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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the Infernal Patriots Are So Good
If you are a fan of an NFL team, not the NE Patriots, this book is a bit of a nightmare. Want to know why they are so good so often? This is Holley's second book on the Patriots (Patriot Reign). That and, The Blueprint by Christopher Price are the best books on the topic.

Holley has updated his first book by focusing on Belichick's growing network of front...
Published on November 23, 2011 by Badger75

versus
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but loses itself trying to stay on Belichick's good side.
This book is a good "bathroom" read, but if you have followed the NFL for a good 10 years, there's really nothing new here, except one or two anecdotes, the author just loses itself trying so hard to remain Belichick's and the Patriots's pet boy, even when discussing Belichick's pick of Chad Jackson; who was a major bust.

The book is full of hyperboles and...
Published on November 25, 2011 by Hiperactivo


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the Infernal Patriots Are So Good, November 23, 2011
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This review is from: War Room (Paperback)
If you are a fan of an NFL team, not the NE Patriots, this book is a bit of a nightmare. Want to know why they are so good so often? This is Holley's second book on the Patriots (Patriot Reign). That and, The Blueprint by Christopher Price are the best books on the topic.

Holley has updated his first book by focusing on Belichick's growing network of front office assistants. The author manages to get busy sports executives to tell tales out of school. Scott Pioli, now with the Chiefs, and Thomas Dimitroff, now in Atlanta, provide quite a bit of detail on how the Kraft-Belichick system works.

Very readable. What is amazing is that they planned it after the first super bowl and they know how to make it work. The war room of course is the NFL draft each team prepares for. The Patriots use free agents and draft picks to good result. The team is constantly being rebuilt. Planning starts in the front office and moves to the coaches, players and the field.

Unless Kraft, Belichick and Brady all retire to take up falconry, this may go on for awhile.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More about the people than the process, November 20, 2011
By 
A. Wang (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War Room (Paperback)
The war room is the NFL nickname for the draft room: where the decision-makers sit during the NFL draft when they pick the college players that are the lifeblood of the team. This book follows three of those decision-makers: Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots; Scott Pioli, who was the general manager of the Patriots during their championship run and now GM of the Chiefs; and Tom Dimitroff, the director of college scouting for the Patriots and now GM of the Falcons.

The book is a combination of reporting on the lives and relationships between these men, a summary of the Patriots' long run (which is familiar to anyone who follows the team or read a number of other books, including Holley's), and analysis of the team building process. I bought this hoping for a lot of the latter, and there were some interesting anecdotes, but was slightly disappointed by the lack of depth of analysis.

Holley does describe how Bill Belichick establishes a system where potential draft picks are always viewed in context of who they can replace on the current team, and how he uses his job security to often trade this year's draft picks to desperate teams for significantly higher picks in subsequent years. But he omits any discussion of the salary cap, which is a key constraint in building teams in the modern NFL, and the relative talent to value ratio of high draft picks (high draft picks are often carry such expensive contracts that they cripple their team financially). He doesn't talk much about free agency: how did they decide who to sign, who to extend, who to trade, and who to let go - and for how much money? He also mischaracterizes the Patriots' trade for Wes Welker as the Patriots having "cajoled, sweet-talked, and seduced" the Dolphins to part with him. The correct story was that he was a restricted free agent that the Dolphins had failed to properly value and protect, and the Patriots were going to sign him with a "poison-pill" offer which forced a trade. Maybe a relatively small point but not something a longtime Patriots follower like Holley should miss.

The book gets better near the end, as Holley got more real-time access to Belichick, and Pioli and Dimitroff after they left the Patriots. Probably the best discussion is of Dimitroff's big trade for Julio Jones. He sits in on a good conversation between Pioli and Dimitroff. There is some other new information that I hadn't heard before, like Belichick making the call on Laurence Maroney and Chad Jackson (both busts) over the objections of much of his staff. It was also interesting to get a glimpse of the human side of these men. Overall, there was enough good stuff that I felt the book was worth it, even with some shortcomings.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Inside the NFL Book in Print, November 23, 2011
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This review is from: War Room (Paperback)
Michael Holley's WAR ROOM is an expansion of his 2004 best-seller, PATRIOT REIGN. Focusing upon Bill Belichick, Tom Dimitroff, and Scott Pioli, Holley presents the thinking of the Patriots, Falcolns, and Chiefs front offices leading up to and through the 2011 draft. The access Holley obtains is unbelievable. Belichick, Dimitroff and Pioli tell him everything, and the result is the best book ever written on how NFL front offices work.

Belichick is the master, the man who gave both Dimitroff and Pioli their starts in the early 90s in Cleveland. As closed as he is with the media post-game, Belichick is as open with Holley. Holley concludes that Belichick takes a GODFATHER like approach, its not personal its business, but without the dead heart of Michael Corleone. The secret to Belichick's drafting approach is stolen from Jimmie Johnson. Put on a list the 25 players you want on your team regardless of what their potential draft position might be. Stick to that list, and then be patient.

Pioli is the perpetual PH D type, poor, driven and hungry. He never forgots where he has come from and is always thankful for what he has been given. The book goes in depth into his move from the Patriots to the Chiefs and his transformation of the Chiefs operation. Everyone loves Pioli in the NFL, and Holley's detailed look shows why.

Dimitroff is an intense, counter-cultural health nut who is also as an intense, no nonsense NFL GM. Holley develops the relationship that Dimitroff has with owner Arthur Blank and the successful turn around for the Falcons that has resulted.

Perhaps the most interesting, and undoubtedly hidden gem of the book, is the complete background of the Falcons/Browns trade that sent a boatload of picks to the Browns and Julio Jones to the Falcons. Belichick tells Dimitroff openly he's trading too much, but Dimitroff believes there is a window in the NFL for winning and this is a special player that the Falcons need to get there. Dimitroff rolls the dice and seemingly to many talking heads mortgaged the future of his team by paying a king's ransom to Cleveland. But, Dimitroff believes otherwise, that Jones is the type of special talent that the Falcons will never see at the end of the first round.

An incredible read. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Look INSIDE the "Business"...hhhuuummmm, December 15, 2011
This review is from: War Room (Paperback)
A pleasant surprise and well written book. Slows down a little but it was worth my investment with my time. A very believable look at this tree of football managers/coaches/scouts and the power they wield over others, along with their decision making.
I am soooooo glad that it was not about gossip and tearing people down in the sports world for this has been a rough year regarding my perception of sports. I was always interested and intrigued about decision making in sports, especially on the managerial and coach level and this book does not disappoint and somewhat renewed my faith of sport watching.
There are people who make the decisions impacting others that are NOT monsters. They feel, are challenge, and deal with disappointment like I do. Meaning there are good people with hearts in football.
My last point is that a creepy feeling came over me of the way the players are looked at; like meat/machines/robots BUT that's the way of the world. It is indeed a game for winners and tough choices have to be made on all levels. I am sure football players know that when they choose to pursue this profession.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but loses itself trying to stay on Belichick's good side., November 25, 2011
This review is from: War Room (Paperback)
This book is a good "bathroom" read, but if you have followed the NFL for a good 10 years, there's really nothing new here, except one or two anecdotes, the author just loses itself trying so hard to remain Belichick's and the Patriots's pet boy, even when discussing Belichick's pick of Chad Jackson; who was a major bust.

The book is full of hyperboles and flattery for Belichick and the team that it's never objective. The author never gets in-depth about the coach's time in Cleveland nor offers any insight as to how Belichick failed there, instead, that period turns into a hyper-detailed tale about the final days of Thomas Dimitroff's father, I mean, it's nice and all, but there was nothing insightful there about the failed chance for Belichick in Cleveland.

The author goes so long about physical descriptions of Pioli and Dimitroff that it borders on schoolgirl's crush! I don't want to know about Dimitroff's boyish good-looks, chiseled physique and his extremely healthy eating habits nor do I care about how tall, handsome and strong Pioli looks!.

I wanted to know how Belichick's style changes every year, how he adapts so well to the NFL's ever-changing rules and how he always seems to adapt to new tendencies, I wanted to know why every coach from his coaching tree fails while trying to be dictators on their new teams, while the man himself is always flexible in style and philosophy. It'd be nice to know why Dimitroff went the other route, created his own style and had success with the Falcons while Pioli is failing miserably with the Chiefs.

I think the author misses some really good opportunities, still it's a good read while sitting on the W.C. and that's not a knock at all, it's entertaining and fun, but not at all enlightening, which if a book carries such a pretentious title, it should be!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inciteful look into Belichick's off field methodology, March 21, 2012
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This was a very inciteful look into Belichick's way of conducting business off of the field. It is a thorough chronological account of how personnel was aquired and coordinated on a year to year basis since Belichick's arrival in New England, and also the circumstances which led him into the position. I recommend this to those who look a lot deeper into the game than most, it's not really for casual fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for Husband, March 30, 2013
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This review is from: War Room (Paperback)
My husband is a HUGE football fan and had mentioned this in passing one day. I bought this book for him and he was so thrilled and has enjoyed reading it. I recommend this book for any football fanatic who wants the inside scoop!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and interesting, January 2, 2012
Before I was given this book I had heard it did not have enough "inside info". Despite this claim, I found this book extremely informative on a side of Belichick fans never see or hear about. It may not be full of exactly what Bill said in debating whether to draft so and so, but the info that is there is highly informative. I highly recommend this book for people interested in learning about how Belichick et co work behind the scenes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holley Does it Again, December 9, 2011
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This review is from: War Room (Paperback)
Michael Holley has done it again! I believe he's finally topped Patriot Reign. This was an unbelievable read that gets down to the soul of the New England dynasty as shows not only how it was assembled, but the emotional ties that were made to hold it together. Patriot Reign showed how the best team was built and what made it tick. War Room goes into the depths of the organization and does the same. I really believe this is the first book of its kind and it was an incredible read. Just for the record I've rooted for another team my whole life but I've become fascinated with the bearth and sustanance of this dynasty. Belichick truly is a revolutionary man.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many Organizational Lessons, October 29, 2012
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As a native New Yorker (and both a Jets and Giants fan), the Patriots drive me nuts. But I am a huge fan of excellence, and the sustained excellence of the Patriots is hard not to begrudgingly admire.

I also co-own my own business, and I was fascinated to see how many business lessons there were as I was reading. I kept stopping to take notes. Everything from attitude, to systems, to process, to voice, to dealing with people in tough situations, I was inspired.

The book is highly readable, has a lot of good lessons, and gives insight into the people and the process behind the Patriots' long run of success.
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War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick and the Art of Building the Perfect Team
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