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If you’re a big sports fanatic, you know how important it is to read and analyze the games you follow and understand the history, social climate, politics, and physics of the events. Below are the top 5 books David Ariagno suggests to beef up on your sports knowledge.

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein

Why do African nations tend to dominate running? What do scouts look for when they’re hunting for the next great infielder? Why do swimmers’ bodies look like that? If you’ve ever pondered the old nature vs nurture question about who becomes great athletes and why, this is the book for you. David Epstein brings the readers through an explanation of the genetic, cultural, and learned traits that set certain athletes apart.

Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Having been adapted into a box office hit starring Will Smith, Concussion is the story of the brain damage that NFL players sustain during games and the great lengths the League went to cover up their culpability in the difficulty these players faced once they retired. Nigerian forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu discovered the kinds of issues caused by prolonged head trauma and risked his reputation to hold the NFL accountable.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

A staple of the sports book genre, Moneyball tells the story of how the Oakland A’s, with a tiny budget and failing franchise, changed the game of baseball forever. Manager Billy Beane took a whole new approach to winning the game: statistics. After months and months of pouring through stats, Beane and his team discovered some new strategies in how to select new team members and win games.

Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H. G. Bissinger

Pulitzer-prize winning author H. G. Bissinger followed a high school football team out of Odessa, Texas, as they embarked on a journey to the Texas State Championships. While the book’s main focus is the football team, Bissinger wanted to put on display the role of high school football within the context of rural America.

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The ultimate underdog — or under horse — story, Seabiscuit weaves the tale of how a crooked-legged racehorse got more press coverage than the president of the United States! An unlikely team of misfits and their silly-looking horse combine their random assortment of talents to overcome every obstacle and race America’s new favorite horse.