10 best Football Short Stories
Football forms the heart and soul of the American dream with its need for absolute skill, speed, strength, endurance, stamina and intelligence. It is the peak combination of athleticism and true skill. So it is to no one’s surprise that there have been many short stories written about Football or written by those who love Football!
These Football short stories discuss endless hours of about what happens on the football field, describes countless hours of rigorous and painful training, great players or football legends talking about the finer aspects of Football. Many short stories on Football talk about the growth and the meteoric rise of NFL players or football teams which dominated the landscape, stories about teams which changed the nature of Football itself, stories about teams who won against all odds.
In this blog, we will be going through a collection of Football short stories which describe with greater detail on those events and players who changed the nature of Football and made it what it is today!
Short Stories about Football
Ok, without much further ado, I’d like to start off with my absolute five favorite short stories about football and these will explain to the reader why it is such a beautiful game! 10 best football short stories, here we come!!
Similarly if you want to read about some of the best baseball stories, you can look at this blog here.
Game Plan –authored by Don Delillo
“Game Plan” is a short story by Don DeLillo that explores themes of family, masculinity, and the American obsession with sports. The story is narrated by a man who is reflecting on a day from his childhood when he and his father attended a New York Giants football game.
Throughout the story, the narrator reflects on his relationship with his father, and how it was defined by their shared love of sports. He also contemplates the ways in which his own masculinity was shaped by his father’s ideals of strength and stoicism, and how these ideals were reinforced by the culture of sports fandom.
As the story progresses, the narrator begins to see the flaws in his father’s approach to life, and to question the value of the values he was taught as a child. He recognizes the limitations of sports as a means of defining oneself, and the danger of using sports as a way to avoid confronting deeper issues.
DeLillo’s writing is evocative and powerful, capturing the complexities of family relationships and the struggles of growing up. “Game Plan” is a thought-provoking story that challenges readers to reflect on the role that sports and masculinity play in our lives, and the ways in which these cultural values can both empower and limit us.
The bowl – author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Bowl” is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald that explores the theme of social class and the illusions of wealth and privilege. The story takes place in a fictional elite university, where a group of wealthy students gather to attend a football game and celebrate their status and wealth.
The protagonist, John, is a working-class student who is invited to attend the game and the after-party at the exclusive “Bowl” club. John is initially thrilled by the opportunity to mix with the wealthy elite, but as the night progresses, he begins to see through the façade of privilege and recognize the emptiness and superficiality of their lifestyle.
Fitzgerald’s writing is poignant and evocative, capturing the nuances of social class and the power dynamics that shape our lives. He exposes the illusions of wealth and privilege, and the ways in which they can both empower and trap those who possess them.
Through John’s experiences, Fitzgerald challenges readers to question their own assumptions about wealth and privilege, and to recognize the inherent inequalities that exist within our society. “The Bowl” is a timeless story that remains relevant today, as we continue to grapple with issues of inequality and social justice.
Coach by Mary Robison
“Coach” is a short story by Mary Robison that explores the complexities of relationships and the challenges of communication. The story centers around a woman named Mary, who is struggling to connect with her husband and her son, both of whom are obsessed with football.
Mary’s husband is a football coach, and her son is a talented player on his high school team. As the football season progresses, Mary finds herself increasingly isolated and frustrated, unable to connect with her family or find a sense of purpose in her own life.
Robison’s writing is spare and understated, capturing the subtle nuances of human emotion and the complexities of family relationships. She explores the ways in which our passions and obsessions can both bring us together and tear us apart, and the importance of communication and understanding in forging meaningful connections with others.
Through Mary’s struggles, Robison challenges readers to reflect on the importance of empathy and compassion, and the power of human connection to overcome even the most challenging of circumstances. “Coach” is a powerful story that speaks to the universal struggles of the human experience, and the enduring power of love and understanding to transform our lives.
The Eighty yard run – authored by Irwin Shaw
“The Eighty Yard Run” is a short story by Irwin Shaw that explores the themes of regret, nostalgia, and the fleeting nature of fame. The story follows Christian Darling, a former football star who is now in his mid-thirties and struggling to come to terms with the trajectory of his life.
As Darling reflects on his past, he remembers a pivotal moment in his football career: an eighty-yard run that propelled him to fame and success. However, as he looks back on that moment, he realizes that it was ultimately hollow and unsatisfying, and that his pursuit of fame and success came at a great cost.
Shaw’s writing is rich and evocative, capturing the complexities of human emotion and the bittersweet nature of nostalgia. He explores the ways in which our past experiences shape our present lives, and the challenges of reconciling our hopes and dreams with the realities of our circumstances.
Through Darling’s struggles, Shaw challenges readers to reflect on their own experiences of regret and nostalgia, and to consider the importance of finding meaning and fulfillment in our lives beyond the pursuit of fame and success. “The Eighty Yard Run” is a timeless story that speaks to the enduring human desire for meaning and purpose, and the importance of embracing the fleeting moments of joy and connection that make life worth living.
In Football Season – Authored by John Updike
“In Football Season” is a short story by John Updike that explores the themes of identity, masculinity, and the complexities of human relationships. The story follows a father and son as they attend a football game together, navigating the fraught terrain of their relationship and the wider social and cultural forces that shape their lives.
As they watch the game, the father reflects on his own experiences as a young man, and the ways in which football served as a conduit for his own hopes and dreams. However, he also recognizes the ways in which his own identity was shaped and limited by societal expectations of masculinity and success.
Updike’s writing is insightful and introspective, capturing the subtle nuances of human emotion and the complex interplay of personal and societal forces that shape our lives. He explores the ways in which our relationships with our fathers can both inform and complicate our own sense of self, and the challenges of navigating the competing demands of family, society, and personal ambition.
Through the father’s reflections, Updike challenges readers to reflect on their own experiences of identity and masculinity, and the ways in which societal expectations can both enable and constrain our personal growth and development. “In Football Season” is a powerful story that speaks to the universal struggles of the human experience, and the importance of empathy and understanding in forging meaningful connections with others.
Other Football short stories
We’ve gone through so many football short stories but I’d be remiss if I did not mention these below. Here are some of the other longer notable football stories:
- “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis
- “Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream” by H.G. Bissinger
- “North Dallas Forty” by Peter Gent
- “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach
- “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain
- “The Last Shot: A Season Like No Other” by Darcy Frey
- “End Zone” by Don DeLillo
- “Against the Grain” by Bill Courtney
- “The Longest Yard” by Frank Gilbreth Jr.
- “Football Genius” by Tim Green
These stories explore a wide range of football-related themes, including the sport’s cultural significance, its impact on personal identity, and the complex relationships between players, coaches, and fans. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or simply interested in exploring the nuances of the human experience, there is sure to be a football story that speaks to you.