Cover image for Do you love football?! : winning with heart, passion, and not much sleep
Do you love football?! : winning with heart, passion, and not much sleep
Gruden, Jon.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2003]

Physical Description:
viii, 246 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV939.G78 D63 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
GV939.G78 D63 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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"I'm not a scratch golfer. I don't know how to bowl. I can't read the stock market. Hell, I have a hard time remembering my wife's cell phone number. But I can call 'Flip Right Double X Jet 36 Counter Naked Waggle at 7 X Quarter' in my sleep."

Sleep? Well, Jon Gruden doesn't sleep much. Driven by a never-ending quest to learn and achieve, the NFL's hottest coach -- and youngest ever to win the Super Bowl -- gives readers field-level access to the heart, passion, and principles that have carried him on the wild ride to the top of his profession.

Winning is in Gruden's blood. The son of a football lifer, he followed his dad to various programs, including Indiana, where he was a ball boy to Bobby Knight's Hoosiers, and to Notre Dame, where he had an insider's view of Dan Devine's Fighting Irish. Watching them inspired him so that when he realized his hands were too small to be a pro football player, this Division III quarterback decided he'd coach. Insanely detail oriented, he practiced drawing circles, thousands of them, so that he could chart plays perfectly.

Still, Jon couldn't tell the difference between a three-technique and a five-technique. That drove him to work even harder, though, and he would pick up the fundamentals from top-notch college programs that would prepare him to work in the birthplace of the West Coast offense, San Francisco, for the start of what he viewed as the NFL version of a Harvard education.

It was there -- under the tutelage of Mike Holmgren, brilliant offensive-line guru Bobb McKittrick, and George Seifert -- that Jon's philosophy of composing a championship offense and a championship organization was forged. Working closely with a frustrated Steve Young, Gruden looked on as Montana and Rice exploded onto the scene. There, Gruden also met defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes. When Rhodes left for the Eagles to be head coach, he took Gruden with him as offensive coordinator. At thirty-one, he designed an offense that became one of the most prolific in the NFL.

After three seasons came Al Davis, the legendary owner of the Oakland Raiders. Finally, at thirty-four, Gruden was a head coach. There he turned a 4-12 franchise into a Super Bowl contender, turning journeyman Rich Gannon into a Pro Bowl quarterback and working with such legendary players as Jerry Rice and Tim Brown -- all while being the youngest coach in the NFL.

After four successful seasons with the Raiders, the unexpected happened: Gruden was "traded" to the Tampa Bay Bucs for four top-round draft picks and $8 million cash. Dealing with incredibly high expectations, Gruden guided a team that had always made it to the playoffs but didn't have the wherewithal to win the Super Bowl. How he accomplished this feat is yet another remarkable aspect to his incredible story.

If you want to know what it takes to win, if you want to know the difference between a veer and a loop scheme, if you want to know how a leading-edge coach prepares for a game and have insight into the millions of thoughts that stream through his mind on game day, if you want to know what it's like to be the NFL's hottest coach, if when someone asks, "Do you love football?" -- and the answer is yes, then this book is for you.

Author Notes

Jon Gruden lives with his wife and three sons in Tampa, Florida. Vic Carucci is the national editor for In twenty-five seasons of covering the NFL, he has won numerous writing awards and is a past president of the Professional Football Writers of America
Vic Carucci has cowritten a number of autobiographies

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Just another book by a football coach about winning and hard work? Hardly. Gruden's story is different for two reasons: First, at 39, he was the youngest head coach to ever win a Super Bowl. Second, prior to that triumphant year, he was traded--yes, traded--from Oakland to Tampa Bay in an unprecedented move worth four draft picks and millions of dollars. So there he was, in front of the Buccaneers, who barely had a chance to say good-bye to their beloved ex-coach Tony Dungy. Talk about expectations! Gruden met the challenge by winning the 2003 Super Bowl (Tampa Bay's opponent? Oakland, of course). Gruden, aka Chucky for his scowl, which brings to mind the horror-movie doll, takes us with him on a romp through his past, starting with how his dad, also a coach, instilled in him the love of football and extending through his playing days and rapid rise as a coach. Gruden has lived life like he coaches: there's no sense being there if you don't give it your all. --Mary Frances Wilkens Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gruden traces his transformation from pigskin letdown as a player to gridiron triumph as a Super Bowl-winning coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He avoids charges of nepotism (his father was a successful coach and trainer in his own right) simply by chronicling his own determination. He devotes a good deal of space to the importance of assembling highlight reels for the team to study-and captures all the wacky vocabulary of offensive and defensive plays, "Waggle Right Double Out Waggle Right Drag Hook" being just one of many. Gruden gleans wisdom from the colorful likes of Bobby Knight, Bill Walsh and other legendary coaches with whom he has worked. Players, too, are sketched vividly and personally-from Steve Young and Joe Montana to Randall Cunningham and Ricky Watters. It's not often that one reads about what it's like for a gifted QB like Young to have to just cheer on while another gifted QB like Montana leads a team to glory. But it's Gruden's own portrait that emerges most sharply: he's the scrappy private who almost imperceptibly becomes field commander. An insomniac who has the face of "Chucky," he's also funny and self-deprecating, telling such stories as George Seifert balling him out for sharpening the famed 49ers coach's playwriting pencils. The point of it all is that football isn't about winning, but about learning how to win. B&w photos. (Sept.) Forecast: The timing with the beginning of the football season couldn't be better. How his team performs before and during the book's rollout may also have an impact. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Do You Love Football?! Winning with Heart, Passion, and Not Much Sleep Chapter One "Do You Love Football?" As far back as I can remember, I've lived and died on every game day. I don't think I can ever recall a time when football -- in one form or another -- didn't have a major influence on everything I thought, everything I said, everything I did. High school. College. Pro. Our family was moving around with each coaching job my dad held at all three levels. Or I was playing quarterback in high school. Or I was hoping to see the field as a college quarterback. Or I was changing coaching jobs myself in a never-ending quest for knowledge and improvement. Football really is all I know. Other than going to the beach once in a while and watching the waves, it's really the only interest I have outside of my wife and our three boys. I'm not a scratch golfer. I don't know how to bowl. I can't read the stock market. Hell, I have a hard time remembering my wife's cell phone number. But I can call, "Flip Right Double X Jet 36 Counter Naked Waggle at 7 X Quarter" in my sleep. I love the competition of the game. I love the players who play it. I love the strategy, the variables. I love the smell of the grass, the sound of the stadium. I love the thrill of victory. I like to see how we respond to the adversity that a loss brings and to the sudden changes that we have to deal with, whether it's a fumble, an interception, a fifteen-yard penalty, or something worse, like our right tackle suffering a broken ankle. What's the weather going to be like? What kind of crowd will we have? Football is the ultimate team game. There are just so many people who play a role. There are trainers, managers, coaches, players, fans, media. It's just so exciting. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to see it at such close range for so long. The game day experience is what really gets me juiced. I'm up at 3:17 A.M. most days, and that includes the morning of a game. Home or away, we stay at a hotel the night before, and I'm always waiting for the newspaper guy to make his delivery to my room at five-thirty. At breakfast I'm waiting for the eggs to come out, even though I don't eat very much. If we're on the road I'm waiting for the first bus to the stadium to arrive at the hotel (for home games I usually catch a ride with Bill Muir, our offensive coordinator and line coach). Once I'm at the stadium I sit at my locker and for the next three, four or five hours before kickoff I go over my sideline sheet, which contains the offensive game plan, minus the diagrams. We probably carry about 125 passes and maybe 30 runs into each game, but the typeface on the sideline sheet has been reduced small enough so that they all fit on both sides of an eight-and-a-half-by-eighteen-inch piece of paper that I laminate and can refer to while I'm calling the plays from the sideline. I have columns for different situations -- first-and-ten, first-and-fifteen, second-and-one-to-five, second-and-six-to-nine, second-and- ten-plus, third-and-short (one to three yards), third-and-medium (four to six yards), third-and-long (seven to ten yards), third-and-extra (beyond ten yards) -- and the calls I can make in each of them. I have columns for different spots on the field, such as the "red zone," which I break down into plus-five, plus-ten, plus-fifteen and plus-twenty, with five or ten runs and passes in each. I have columns for goal line, short yardage, play passes, nickel passes, nickel runs, nickel blitzes, Cover Nine (our term for two-deep zone). I might even have a Keyshawn Johnson column, and at some point I'll look down at it and say, "I've got to get him involved. I've got to get him going." Okay, okay, I've got to get him the damn ball. I prioritize the calls that I've gone over with the staff and the quarterbacks the night before the game, but when I get to the stadium I say to myself, Okay, what if I use number one? What if I use number two? Do I really like number three? What if they start playing a lot of Cover Nine? Do I have enough Cover Nine throws in the game plan? I'll make notes to myself on the sideline sheet, which also has the first names and numbers of each of the officials (just in case I have any reason to have a nice chat with them during the game) and the names of three of the most important people in my life -- my sons, Deuce, Michael and Jayson. I'm usually feeling pretty guilty late in the week when I'm at the office working on the game plan instead of being home with those guys and my wife, Cindy. Seeing their names helps me to maintain a little sense of balance when I need it the most, such as in the middle of a game when the running battle between your head and your heart can easily tilt you too much in one direction or another. I take different colored Sharpie fine-point pens -- red, blue, green and black -- and use certain colors to highlight sections of the sideline sheet and to write notes. Using these colors is the only thing I'm superstitious about. I'll say, "Ah, the green pen's in a slump; I'm getting it out of here. I'm using black and red this week." If we kick somebody's ass, if we play a really good game, I'll say, "I'm going to stay with red for the next couple of games. Red's hot." It's silly, I know, but you don't want to mess with the mojo. Do You Love Football?! Winning with Heart, Passion, and Not Much Sleep . Copyright © by Jon Gruden. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Do You Love Football?!: Winning with Heart, Passion, and Not Much Sleep by Jon Gruden, Vic Carucci All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

1 "Do You Love Football?"p. 1
2 Doing It the Knight Wayp. 15
3 Notre Dame, Dan Devine, and the Best and Worst of Witnessing Greatness from the Insidep. 25
4 If You Can't Throw the Perfect Pass, Draw the Perfect Circlep. 39
5 Whether You're Cutting Film or Cutting a Rug, You Can't Volunteer Too Much for Knowledgep. 55
6 Finding Harvard in San Franciscop. 81
7 When Opportunity Calls, You Answer on the First Ringp. 107
8 "Boy Wonder or Boy Blunder?"p. 137
9 If the Head Coaching Jacket Fits, Wear Itp. 165
10 Who's Chucky?p. 177
11 Changing Teams Doesn't Mean Changing Expectationsp. 197
12 Validationp. 217
Acknowledgmentsp. 245