Sid Gillman

To the average football fan in 2016 the name Sid Gillman means nothing. And that is a shame. Sid Gillman the “father of the passing game” should be more well-known to the everyday fan like Vince Lombardi or Paul Brown but sadly, he’s not.

Growing up in the 90’s and the early 2000’s I found my way to Gillman by watching old Chargers games featuring John Hadl and Lance Alworth. It was Gillman who revolutionized the vertical passing game with one of the greatest leapers of all-time in Alworth, but he is rarely talked about by those football fans who recall the old days.

There are many reasons for this, and that is why I encourage you to read one of the greatest biographies I have read in my life, “Sid Gillman: Father of the Passing Game” by Josh Katzowitz. Katzowitz beautifully details Gillman’s entire life— explaining why he is not only a true innovator and how his breakthroughs in the 1950’s still ring true today, but why he is not more widely known.

Has your favorite NFL team ever scored on a seam route down the middle of the field? You can thank Gillman for that. Does your team have a tight end who does more than block? Yep, that’s Gillman. Sid was the first coach to breakdown game film and did so for the pure enjoyment of the game before needing it to beat his opponents…but he did that too.

His coaching tree is equal to, if not the single greatest in football. Names like Chuck Knoll, Al Davis, John Madden, Don Coryell, Dick Vermeil, Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs, Bum Phillips and John Fox coached under or were influenced greatly by Gillman directly. And the list could go on and on.

If you consider yourself a true football fan or just enjoy learning the history of the game millions of Americans love, do yourself a favor pick up this book, or do a google search on one the greatest coaches ever.

 

 

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