The waiting is the hardest part.

For anyone who is also short of patience while we await the start of the next NFL season, I thought I’d take a few minutes to recommend some methadone.

Book: A Few Seconds of Panic, by Stefan Fastis

Part journal, part instructive, and part narrative. Fatsis describes his desire and efforts to pursue an NFL kicking career (beginning when he’s 42), his preseason training experiences with the Denver Broncos, and some of the inner workings of the NFL in general. I learned so much about the culture of the sport, and the way the players relate to each other and their jobs. My only complaint about this book is that Fatsis was in Denver during the post-Elway, pre-Tebow unremarkable years of Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler: As a result, there was little mention of players that were interesting or relevant to me. Still, a great read.

Podcast: Inside the Huddle

This is the UK’s official NFL site and podcast. In consecutive weeks in July they had Ray Lewis, Greg Jennings and Bob Kraft on for interviews. Their commentary is insightful and interesting, with one caveat: If you don’t care even a little bit about the possible future of the NFL in the UK, then 15-35% of each episode will be a waste of your time.

Movies: Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29

If you haven’t seen this yet, you should. It’s probably the best sports documentary I’ve ever seen. The story comes with all kinds of built-inĀ villainsĀ and heros, important historical context and incidental humor. Ironically, the guy in the movie with the most lifetime hours in front of a camera is the least interesting and charismatic of all of them.

TV: Friday Night Lights

Seriously. I love this show so much, I don’t even know how to recommend it. Although football is more of the context than the narrative, it definitely scratches the itch for well-edited football action.

Anyone have anything to add?