Dukes of Awesome

Summer Beach Reading: Buffalo Bills Books by buckybrooks

For all the positive publicity that summer gets, we do tend to forget some of the negative points – mainly the NFL news wire slows to a pace even slower then Anthony Thomas.

So what’s there to do? Well how about the next time you hit the beach, you pick up one of the many Bills books available for reading? Not only are many of them a really interesting beach read, but it will give you something to do when those teenage female volleyball players run off to call the police because you won’t stop staring at them.

I’m fairly well read when it comes to Bills books, so let me offer you this – my guide to Bills summer reading. But first, since this is a football related blog post I’m contractually obligated to mention Brett Favre, so… Brett Favre. Good, I’m glad we got that over with.

Relentless: The Hard-Hitting History of Buffalo Bills Football
Published for the 35 year anniversary of the Buffalo Bills, you won’t find a more in depth book out there. At roughly the size of the phonebook, Relentless packs a wallop of a punch, with detailed stories and full page glossy photographs. It being nearly 15 years old now, it does come off as a little dated, and although a companion volume was issued to get us to year 40 (2000), it still misses some of the more interesting stories of recent memory. Even so, you won’t find a better book for a Bills fan.

But is it beach reading material? Sadly it is not, unless you frequently bring you set of encyclopedias to the beach. Think of it as a coffee table book. Well a coffee table book that if it got a chance, would murder every book and People magazine around it.

If this book was a player it would be: Ted Washington. Huge and dominant in every way.

Steve Tasker’s Tales from the Buffalo Bills

Steve Tasker’s take on his days in Buffalo – from his arrival to retirement. One of my favorite players of all time actually does a very good job of breaking down all of the moments of his career into short clips that are both interesting and easy to digest.

Both readable and fun, this book epitomizes a beach read. Grab it on the way to Sunset next time.

If this book was a player it would be: Steve Tasker. He did write the book after all.

Tale of the tape: A history of the Buffalo Bills from the inside

There was few people in the Bills organization that spent more time around the team then longtime trainer Eddie Abramoski. After his retirement with 40 years of service, he penned some memoriors from a behind the scenes take.

The book is interesting in the sense that it’s one of the few “inside” stories that was not written by a player. Sadly though, the book lacks the true neutrality that you’d hope from a non-player. It seems at times that Eddie is pandering to certain former Bills, and he doesn’t get into the dirt and nitty gritty that undeniably must have occurred during his time. Additionally the book does drag at times, including a chapter detailing his pigeon racing.

If this book was a player it would be: Damien Covington. Solid at times but forgettable.

Armed & Dangerous by Jim Kelly

Not much to say here, because I figure that if you are a fan of Kelly you’ve already read it (being that it’s 15 years old); and if you’re not, well odds are you aren’t placing an order to Amazon.com anytime soon.

If you haven’t read it, but were interested here’s a quick synopsis: written at a time when Jim Kelly really really loved himself, its a decent read about his life, family, and early pro days.

If this book was a player it would be: ummm, Jim Kelly? In the early 90s, no one loved Jim as much as Jim loved Jim. The only thing that loves Jim nearly as much is this book.

Legends of the Buffalo Bills

This moderately interesting read details the stories behind 40 or so players deemed to be “Legends” by author Randy Schultz. Interesting concept, but here’s the problem – all the real legends we know a ton about (you can’t tell me anything new about Jim Kelly in a 4-page chapter); and to fill the book Mr. Shultz really bended the definition of the term legend. Was Tony Greene really a “Legend”? And was Drew Bledsoe for that matter?

Read this book if you want to learn a few things about some overlooked players from Bills history. Just don’t expect to be blown away.

If this book was a player it would be: Joe Panos. Seems like it could work out well, but overall just kind of disappointing.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Buffalo Bills: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Buffalo Bills History

Ahhh, there it is – the mother of all Bills beach reads… Finally a book that has it all.

Not only does it have all the moments of the Bills’ history, both good and bad; but it is actually written from a true outsiders perspective. You want the truth about how the Flutie-Johnson affected the lockerroom? All the information about the “Bickering Bills”? It’s all here: holding back no punches and pandering to no one.

Very readable, full of great sidebars of trivia, lists, and “tidbits” – a true must read for any Bills fan. Take it to the beach, on a plane, wherever. It won’t disappoint.

If this book was a player it would be: Marv Levy. Just as Marv’s shadow is cast over any future head coach, this book should be the standard of future Bills novels. And yes, I know that Marv wasn’t a player. But work with me here.

Do you have your own favorite Bills read? Let me know in the comment box.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Marv’s book “Where Would you Rather Be?” was a pretty good read. I actually bought my girlfriend “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” for Christmas and I’m waiting to read it.

Also, I’ve been reading Michael Lewis’ The Blind Side. It’s not a Bills book, but it’s a great read for the summer.

Comment by Ryan

You bought your girlfriend a Bills book and are now waiting for her to finish it? This leads me to two divergent conclusions:

1) She’s the perfect woman and you had better get down on one knee, like, yesterday.
2) She’s lying to you and tossed the book in the garbage the minute you gave it to her. And she’s just stringing you along so as to not hurt you.

Actually, even in the second case, the fact she’s making you THINK she’s reading it is true love.


Comment by errantremark

[…] The Dukes of Awesome have a nice post about Bills books to get you through the summer. They also have an awesome poster of Jim Kelly, […]

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