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Gridiron Genius

Narrated by: Michael Lombardi
Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
Non-member price: $34.13
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Publisher's Summary

Former NFL general manager and three-time Super Bowl-winner Michael Lombardi reveals what makes football organizations tick at the championship level. From personnel to practice to game-day decisions that win titles, Lombardi shares what he learned working with coaching legends Bill Walsh of the 49ers, Al Davis of the Raiders, and Bill Belichick of the Patriots, among others, during his three decades in football.

Why do some NFL franchises dominate year after year while others can never crack the code of success? For 30 years, Michael Lombardi had a front-row seat and full access as three titans - Bill Walsh, Al Davis, and Bill Belichick - reinvented the game, turning it into a national obsession while piling up Super Bowl trophies. Now, in Gridiron Genius, Lombardi provides the blueprint that makes a successful organization click and win - and the mistakes unsuccessful organizations make that keep them on the losing side time and again. 

In reality, very few coaches understand the philosophies, attention to detail, and massive commitment that defined NFL juggernauts like the 49ers and the Patriots. The best organizations are not just employing players, they are building something bigger. Gridiron Genius will explain how the best leaders evaluate, acquire, and utilize personnel in ways other professional minds, football and otherwise, won't even contemplate. How do you know when to trade a player? How do you create a positive atmosphere when everyone is out to maximize his own paycheck? And why is the tight end like the knight on a chessboard? 

To some, game-planning consists only of designing an attack for the next opponent. But Lombardi explains how the smartest leaders script everything: from an afternoon's special-teams practice to a season's playoff run to a decade-long organizational blueprint. Listeners will delight in the Lombardi tour of an NFL weekend, including what really goes on during the game on and off the field and inside the headset. First stop: Belichick's Saturday-night staff meeting, where he announces how the game will go the next day. Spoiler alert: He always nails it.

Football dynasties are built through massive attention to detail and unwavering commitment. From how to build a team, to how to watch a game, to understanding the essential qualities of great leaders, Gridiron Genius gives football fans the knowledge to be the smartest person in the room every Sunday.

©2018 Michael Lombardi (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gridiron Genius is a FASCINATING read! Michael Lombardi provides a truly unique look at the inside workings and the exacting attention to detail that is paramount to succeed at the highest level. Michael has worked in concert and in lock step with some of the best teachers and administrators in the history of professional football. He shares true behind-the-scenes glimpses and anecdotes of the behind the scenes world of our industry." (Sean Payton, head coach, New Orleans Saints)

"Michael Lombardi got his masters in football from The Masters of football - Bill Walsh, Al Davis, Bill Belichick. Now he passes those memorable lessons on to his fortunate readers so they can receive an advanced education in coaching, personnel, management and strategy." (Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL insider and author of The Man I Never Met)

"My only criticism of Michael Lombardi's book is that I enjoyed it too much. The characters and stories were irresistible. But make no mistake, this is a very serious book. Lombardi extracts a meticulous and full-fledged blueprint for organizational excellence from a raft of hard evidence. This is a guidebook for excellence - and it applies way beyond the gridiron. Any thoughtful business leader, for example, could assemble a bundle of useful, integrated ideas that could transform organizational performance. Bravo!" (Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence)

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  • Christopher J. Burden
  • 10-10-2018

please please hire a reader for this amazing book

First let me start by saying I love listening to Mike Lombardi talk. Have been for years on the various Bill Simmons Podcast platforms. His story here is incredible and I learned a lot about both him AND the game of football that I hadn't known before.

the one major critique I would have is that his reading of the book is too uneven and choppy. I actually would rather they hire a pro to do this book than have a guy I listen to speak on a weekly basis.

having said that, the book was incredibly enjoyable and I would purchase it again even knowing about the less than ideal reading.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-02-2019

Great Book, phenomenal story and narrative

Great story line, great narrative. must read for all coaches. Good insight of how the NFL works.

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  • Ed Abrams
  • 18-01-2019

Mike is the football fan's GM

Fantastic listen! Lombardi provides an insiders look from a bird's eye view from the best run organizations in the history of the America's national sport - the NFL!

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  • Boitumelo
  • 12-01-2019

Insightful

This book has taught me to look at organizations differently and has embedded the idea off developing winning cultures.

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  • Eugene
  • 07-01-2019

Football of the mind

Michael Lombardi explains the mind game - it's breathtaking. He was on the New England Patriots coaching staff, was an executive with many NFL teams; here's his tell-all.

Despite television appearances, Lombardi's performance was passable, not excellent. Standards today for book narration are high, but the content carries this book, in my opinion.

It's about the machinations of head coaches, their professional courtesies, and how to sacrifice a pawn. Everybody wants a genius head coach; Gridiron Genius describes some consummate strategists.


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  • Daniel
  • 06-01-2019

Great for football NERDS

Love this book! Could not have been more impressed and learned so much from the strategy, mindset and process in becoming great! Great job Lombardi!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-01-2019

If you love football!

If you have love for the game of football, and want to know how great teams are built. This book is a must read! Mike does a great job in breaking down in depth what is the mind set of building a great team!

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  • Sam Etten
  • 18-12-2018

Good story

Good story but get ready for a Bill Walsh and New England Patriots love fest.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-12-2018

football junkie only

my favorite book ever... football lover's dream.. I'd definitely listen again.. this is a have to listen to book

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-2018

A+++++

Loved the book from start to finish and will definitely give it a second listen. Hard to overvalue Mr. Lombardi's lessons on leadership and systematic approach to a job
The book is not just for football fans either.

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  • M. J. Blatchford
  • 02-11-2018

Thanks Mike

Thanks Mike
As a coaching lifer (basketball mostly but also football, soccer, baseball) and a big NFL and NBA fan, I have followed Coach Lombardi since he appeared on Grantland. While not surprised by the quality of Gridiron Genius (Lombardi is a 'gotta have it' voice now on the Ringer), I was thrilled to learn so much about how the greats go about being great.
Thanks Mike
It is also fitting that Lombardi's key message is that wisdom from antiquity dominates superior thinking today.
Thanks,
Mike

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