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43 Days to Football: Football Outsiders Almanac

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Most weekdays from now until the Packers and Seahawks kick off on September 4th, The Big Lead will detail one reason we are excited for football season to begin. Including today, we’re 36 days away from NCAA and 43 from NFL.

The Football Outsiders Almanac is here. Full disclosure, I am a contributor this year, as I wrote the Arizona and San Francisco team chapters. But don’t let that discourage you. There are plenty of quality writers who have contributed in addition to the current Football Outsiders staff, including alums Doug Farrar (now of Sports Illustrated) and Mike Tanier (Sports on Earth), Chase Stuart of Football Perspective, and Christopher Price of WEEI.

This publication is one of the reasons to look forward to the NFL season, and your week of productivity has officially been ruined. Before I ever wrote about football, I was working in an office, commenting on Football Outsiders articles back in 2003, under the name “Falco Sparverius.” Back in 2005, it was called the “Pro Football Prospectus” and one had to wait until it came to your local bookstore. I used to wear out the clerks at Barnes & Noble. Since 2009, it has been published under the name “Football Outsiders Almanac.”

Set aside all the writing, where each team is given in-depth treatment and the jokes occasionally work. My favorite part is all the info packed in it, from things like strategic tendencies and who lines up in what formations. The 49ers, for example, lined up in 2 back, 2 tight end on 26% of all offensive snaps, which is pretty incredible and shows just how limited the receiving group was a year ago. If you want to see strategic tendencies like how often teams blitzed or ran the ball in the first half, well, there goes another week.

It’s always jam-packed with nuggets and comes at the perfect time, so get ready for the season by reading 500 pages full of football info. Like you were going to work next week anyway.

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