Field generals throw back-shoulder passes to vertical threats, working off the bump and run. Penalties were originally signaled by horns, not flags. Tailbacks follow the big uglies to paydirt for a touchdown.
Football is a sport with its own lingo and jargon – a colorful patois that’s developed over the years and millions of games, college and pro, with today’s broadcasters developing their own descriptions of America’s Game. In The Football Thesaurus, a fascinating compendium of football terms, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler – broadcaster, storyteller, talker, voice – explains what football terms mean and how they came to be. Whether it’s a discussion of how Doug Plank was the inspiration for Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense or why legendary Chicago Bears owner/coach George Halas referred to a football as a cantaloupe, Goldberg-Strassler’s book succeeds both as a football reference and a history of the game.
“Football is the country’s favorite sport, the heartbeat of most every town, community, and metropolis,” Goldberg-Strassler says. “We watch it, we breathe it, and — above all else — we talk it. The Football Thesaurus is filled with all the ways the game is talked, from the casual jargon of the armchair quarterback to the barking cadence of the signal-caller in the shotgun.”
The Football Thesaurus comes from the author of The Baseball Thesaurus. The Baseball Thesaurus has been an Amazon bestseller and is currently in a second edition.
“We’re very proud of the work Jesse has done for us,” says publisher Kevin Reichard. “The Football Thesaurus is a very worthy successor to The Baseball Thesaurus: it’s a absorbing account both of the language of football and the history of the game. No matter if you’re a fan trying to figure out the game or a veteran who can recall the first play of the second half of the third Super Bowl, you’ll find The Football Thesaurus to be a fascinating read.”
Professionals in the sport agree:
“Sports fans have their own unique language. The Football Thesaurus delves into the terms that have helped turn football into America’s Game. I’ve always been fascinated by the words used to describe the action on the field, Jesse not only provides the terminology but also the context. A terrific resource that will be a part of my preparation for every new season.” – Ian Eagle, broadcaster, CBS Sports
“A fabulous read, whether as a refresher for the die-hard fan, a scroll for the football historian, or as a foundation to learn about the game itself. Jesse hits many of the fine points that make the game unique. I imagine if aliens ever came down and asked what football is, I’d give them this text and then slowly back away, cowering in fear.” – Adam Amin, broadcaster, ESPN
“For the casual fan, The Football Thesaurus weaves the basic concepts of the game with entertaining stories from Army’s Lonely End to Michigan State’s Little Giants,” Goldberg-Strassler says. “For the 12th Man, the Thesaurus collects every type of technique and play imaginable, sharing how to differentiate between a stalk and a trap block, a jet and an orbit sweep, and a flare and a banana route.”