Collision Low Crossers

A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football
By Nicholas Dawidoff (Trade Paperback, 2014)
The definitive portrait of day-to-day life in the NFL, as told by the writer who was there

We watch football every Sunday, but we don't really see it. By spending a year with the New York Jets, Nicholas Dawidoff explored the game in such an intimate way that he can now put you right inside the NFL. Collision Low Crossers* is a story that is part Paper Lion and part Moneyball, part Friday Night Lights and part The Office. In this absorbing, funny, and vividly written narrative, he describes the Combine, the draft, the practices, the strategy meetings, all while thinking deeply about such fundamental truths and the nature of success and disappointment in a massive and stressful collective endeavor.

Most of what happens in today's NFL takes place at team facilities, walled off from fans and, until now, from writers. The New York Jets issued Dawidoff a security code, a locker, and a desk in the scouting department: for an entire year he lived with the team, from early-morning quarterback meetings to edgy late-night conversations. Dawidoff makes an emblematic NFL season come alive for fans and nonfans alike.

Here is football in many faces: the Jets' polarizing, brilliant, and hilarious head coach, Rex Ryan; the general manager, whose job is to support (and suppress) the irrepressible Ryan; the defensive coaches and their in-house rivals, the offensive coaches; players like the incomparable All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and the young, erratic quarterback Mark Sanchez. Wise safeties, brooding linebackers, high-strung cornerbacks, enthusiastic rookies, and even a well-read nose tackle create a full portrait of obsessed men at work.

Dawidoff has written the book of depth and feeling that football has long deserved, one that will forever change the way people watch and think about the sport.

* "Collision low crossers" is a phrase defensive coaches use for the act of making legal contact with any potential pass receiver within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Beyond five yards, "collisioning" someone becomes a penalty. The term also evokes the most fundamental elements of the game--speed, aggression, the interplay between space and time, and meticulously planned events that likely will not come to fruition.
  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $18.00 US/$20.00 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316196789

    • On Sale Date: 09/09/2014

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Trade Paperback, Electronic Book, Audiobook

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  • Audiobook Excerpt

The definitive portrait of day-to-day life in the NFL, as told by the writer who was there

We watch football every Sunday, but we don't really see it. By spending a year with the New York Jets, Nicholas Dawidoff explored the game in such an intimate way that he can now put you right inside the NFL. Collision Low Crossers* is a story that is part Paper Lion and part Moneyball, part Friday Night Lights and part The Office. In this absorbing, funny, and vividly written narrative, he describes the Combine, the draft, the practices, the strategy meetings, all while thinking deeply about such fundamental truths and the nature of success and disappointment in a massive and stressful collective endeavor.

Most of what happens in today's NFL takes place at team facilities, walled off from fans and, until now, from writers. The New York Jets issued Dawidoff a security code, a locker, and a desk in the scouting department: for an entire year he lived with the team, from early-morning quarterback meetings to edgy late-night conversations. Dawidoff makes an emblematic NFL season come alive for fans and nonfans alike.

Here is football in many faces: the Jets' polarizing, brilliant, and hilarious head coach, Rex Ryan; the general manager, whose job is to support (and suppress) the irrepressible Ryan; the defensive coaches and their in-house rivals, the offensive coaches; players like the incomparable All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and the young, erratic quarterback Mark Sanchez. Wise safeties, brooding linebackers, high-strung cornerbacks, enthusiastic rookies, and even a well-read nose tackle create a full portrait of obsessed men at work.

Dawidoff has written the book of depth and feeling that football has long deserved, one that will forever change the way people watch and think about the sport.

* "Collision low crossers" is a phrase defensive coaches use for the act of making legal contact with any potential pass receiver within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Beyond five yards, "collisioning" someone becomes a penalty. The term also evokes the most fundamental elements of the game--speed, aggression, the interplay between space and time, and meticulously planned events that likely will not come to fruition.

Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of four previous critically acclaimed books, including the bestselling The Catcher Was a Spy and The Crowd Sounds Happy. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Civitella Ranieri Fellow, a Berlin Prize Fellow of the American Academy, and an Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University, and is now a Branford Fellow at Yale University. A Pulitzer Prize finalist (for The Fly Swatter), Dawidoff is a contributor to The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and Rolling Stone. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his family.
  • "Dawidoff is a crack writer, saturating the book with the best of a year's worth of anecdotes and lacing it with the backgrounds of coaches and players with an intimacy that begs the question how he got all this sharp and often moving material.... Dawidoff has a sure hand with the nature of passion, the rancor and weeping joy that characterizes every season in the most popular sport in the country. Insightful, immediate sportswriting. Readers will feel every bit of the team's frustration and elation." -- Kirkus (starred review)

  • Praise for The Crowd Sounds Happy:

    "A beautiful portrait of a wounded family.... inquisitive and graceful." -- New York Times

  • "A superlative insider's portrait of one NFL team (reminiscent of John Feinstein's similar Next Man Up:  A Year behind the Lines (2005), about the Baltimore Ravens), and it's accessible to casual fans and irresistible to NFL geeks." -- Booklist (starred review)

  • "Marvelous... you'll simply want the story-his story-to continue on and on." -- Chicago Tribune

  • "A book that I would highly recommend not just for lovers of sports writing, but for lovers of intelligent writing that sheds new light on something so universal in the average American's life that the average American might never notice. This is a wonderful book by a talented writer I hope to read more from in the future." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

  • "Evocative.... The crackle of Dawidoff's writing and his unstinting...sensitivity make his...journey compelling." -- Washington Post

  • "On every significant American subject there are only a handful of really good books, and Collision Low Crossers is one of the best books ever written about sports. Dawidoff takes you into a closed world of interesting men who are obsessed with how to perfect the art of football. The book is closely and boldly observed, frankly reported, ferociously written with both humor and humanity; it teems with wonderful lines, rich and vivid passages. The end result is what all coaches long for, the magical pleasure of watching a perfectly managed game that ends in a great victory." -- Thomas Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Man Who Kept The Secrets and The Killing of Crazy Horse

  • "It is rare indeed that any writer can infiltrate any sports team so thoroughly as Nicholas Dawidoff has done in Collision Low Crossers. His access, though, is but the foundation of this sports tour du force, for his year in the belly of the New York Jets is so informed with insight and sensitivity alike that it reveals to us not just the season's secrets of one team, but the complicated attractions that trap men in football's mean clutches." -- Frank Deford, commentator, Morning Edition, and author of Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter

  • "Nicholas Dawidoff shows us everything television doesn't. By the time I finished Collision Low Crossers, I realized that what happens on the field is only a tiny fraction of a football season-and hardly the most interesting. It was a huge pleasure to be led behind the scenes by a writer with such subtlety, wit, and style." -- Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down and At Large and At Small

  • "I loved Collision Low Crossers--it's revealing, engrossing, extremely funny, and about as close as you can come to the NFL without getting a concussion. With expert reporting and an enviably light touch, Dawidoff shows the warm heart beating inside the most dangerous game." -- Chad Harbach, author of The Art of Fielding

  • "A startling, year-long, day-in-and-day-out tale of large men and obsessive, outsized personalities. Nicholas Dawidoff is a committed watcher and listener who takes Plimpton's participatory impulse and applies it in his own artful way, creating an entirely original - and thoroughly grand - portrait of an NFL team. Before Collision Low Crossers, it's now quite clear to me, I didn't really understand pro football at all." -- Ted Conover, author of Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing and Rolling Nowhere

  • Praise for The Crowd Sounds Happy:

    "A beautiful portrait of a wounded family.... inquisitive and graceful." -- New York Times

  • "Marvelous... you'll simply want the story-his story-to continue on and on." -- Chicago Tribune

  • "Evocative.... The crackle of Dawidoff's writing and his unstinting...sensitivity make his...journey compelling." -- Washington Post

Formats

Product Details

Collision Low Crossers
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $18.00 US/$20.00 CAN
  • Pages: 496
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316196789
  • On Sale Date: 09/09/2014
Collision Low Crossers

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