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Football nut publishes fun NFL football guidebook

Colorful local author Louie Blanc, aka Louie du Ratté, is the author of “NFL Football in the Nutshell (Written by the Nut),” a guidebook for football fans.

By Elizabeth Wood West; photos courtesy of Louie Blanc

Colorado native and Happy Canyon resident Louie Blanc has lived an interesting life, and he recently published his equally interesting book about NFL football, “NFL Football in the Nutshell (Written by the Nut)” by Louie du Ratté.

After interviewing Blanc and thumbing through his book, it is difficult to say which one is more interesting. The book itself is a fun and easy read and Blanc’s colorful personality, keen sense of humor, and satirical insights are woven throughout the pages. Written originally with football beginners in mind, seasoned fans will enjoy Blanc’s comprehensive and at times hilarious breakdown of football terms, rules and lingo.

Blanc received his teaching degree in math from Colorado State College and has worked more than 40 years in multiple areas of the computer industry, most recently as an analyst consultant for the Bureau of Reclamation. He and his wife Sandi moved to Happy Canyon 26 years ago, after she purchased Castle Rock Florists. Blanc said, “This area is so beautiful and it’s convenient to the rest of the world.  The local shops are exceptional and the neighbors are friendly.”

Blanc became an avid football fan (the Denver Broncos are his favorite team) in the late 1970s. “In 1977, I returned to Castle Rock from living in London and working in Russia.  I was a bit burned out and came to help my parents with their businesses.  From day one, I became a Craig Morton (former Denver Broncos quarterback) fan. Three years ago, I was developing a football glossary and articles for myself and some friends.  One day I thought, ‘I need to write a book so a novice can easily learn the basics of the game in ten easy chapters, then learn more details in the next ten chapters’.”

He continued, “Most educational football books assume the reader already has a good knowledge of football concepts.  Fans new to the game are immediately confused by the terms that haven’t been defined.  After mastering the first nine chapters, you can watch and understand any football game with ease.  Chapters 10 through 20 cover the game, organization, and players in more detail.  Chapter 21 gives you hints on watching a TV football game,” said Blanc.  

Blanc’s pen name, Louie du Ratté, and its origin sound like something from a novel. Blanc said, “During my college days, I worked for a Mafia guy in Camden, New Jersey as a rum runner. We delivered illegal booze over the Walt Whitman Bridge into the Philadelphia suburbs.  The boys at Al Cirelli’s liquor store nicknamed me ‘Louie da Rat.’  I enjoyed the nickname and the high-stress job.  We never got caught by the feds.  ‘Louie du Ratté’ is my feeble attempt for the French version of my nickname,” he joked.

Blanc is finishing a web page for his football book and is in the process of publishing two other books. “They are young adult novels – ‘The Hapsburg Pin’ and ‘The Hapsburg Vase’. Mystery and magic, but no vampires. Reviews have been good,” quipped Blanc.

“NFL Football in the Nutshell (Written by the Nut)” is available for check out at the Philip S. Miller Library, or purchase at The Tattered Cover,, and (search for “NFL Nutshell”).  Autographed copies are available from Blanc. All net profits for the first year will go to Blanc’s favorite charities, the Dumb Friends League Buddy Center and the Crisis Center.  For more information, contact Blanc at 303-688-1131 or email. 



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