Book Review: Football Outsiders Almanac 2013
Of all the things I struggle with on this site, the hardest may be the concept of writing a “review” of a book I co-wrote, and in whose sales I have a pecuniary interest. Football Outsiders Almanac 2013 is the ninth and latest annual installment of the season preview done by the folks at Football Outsiders, and the fourth volume of which I’ve been a co-author.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m unbiased, but I stand by what I said last year: FOA completely blows away those season preview magazines you see at your favorite periodical retail establishment and is worth more than all of them put together. Instead of two or three pages most of which was probably written before the draft, you get an in-depth essay, detailed unit comments, and player comments on individual “skill position” players covering both Football Outsiders’ advanced statistics and perspective from spending hours of time actually watching the games to provide context to the stats.
For this year’s book, I went back to my home stomping grounds of the AFC South and wrote the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans content, as well as the Arizona Cardinals essay (though not the Cardinals player comments). I’m not sure I managed to write my first great FOA chapter this year, but that’s a question best answered by other people. I’m still not as funny as Mike Tanier.
I reviewed prior editions of the annual before I became involved in writing it. The review of Pro Football Prospectus 2008 is probably still the most useful. The current edition includes more college content, including capsule previews for every BCS team and the (likeliest to be) most important non-BCS teams and projections, though unfortunately this year’s FOA does not contain any original research essays.
Football Outsiders Almanac 2013 is available on Amazon in hard copy format and as a PDF at the Football Outsiders store. The PDF is cheaper and looks great on my iPad. We changed the design a bit this year and I haven’t received my physical book yet; expect it to look more like PFP (taller, fewer pages) than FOA (squatty, more pages).
Disclosure: As a co-author, I received a free copy of the PDF version of the book and, as noted in the post, have a pecuniary interest in sales of the book.