Without live sports on television and only so many documentaries to watch while you wait for the next installment of The Last Dance, we’re here to help.
Not only are we at Oregon Sports News spotlighting 10 sports books relevant to the Pacific Northwest, we’re showing how to find them while supporting Portland bookstore Powell’s and its workers.
By using this link here to make your next book purchase, you’re not only buying local, you’re giving 7.5 percent of your payment directly to the worker relief fund.
We’re at a point in our lives where we not only need to find things to do with our time, we need to help each other whenever and however we can. If it’s within your means to purchase non-essential items, and if you’re looking for a new book to recapture the feeling sports can give, here are 10 choices found on the Powell’s website.
Tales From The Oregon Ducks Sideline
By Brian Libby
As much as I’d like to wax poetic about my feelings toward the University of Oregon and the stories I’d love to read, I’ll let the Powell’s Publisher Comments do the talking:
“Dan Fouts, Joey Harrington, Kenny Wheaton, Bill Musgrave, Rich Brooks, and others are among the former players and coaches who provided stories, anecdotes, tales, and perspective about the Ducks that makes for truly interesting reading for all Oregon fans. Off-the-field stories, such as the team’s much-talked-about uniform designs by Nike, are also part of this first-of-a-kind book about Oregon Ducks football.”
Need I say more?
Oregon State University Football Vault: The History of the Beavers
By Kerry Eggers
If Ducks aren’t your flavor, author Kerry Eggers gives us a look 45 minutes down the way at the history of the Oregon State Beavers in a way few, if any, have ever given before. This one looks to present itself as a great coffee table book and one that breaks down the program’s rise throughout the decades.
Eggers also has a book on the Civil War rivalry for those on both sides of the coin.
Game On! How Women’s Basketball Took Seattle by Storm
By Jayda Evans
Women’s basketball is approaching new heights. Modern-day media, although still in need of vast, substantial improvement, is giving the WNBA and the women’s collegiate game more of the attention it has long deserved. And really, more than anything else, there’s a new energy among basketball fans to watch, support and above all else appreciate the game we love and the women who make it worth watching.
But to understand where the sport is going, you must understand where it’s been. This story by Jayda Evans looks at women’s basketball in Seattle through three main perspectives within the organization. Per the Powell’s synopsis: “Set against a backdrop of male chauvinism, racism, and homophobia, Game On! is an inside look at this much-misunderstood sport.”
Portland Trail Blazers Media Guides
This one falls into a different category, but it’s worth showcasing nonetheless. As of this writing, there are three different Portland Trail Blazers media guides in stock: 1986-87, 1988-89, 1994-95.
In addition to these three, Powell’s shows 10 available to review spanning four decades.
It’s not every day you get your hands on what the team hands out to the media, but considering the historic value, they’re all extremely affordable.
Jail Blazers: How the Portland Trail Blazers Became the Bad Boys of Basketball
By Kerry Eggers
The Trail Blazers’ Western Conference Finals run in 2019 was the franchise’s first since the infamous 2000 series against the Los Angeles Lakers. That 1999-00 team was the last true contender the Portland franchise had, but today, it’s better known for its Jail Blazers moniker than its shot at a title.
People have been asking for a documentary on this team for years, and not so long ago we thought HBO might be taking on that project. But while the world waits, this book gives you stories from those on and around the team in ways no other author has been able to share.
The Brandon Roy Story
By Dan Raley
Whether you’re a fan of the Portland Trail Blazers or Seattle basketball, Brandon Roy likely strikes a chord with you. His career was both brilliant and tragic, and his name won’t soon be forgotten as he continues to add to his legacy as a high school coach. But in times like today when people are revisiting their favorite old highlights on YouTube, this book dives into a deeper look at the ups and downs of his career.
Notes From a 12 Man A Truly Biased History Of The Seattle Seahawks
By Mark Turner
This title is excellent. I genuinely can’t speak for the rest of the book—I’ve never read it. But you can’t come across this title and not feature it. I’d expect a humorous take on why the Seattle Seahawks are probably the greatest football team ever created and the 12th wonder of the world. Overall, I say count me in.
Tales from the Seattle Mariners Dugout A Collection of the Greatest Mariners Stories Ever Told
By Kirby Arnold
Growing up in Portland, I didn’t have an MLB team to claim as my own. Born too late for the glorious Portland Mavericks, I grew up during the heyday of the Portland Rockies and Portland Beavers—if you can call any of their days hey-filled at all.
What I did have was a television with cable. And with that cable came access to three teams across the country: Seattle Mariners on Fox, Chicago Cubs on WGN, Atlanta Braves on TBS.
Out of the three, only Mariners stories and highlights take me back in full force. There was something about the teams I can say I grew up watching. Ken Griffey Jr. Randy Johnson. Alex Rodriguez. Jay Buhner. Edgar Martinez. Jamiey Moyer. You name it. Lou Piniella!
Even though that team never went on to win a World Series, they’ll always have a special spot in my heart. And I can also promise you this: If you don’t buy this book, like, now, I probably will.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator Of Nike
By Phil Knight
Nike. Ever heard of it? That’s because of this man right here.
Let’s be honest. Most of us will never have the chance to sit down with Phil Knight to pick his brain about the origins of his company—one of the biggest freaking companies on the planet started in the state of Oregon on the University of Oregon campus. Knight’s book goes deep into the story of Nike in ways you’ve likely never heard before.
Note that Powell’s also has a “Young Readers” edition of this book geared toward young adults.
Bowerman & the Men of Oregon The Story of Oregon’s Legendary Coach & Nikes Cofounder
By Kenny Moore
Shoe Dog has earned a lot of praise since its release in 2016, but Kenny Moore’s book Bowerman and the Men of Oregon has been on the market for 13 years now and has 4.7 stars with over 126 reviews on Amazon.
I didn’t bother going into ratings on any other book because I really believe that’s for everyone to decide themselves—how much they enjoyed a book against their own subjective expectations. And I certainly didn’t mention Amazon because this list hopefully inspires you to help out local workers the next time you choose to buy a book.
But in Amazon and in the ratings we seem to trust these days, and I want you to trust that you’re going to love this book despite it being the lesser publicized of the two final stories on our list.