Christopher Price’s daily work as a columnist and on-air analyst has drawn praise from many of his colleagues, including those at The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Sports Illustrated and ESPN. His work at “The Improper Bostonian” helped raise the bar for magazine writing throughout New England, and the groundbreaking book “Baseball by the Beach: A History of America’s National Pastime on Cape Cod”—the first historical volume to examine the nature and impact of the Cape Cod Baseball League—continues to serve as the definitive history of the premier summer college baseball league in America.
However, his most important work was “The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower.” An in-depth look at the recent success of the Patriots, it was named one of the Top 5 sports books of 2007 by Sports Illustrated. Released in October 2007 by St. Martins, it’s a studied and intelligent look at New England’s revolutionary approach that quickly became one of the hottest sports titles of the year, as the Patriots notched the first 16-0 regular-season mark in the history of the NFL. While the sales figures are impressive—close to 50,000 copies sold, including paperback—and the critical acclaim has been tremendous, the real measure of its success can be seen in the fact that some of the most successful general managers in sports have confessed to using it as a template in their own team-building process, including Ken Holland of the Red Wings, who led Detroit to four Stanley Cups in eleven seasons.
Holland was unabashed in his feelings toward the book. In a July 1, 2008, article he wrote for The Hockey News, he said: “I read a book called The Blueprint, about the NFL’s New England Patriots, who to me are the best team in the world at managing the cap. I learned from the book. The Patriots have a lot of above-average players to go with a core of players they draft and develop, and they have a handful of superstars.”
In the NBA, the feeling the same: Warriors coach Steve Kerr told The Chicago Tribune on February 20, 2008: “I read the book The Blueprint about the New England Patriots, how efficient they are with their spending, how they really built their team the methodical way. I’m earmarking pages and thinking, ‘This is great stuff. That’s the way to go.’”
Other GMs who used the book to help build a winner include A. J. Smith of the San Diego Chargers, who put together Chargers’ teams that have made three straight trips to the playoffs, including a loss to the Patriots in the 2008 AFC Championship Game. “For Christmas, I got The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower by Christopher Price,” Smith told Don Banks of SI.com on July 16, 2008. “I’ve read all the books put out on the New England Patriots organization. There aren’t trade secrets, but just general thoughts on why they’ve been successful.”
In addition to his work as a writer, Price continues to be in great demand. He’s appeared on the NFL Network, NBC Sports Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, the WEEI Sports Radio Network and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to talk about the Boston sports scene. In addition, he’s appeared on several New England–based shows like “Sports Tonight” on Comcast New England, “NESN Live” on the New England Sports Network, Greater Boston on WGBH and New England Cable News’ Sports LateNight to talk New England sports.