Early in this century, growing cities seeking to promote their communities came to view the budding local football team as an agent of civic progress and took the necessary measures to see that their interests were ably represented.
As a result, semiprofessional clubs such as the Ironton Tanks and the Portsmouth Spartans faced off against such legendary teams as the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Towns scrambled to raise subscription dollars to build new stadiums, buy contracts for prospective stars, and finance the many road trips.
Capturing the local color of a region as well as the spirited charm of a sport as it came into its own—before the rules were formalized and the teams so strongly established—Carl Becker documents a rare time in American history when ideals were being formed and broken and the promise for greatness seemed just within reach of all who tried to grasp it.
Home and Away is a unique chronicle, more than just a history of the game of football, it is also an intimate study of how the citizens and organizations that made up these cities worked to put themselves on the map of an ever-shifting American landscape.