Best Books On Football – Clayton Trutor Interview

Clayton Trutor – Part 2

Dr. Clayton Trutor stops by on the show to share his opinion of the best books on football.  During the interview, he provides 10 primary categories for the books discussed.  In the first part of this interview, Dr. Clayton covered the categories that he calls League History, Biography, Strategy, A Season in the Life, and Expose’.  If you have not listened to Clayton’s first episode covering his first five categories for his best books about football, I suggest you do so.

In this episode, Dr. Trutor picks up right where we left off last week.  He covers the rest of the best books on football starting with the Competing Pro Leagues category.  The other four categories are Fiction, Early Pro Football, Franchise History, and rounding it out with a Page Turner.  It’s near impossible to pick the best football book in each category, so he also provides some alternative options for you.  These football book recommendations are not a direct endorsement from The Football History Dude podcast, but as a dude, I’m always open to some great reads.  So, strap on your seat belt, and let’s get ready to take this baby up to 88mph.

BTW – I reference William James Sidis at the end.  He was considered one of the smartest dudes to ever live.  Listen to see why I compare Dr. Clayton Trutor to this guy.

You can reach out to Clayton on Twitter – @ClaytonTrutor

Here you can find the dedicated Clayton Trutor page.


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Clayton Trutor Bio

He is a historian and sportswriter.  He writes about college football and basketball for SB Nation at Down the Drive and Underdog Dynasty.  He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Boston College and is the author of a forthcoming book on the history of professional sports in Atlanta.


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Clayton Trutor Best Books On Football

Below are the best books about football covered in the first part of the Clayton Trutor interview.  Each category has a main book, and then there are some within the body of the text to give you more options.

Note – As an affiliate, I earn a commission on qualifying purchases.


Competing Pro Football Leagues

Dr. Trutor stated how Jeff Miller interviewed over 200 former AFL players for this book.  It pretty much goes through the entire timeline of the AFL to show us how the league changed Pro Football forever.  You can learn more about the AFL and the merger with the 3 episodes below:

AFL – NFL Merger

The Founding of the American Football League

American Football League – Road to a Merger

The other books he suggested in this category:

The League That Didn’t Exist: A History of the All-American Football Conference, 1946-1949 by Gary Webster

Football For a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL by Jeff Pearlman




Clayton says this is a pretty funny book and just entertaining overall.  It goes into some of the locker room shenanigans and “just a good book to read on the beach” ~ Dr. Clayton Trutor.  I reminisce of good football stories that go beyond the actual games on the field.  There’s a comradery amongst football teammates that do not exist in many other sports.  Maybe it’s the physical nature of grinding it out and “going to war” with your teammates.

Other books mentioned in this category.

Everybody’s All-American by Frank Deford

North Dallas Forty by Peter Gent


Early Pro Football

This book is a compilation.  Doc calls it an oral history of football in the 2os and 30s.  He said it was the first book of its kind to go around in the late 70s and early 80s talking to the players from back then to put it together.  I sure wish I could go check that out.  Dr. brought up Bronko Nagurski, which you can hear at that link.  



Dr. Clayton Trutor is a historian and sportswriter. He writes about college football and basketball for SB Nation at Down the Drive and Underdog Dynasty. He holds a PhD in US history from Boston College. He is the author of a forthcoming book on the history of professional sports in Atlanta. He would love to hear from you.

You can find him on Twitter at @claytontrutor

Dr. Clayton Trutor Interview Episodes

Clayton Trutor – Part 2 Dr. Clayton Trutor stops by…

Best Books On Football – Clayton Trutor Interview (Part 2)


Clayton Trutor – Part 1 Dr. Clayton Trutor stops by…

Best Books About Football – Clayton Trutor Interview (Part 1)


How I Met Clayton

Clayton reached out to me on Twitter after he listened to the show a few times to let me know he was digging on the content.  He also shared that he wanted to share his knowledge of NFL books with the guests of the show.  We had a brief initial conversation over the phone one day on my way home from work, and during this time, I could tell this dude was very knowledgeable and passionate about NFL history and the books that have been released about the subject.

At the end of the interview, I end up comparing Dr. Trutor to William James Sidis, as a joke.  Sidis was considered one of the smartest dudes to ever live.  Listen to the entire interview to see why I compare Dr. Clayton Trutor to Sidis himself.

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Clayton Trutor Best Books About Football

League History

This was the first book we talked about on the episode. Dr. Trutor brings up how this book is one of the best books about football as a comprehensive resource. The book basically takes you on a journey from the founding of the NFL (episode 3) in Canton, OH in 1920 all the way through the 21st century.  He shares how the book covers many angles of the game; including the economics, on-field product, social impact of pro football, and many more topics.

The other book he suggested in this category –

The League: How Five Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire by John Eisenberg

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