Matt Waldman’s Reads LIstens Views is back in a slightly new form. This post is devoted to recommended reads of the week.
If you’re new to the Rookie Scouting Portfolio blog, welcome. For years, I used to post links to pieces that I’ve found personally compelling or to content I hope will eventually scratch that itch when I get around to reading it.
After a two-year break, Reads Listens Views returns. You may not like everything listed here, but you’re bound to like something.
All The Pieces Matter by Jonathan Abrams: If you haven’t watched David Simon’s television series “The Wire,” you’re missing one of the best television shows ever made. The show is a visual novel about the city of Baltimore and the people who live and work there. The Wire is filled with extraordinarily complex and real characters who are beautifully and heartbreakingly flawed.
There are colleges devoting classroom time to this show — as they should. Abrams’ book covers the writers, actors, directors, and producers who made this extraordinary work of art. If you love television, writing, or you create or produce content, Abrams’ book is almost as good as the series. If you don’t have serious admiration for Simon by the time you finish this book, you’ll need to read it again.
From Headset To Helmet: Coaching the R4 Expert System by Darrin Slack and Dub Maddox: This is the second time I’ve read this book and I’ll probably have another 3-4 more reading within the next 12-24 months. R4 is an offensive football system that helps you identify the necessary information about any defense, accelerate your ability to find viable solutions, and maintain an aggressive offensive mindset while streamlining the quarterback’s decision-making tree on every play. R4 works with any offensive system and it’s a good way to learn about defensive coverage, the route tree, option routes, pass protection, and the fundamental offensive concepts we see at every level of football.
Adapt or Die by Dub Maddox: The newest book on the R4 system that focuses on receiver releases, route techniques, creating plays within a play, and creating an adaptable scheme. I’m looking forward to reading.
This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins: If you want to learn about people and understand the conflicts in our country, a history book may give you a timeline of events and carefully researched information. However, it won’t tell you their depth of feeling, why they feel that way, and how their emotional life impacts their outlook on the world. As many of us have learned during our ongoing education, people make decisions based on feelings rather than facts. It means one of the best ways to understand the world around us is one-on-one time with a person willing to share intimate details of their life. While no individual is completely representative of a group, if you give that individual the same respect you’d give a friend, it will help you see the world around you with a wiser perspective. This is one of those books that will help on that path.