Picks and Pans Review: Portrait of a Season

UPDATED 09/28/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/28/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT

by the National Football League

The NFL's history is chronicled in much more detail than that of most countries. This is an almost play-by-play record of the 1980 season, including statistics, many photographs (a lot of them full-page or two-page shots in color) and summaries of all regular season and play-off games. Not all the pictures warrant such lavish display; maybe pro football doesn't either. But it's probably safe to assume a lot of people are interested in, say, how many points the Houston Oilers scored in the fourth quarter on Nov. 23 against the New York Jets—28 (they lost anyway, 31-28). And the wrap-up sections, by four newspaper sportswriters, are refreshingly irreverent. The best line is quoted by Ray Didinger of the Philadelphia Daily News. Tampa Bay coach John McKay was asked after a tough loss, "What about your team's execution?" His reply: "I'm in favor of it." (New American Library, $24.95)

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