which rendered Brady the “oldest starting quarterback” to win a Superbowl MVP award), and, fittingly, scenes of Arians and Brady preparing for the next season. Football fanatics will devour this page-turner. Agent: Michael J. Fetchko, ISM. (Oct.)