The biggest sporting event of the year in the United States is around the corner. The Super Bowl is exciting, awe-inspiring, and entertaining. What’s a better way to get in the spirit than reliving the nostalgia of the National Football League’s history by reading one of these inspirational books by Super Bowl Champions? From coaches to Pro Football Hall of Fame players, this list covers the field of football legends.
Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity by Drew Brees
Known for an impressive 20-season career, quarterback Drew Brees proves that hard work and dedication breed stellar results. Before retirement, Brees held the title of leader of all-time passing yards in the NFL with 80,358. The majority of these passing yards were earned during his career with the New Orleans Saints, a team whose future was left unclear after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2004. In this book, Drew Brees details how he faced adversity, carried the weight of the city on his shoulders, and brought the Saints to their first Super Bowl win in 2009. This book encourages readers to find the strength to carry on no matter what comes their way.
Relentless: A Memoir by Julian Edelman
The New England Patriots selected Julian Edelman in the 2009 NFL draft, where he spent his impeccable 12-season career. Despite being the 27th pick, Edelman made four Super Bowl appearances with the Patriots, won three of them, and became the Super Bowl’s most-valued player in 2009. His story describes what it’s like to be the underdog and how he never doubted himself or his team. From humble beginnings playing Pop Warner football, this proclaimed wide receiver tells readers how being relentless on the field and in life is ultimately rewarding. Patriots coach Bill Belichick calls Edelman “the epitome of competitiveness, toughness, and the great things that are possible when someone is determined to achieve their goals.”
Driven: From Homeless to Hero, My Journeys On and Off Lambeau Field by Donald Driver
There are many names to describe Donald Driver, entrepreneur, philanthropist, champion, and investor, with noteworthy stats as the all-time leading receiver for the Green Bay Packers. But he didn’t start his career being this aspirational. Driver struggled to survive at a young age, facing homelessness and crime with his mother and brother. This all changed when he started playing football in high school and was drafted into the NFL in 1999. Across his astounding 14-season career with the Packers, he became a 5-time Pro Bowl all-star and won the Super Bowl in 2011. Driver’s memoir will inspire readers as he serves as living proof that it is possible to overcome the odds.
Sapp Attack: My Story by Warren Sapp
NFL fans know a solid defensive line is crucial to a team’s success. Warren Sapp played an important role as a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading them to their first Super Bowl win in 2003. He was just a college senior when he was drafted into the NFL in 1995; the rest was history. Critics deem Sapp’s memoir a “must-read” because it details his stunning 13-season career and award-winning athletic ability with a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to play against legendary players of the NFL. His story is hilarious, entertaining, and honest, showing readers a side of the NFL they’ve never seen before.
Swagger: Super Bowls, Brass Balls, and Footballs by Jimmy Johnson
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra,” famous words by Jimmy Johnson, the NFL coach for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins in the 1990s. Johnson’s coaching abilities are nothing short of impressive. He took a lackluster Cowboys team from a losing streak to Super Bowl champions twice in five seasons. Johnson’s memoir breaks through his tough exterior and reveals an emotional side, shedding light on his struggles with his mother’s death and his son’s drug addiction. It also discloses his turbulent relationship with Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones while highlighting victories of being one of the six NFL coaches to win back-to-back Super Bowl championships.
Go Long! My Journey Beyond the Game and the Fame by Jerry Rice
Jerry Rice sets the example of an illustrious career in the NFL. He made his mark in NFL history as the only wide receiver to play 20 seasons. Rice’s spectacular stats earned him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame from rushing 1,000 yards for 11 consecutive seasons to double-digit touchdown totals for nine seasons. His memoir explains how he went from being a bricklayer’s son in small-town Mississippi to Super Bowl MVP. It also provides readers with his tools for success, detailing how this 3-time Super Bowl Champion used self-motivation and determination to be the Hall of Famer he is today.
The Bus: My Life in and out of a Helmet by Jerome Bettis
Nicknamed “The Bus,” running back Jerome Bettis was a force to be reckoned with on the field. He spent his 13-season NFL career racking up monumental stats like rushing 200 yards in a game and gaining 1,429 yards during his rookie season, earning him the title Rookie of the Year in 1993. He obtained numerous accolades throughout his career, including six-time Pro Bowler, NFL Man of the Year, NFL Comeback of the Year, and Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006. Bettis describes the gruesome reality of playing football while highlighting the business tactics he employed to become an NFL legend. Bettis’ motivational memoir tells the story of how childhood dreams really do come true.
All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters by Joe Namath
There’s no argument that Joe Namath is an NFL legend, becoming the first quarterback to earn more than 4,000 passing yards in one season in 1967. He led the New York Jets to their only victory in Super Bowl III with one of the biggest upsets in NFL history. Namath’s book describes how life was different in the 60s, with society and politics experiencing a shift. His rise to fame was challenging to navigate because of his battles with addiction. He gives fans an honest look into his life in four quarters revolving around football championships, being a celebrity, fatherhood, and facing his mortality. No matter the odds, Joe Namath proved that he could overcome any obstacle as long as he believed.
I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory by Ray Lewis
Ray Lewis is considered one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history, with stellar career highlights like 12 Pro Bowl appearances and Super Bowl MVP. Ray Lewis spent his 17-season career with the Baltimore Ravens breaking franchise records with 2,643 career tackles and 225 stops in a single season. This Pro Football Hall of Famer’s memoir speaks the truth about the obstacles he faced on and off the field, from a troublesome childhood to nearly career-ending events. 2-time Super Bowl champion turned bestselling author Lewis hopes his book will motivate readers to find the courage to pursue their dreams and never give up.