Three new books offer various takes on football's personal and cultural effects.
Fourth Down in Dunbar: Guns, Drugs, and NFL Dreams (University Press of Florida) by David A. Dorsey is a journalist's account of how one small, crime-plagued Fort Myers neighborhood has produced a remarkable number of football stars, including Deion Sanders.
Season of Saturdays: A History of College Football in 14 Games (Scribner) by Michael Weinreb covers the game's history, starting with Rutgers beating Princeton in 1869, and also looks at social issues surrounding it, the author's personal experiences and the sport's possible future.
Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game (Penguin Press) by Mark Edmundson is a professor and cultural critic's analysis of the game through the prism of his own experience as a former high school player.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor