“The Greatest Football Teams of All Time,” from Sports Illustrated Kids, 2018, Time Inc. Books, 144 pages, $19.99

You could never pass on a chance to catch the game.

Yep, the salsa is hot, the soda is cold, you’ve got your lucky jersey on, and you’re ready to watch the World’s Greatest Football Team play to win – but which one is it? A team from today, or are you a throwback kind of kid? It’s debatable, and in the new book “The Greatest Football Teams of All Time,” by Sports Illustrated Kids, you’ll have plenty of information for argument.

Everywhere you turn inside this book, you’re going to find G.O.A.T.s.

No, not the kind that eat grass; you’re going to find football G.O.A.Ts: the Greatest Of All Time, in annual team, score, achievement, fantasy league, extra league play and winnings. Is your favorite listed?

Let’s see…

Starting with the “Top 20 Single-Season NFL Teams,” the No. 1 team (according to the authors) is the 1985 Chicago Bears. Do a search of the Bears’ season, and you might find “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” a music video they made. Here, you’ll also find great stories of Walter Payton, Jim McMahon, William “Refrigerator” Perry, and the other team members who beat the Patriots 46-10 at Super Bowl XX.

It might surprise you to see that the No. 3 team under this category actually lost their Super Bowl run in 2007, and the No. 4 pick played before your parents were even born.

Moving on, what if you could create your own team? Get your picks ready, and see what Chapter Two has to say about an offense Dream Team, a defense Dream Team, “special teams” and bench players.

So let’s say that you love the NFL, but your heart is with a college team. This book has you covered, starting with the 1995 national champions. And if you’re really, really into football, then keep reading: this book also takes a look at Canadian football, other league teams, and the Independent Women’s Football League. Score!

In its opening pages, “The Greatest Football Teams of All Time” indicates that debating and football go hand-in-hand. With this book, that’s most likely true.

The categories here are rather incomplete, though, which may be disappointing from the start and an argument in itself. Rankings in each chapter, of course, are quite subjective and begging for discourse: were the Bears in ’85 really better than any other team since then, for example? Opinions matter — but before your child gets there, there’s one thing that will hamper any discussion: many of the teams listed here played so long ago that the only way children will have a frame of reference is via video… if they’re lucky. Another off-putter: a few months from now, parts of this book may be incorrect.

Most irritating: while it’s meant for children 8 and older, “The Greatest Football Teams of All Time” seems really more for die-hard, older fans who can appreciate grown-up-level words, statistics, nuance, and all aspects of comparison. So, buy this book for a good-natured teen fan who might appreciate the nostalgia — or just totally pass.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. You can reach Terri at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

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