front cover of About Three Bricks Shy
About Three Bricks Shy
And The Load Filled Up
Roy Blount Jr
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004
Thirtieth Anniversary Edition

Any number of writers could spend an entire season with an NFL team, from the first day of training camp until the last pick of the draft, and come up with an interesting book. But only Roy Blount Jr. could capture the pain, the joy, the fears, the humor—in short, the heart—of a championship team.

In 1973, the Pittsburgh Steelers were super, but missed the bowl. Blount’s portrait of a team poised to dominate the NFL for more than a decade recounts the gridiron accomplishments and off-the-field lives of players, coaches, wives, fans, and owners. About Three Bricks Shy . . . is considered a classic; Sports Illustrated recently named it one of the Top 100 Sports Books of All Time. This thirtieth-anniversary edition includes additional chapters on the Steelers’ Super Bowl wins, written for the 1989 paperback, as well as a new introduction by the author.
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Ain't Nothin' But a Winner
Bear Bryant, The Goal Line Stand, and a Chance of a Lifetime
Barry Krauss and Joe M. Moore With a Foreword by Don Shula
University of Alabama Press, 2006
A rollicking memoir from the linebacker at the heart of the most famous Alabama football play of all time
 
No university has won more football championships than Alabama, and Barry Krauss played a key role in one of them. The linebacker’s fourth down stop of Penn State’s Mike Guman in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1979, was recently named by ESPN as one of the ten most important plays of the 20th century.
 
The Goal Line Stand, as the play became known, immortalized Krauss among legions of fans. More than twenty-five years later, people still tell him exactly what they were doing and how they felt when he collided in mid-air with Guman that New Year’s Day—and almost never mention his twelve-year career in the NFL.
 
In this entertaining and well-illustrated memoir, Krauss tells of scrimmaging on front lawns with friends as a kid in Pompano Beach, Florida, and of his childhood dream to play for Don Shula. He acknowledges how Coach Bear Bryant tamed his free spirit and shaped him into the football player—and the man—he became. In addition, he emphasizes the importance of team, weaving together the personal stories of his Alabama teammates on the field during the Goal Line Stand, and acknowledges their significant roles in winning the game and the championship.
 
Ain’t Nothin’ But a Winner offers an insider’s look at how a team is built, tested, and becomes a national champion—and how that process sometimes calls upon an individual to rise to the challenge presented by his own personal gut check.
 
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All the Way to #1
The Story of the Greatest High School Football National Championship Teams of the 20th Century
Timothy L. Hudak
Ohio University Press, 2015
The 20th century was the defining era of high school football, and during that time a select group of programs across the country solidified their reputations as the nation’s greatest. These programs—with legendary coaches like Paul Brown, Wright Bazemore, Gerry Faust, and Bob Ladouceur—produced national championship teams at schools with names like Massillon, Valdosta, Moeller, and De La Salle.

But which of these teams was the greatest?

All the Way to #1 is the first book to thoroughly document the nation’s top high school football teams from the 20th century. Identifying seventeen legendary programs, football historian Timothy Hudak tells the exciting and entertaining stories of how these teams came to prominence on the national stage. Fans will be particularly interested in Hudak’s conclusion about which of these teams was the best.

Filled with 330 black and white photos, statistics, and the most comprehensive listing of the 20th century’s high school football champions found anywhere, All the Way to #1 is a one-of-a-kind book that will be perfect for fans across the country.
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An Athletic Director’s Story and the Future of College Sports in America
Robert E. Mulcahy
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Robert Mulcahy’s chronicle of his decade leading Rutgers University athletics is an intriguing story about fulfilling a vision.  The goal was to expand pride in intercollegiate athletics.  Redirecting a program with clearer direction and strategic purpose brought encouraging results.  Advocating for finer coaching and improved facilities, he and Rutgers achieved national honors in Division I sports.  Unprecedented alumni interest and support for athletics swelled across the Rutgers community.
His words and actions were prominent during a nationally-reported incident involving student athletes.  When the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team players were slandered by racist remarks from a popular radio talk show host, Mulcahy met it head on.  With the coach and players, he set an inspiring example for defending character and values.
Though Mr. Mulcahy left Rutgers in 2009, his memoir reflects continued devotion to intercollegiate athletics and student athletes.  His insights for addressing several leading issues confronting Division I sports today offer guidelines for present and future athletic directors to follow.
 
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The Backyard Brawl
Stories from One of the Weirdest, Wildest, Longest Running, and Most Instense Rivalries in College Football History
John Antonik
West Virginia University Press, 2012
The West Virginia University Mountaineers and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, separated by less than eighty miles of highway, have battled it out on the football field for more than one hundred years. Now, with Pitt announcing its departure from the Big East Conference to join the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia becoming a member of the Big 12 Conference, this intense rivalry has come to an abrupt end. Thousands of players and dozens of coaches - some among the very best to ever play the game - have been a part of this famous series known as the “Backyard Brawl.”  With fantastic tales about this feud’s star-studded rosters, including  White, Slaton, Harris, Luck, Huff, Nehlen, and Rodriguez for West Virginia and Fitzgerald, Marino, Dorsett, Green, Majors, and Sherrill for Pitt, The Backyard Brawl celebrates the tradition, heritage, and pride of two outstanding universities. With unparalleled access, John Antonik, a 20-year West Virginia University athletic administrator and WVU alumnus, unearths the fascinating and humorous stories that make up this revered, colorful, and cherished football game-and more importantly, the great passion and pride these schools exhibit every time they take the field.
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The Beautiful Skin
Football, Fantasy, and Cinematic Bodies in Africa
Vlad Dima
Michigan State University Press, 2020
In this original and provocative study of contemporary African film and literature, Vlad Dima investigates the way that football and cinema express individual and collective fantasies, and highlights where football and cinema converge and diverge with regard to neocolonial fantasies. Shedding new light on both well-known and less familiar films by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Abderrahmane Sissako, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Moussa Touré, Safi Faye, Cheick Doukouré, and Joseph Gaï Ramaka, among others, the study asks just whose fantasy is articulated in football and African cinema. Answering this question requires the exploration of body and identity issues, here through the metaphor of skin: fantasy as a skin; the football jersey as a skin; and ultimately film itself as a skin that has visual, aural, and haptic qualities. The neocolonial body is often depicted as suffering and in the process of being flattened or emptied. So frequently do African cinema and literature replicate this hollowed body, all skin as it were, that it becomes the very type of body that defines neocolonialism. Could the body of film—the depth of both characters and story within the cinematic skin—hold the key to moving into a post-neocolonial era, an era defined by “full” bodies and personal affirmation? This is the question Dima seeks to answer.
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Carry the Rock
Race, Football, and the Soul of an American City
Jay Jennings
University of Arkansas Press, 2023
In 2007, as the fiftieth anniversary of the fight to integrate Little Rock Central High School approached, veteran sportswriter and native son of Little Rock Jay Jennings returned to his hometown to take the pulse of the city and the school. He found a compelling story in Central High's football team, where Black and white students toiled under longtime coach Bernie Cox, whose philosophy of discipline and responsibility and punishing brand of physical football had led the team to win seven state championships.

Carry the Rock tells the story of the dramatic ups and downs of a high school football season and reveals a city struggling with its legacy of racial discrimination and the complex issues of contemporary segregation. In the season Jennings masterfully chronicles, Cox finds his ideas sorely tested in his attempts to unify the team, and the result is an account brimming with humor, compassion, frustration, and honesty. What Friday Night Lights did for small-town Texas, Carry the Rock does for the urban South and for any place like Little Rock where sports, race, and community intersect.
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Cheating the Spread
Gamblers, Point Shavers, and Game Fixers in College Football and Basketball
Albert J. Figone
University of Illinois Press, 2012
Delving into the history of gambling and corruption in intercollegiate sports, Cheating the Spread recounts all of the major gambling scandals in college football and basketball. Digging through court records, newspapers, government documents, and university archives and conducting private interviews, Albert J. Figone finds that game rigging has been pervasive and nationwide throughout most of the sports' history. The insidious practice has spread to implicate not only bookies and unscrupulous gamblers but also college administrators, athletic organizers, coaches, fellow students, and the athletes themselves.
 
Naming the players, coaches, gamblers, and go-betweens involved, Figone discusses numerous college basketball and football games reported to have been fixed and describes the various methods used to gain unfair advantage, inside information, or undue profit. His survey of college football includes early years of gambling on games between established schools such as Yale, Princeton, and Harvard; Notre Dame's All-American halfback and skilled gambler George Gipp; and the 1962 allegations of insider information between Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and former Georgia coach James Wallace "Wally" Butts; and many other recent incidents. Notable events in basketball include the 1951 scandal involving City College of New York and six other schools throughout the East Coast and the Midwest; the 1961 point-shaving incident that put a permanent end to the Dixie Classic tournament; the 1978 scheme in which underworld figures recruited and bribed several Boston College players to ensure a favorable point spread; the 1994-95 Northwestern scandal in which players bet against their own team; and other recent examples of compromised gameplay and gambling.
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Chuck Noll
His Life's Work
Michael MacCambridge
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016
Chuck Noll won four Super Bowls and presided over one of the greatest football dynasties in history, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the ‘70s. Later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his achievements as a competitor and a coach are the stuff of legend. But Noll always remained an intensely private and introspective man, never revealing much of himself as a person or as a coach, not even to the players and fans who revered him.
            Chuck Noll did not need a dramatic public profile to be the catalyst for one of the greatest transformations in sports history. In the nearly four decades before he was hired, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the least successful team in professional football, never winning so much as a division title. After Noll’s arrival, his quiet but steely leadership quickly remolded the team into the most accomplished in the history of professional football.  And what he built endured well beyond his time with the Steelers – who have remained one of America’s great NFL teams, accumulating a total of six Super Bowls, eight AFC championships, and dozens of division titles and playoff berths.
            In this penetrating biography, based on deep research and hundreds of interviews, Michael MacCambridge takes the measure of the man, painting an intimate portrait of one of the most important figures in American football history. He traces Noll’s journey from a Depression-era childhood in Cleveland, where he first played the game in a fully integrated neighborhood league led by an African-American coach and then seriously pursued the sport through high school and college.  Eventually, Noll played both defensive and offensive positions professionally for the Browns, before discovering that his true calling was coaching.  MacCambridge reveals that Noll secretly struggled with and overcame epilepsy to build the career that earned him his place as “the Emperor” of Pittsburgh during the Steelers’ dynastic run in the 1970s, while in his final years, he battled Alzheimer’s in the shelter of his caring and protective family.
            Noll’s impact went well beyond one football team. When he arrived, the city of steel was facing a deep crisis, as the dramatic decline of Pittsburgh’s lifeblood industry traumatized an entire generation. “Losing,” Noll said on his first day on the job, “has nothing to do with geography.” Through his calm, confident leadership of the Steelers and the success they achieved, the people of Pittsburgh came to believe that winning was possible, and their recovery of confidence owed a lot to the Steeler’s new coach. The famous urban renaissance that followed can only be understood by grasping what Noll and his team meant to the people of the city. The man Pittsburghers could never fully know helped them see themselves better.
            Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work tells the story of a private man in a very public job. It explores the family ties that built his character, the challenges that defined his course, and the love story that shaped his life. By understanding the man himself, we can at last clearly see Noll’s profound influence on the city, players, coaches, and game he loved. They are all, in a real sense, heirs to the football team Chuck Noll built.
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College Football and American Culture in the Cold War Era
Kurt Edward Kemper
University of Illinois Press, 2009

The Cold War era spawned a host of anxieties in American society, and in response, Americans sought cultural institutions that reinforced their sense of national identity and held at bay their nagging insecurities. They saw football as a broad, though varied, embodiment of national values. College teams in particular were thought to exemplify the essence of America: strong men committed to hard work, teamwork, and overcoming pain. Toughness and defiance were primary virtues, and many found in the game an idealized American identity.

In this book, Kurt Kemper charts the steadily increasing investment of American national ideals in the presentation and interpretation of college football, beginning with a survey of the college game during World War II. From the Army-Navy game immediately before Pearl Harbor, through the gradual expansion of bowl games and television coverage, to the public debates over racially integrated teams, college football became ever more a playing field for competing national ideals. Americans utilized football as a cultural mechanism to magnify American distinctiveness in the face of Soviet gains, and they positioned the game as a cultural force that embodied toughness, discipline, self-deprivation, and other values deemed crucial to confront the Soviet challenge.

Americans applied the game in broad strokes to define an American way of life. They debated and interpreted issues such as segregation, free speech, and the role of the academy in the Cold War. College Football and American Culture in the Cold War Era offers a bold new contribution to our understanding of Americans' assumptions and uncertainties regarding the Cold War.

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Creating the Big Ten
Courage, Corruption, and Commercialization
Winton U Solberg
University of Illinois Press, 2018
Big Ten football fans pack gridiron cathedrals that hold up to 100,000 spectators. The conference's fourteen member schools share a broadcast network and a 2016 media deal worth $2.64 billion. This cultural and financial colossus grew out of a modest 1895 meeting that focused on football's brutality and encroaching professionalism in the game.

Winton U. Solberg explores the relationship between higher education and collegiate football in the Big Ten's first fifty years. This formative era saw debates over eligibility and amateurism roil the sport. In particular, faculty concerned with academics clashed with coaches, university presidents, and others who played to win. Solberg follows the conference's successful early efforts to put the best interests of institutions and athletes first. Yet, as he shows, commercial concerns undid such work after World War I as sports increasingly eclipsed academics. By the 1940s, the Big Ten's impact on American sports was undeniable. It had shaped the development of intercollegiate athletics and college football nationwide while serving as a model for other athletic conferences.

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Curly Lambeau
Building the Green Bay Packers
Stuart Stotts
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2007

When Earl "Curly" Lambeau was a young boy growing up in Green Bay in the early 1900s, he and his friends didn't have money for a football. Instead, they kicked around a salt sack filled with sand, leaves, and pebbles. That humble beginning produced a single-minded drive for the figure whose name now graces the Green Bay Packers' stadium.

This title in the Badger Biographies series charts the course of Curly Lambeau's career as a flamboyant player and coach, which paralleled the rise of professional football in this country. Lambeau revolutionized the way football is played by legitimizing passing in a game that had previously centered on running. His dedication to popularizing football in Green Bay and in the state helped build the Packer organization into the institution it has become. Yet, he was not without flaws, and this biography presents a full picture of a man whose ambitions complicated his legacy.

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Discipline and Indulgence
College Football, Media, and the American Way of Life during the Cold War
Montez de Oca, Jeffrey
Rutgers University Press, 2013
Winner of the 2014 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Outstanding Book Award

The early Cold War (1947–1964) was a time of optimism in America. Flushed with confidence by the Second World War, many heralded the American Century and saw postwar affluence as proof that capitalism would solve want and poverty. Yet this period also filled people with anxiety. Beyond the specter of nuclear annihilation, the consumerism and affluence of capitalism’s success were seen as turning the sons of pioneers into couch potatoes.

In Discipline and Indulgence, Jeffrey Montez de Oca demonstrates how popular culture, especially college football, addressed capitalism’s contradictions by integrating men into the economy of the Cold War as workers, warriors, and consumers. In the dawning television age, college football provided a ritual and spectacle of the American way of life that anyone could participate in from the comfort of his own home. College football formed an ethical space of patriotic pageantry where men could produce themselves as citizens of the Cold War state. Based on a theoretically sophisticated analysis of Cold War media, Discipline and Indulgence assesses the period’s institutional linkage of sport, higher education, media, and militarism and finds the connections of contemporary sport media to today’s War on Terror.
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Duffy Daugherty
A Man Ahead of His Time
David Claerbaut
Michigan State University Press, 2018
This is the story of Duffy Daugherty—humorist, trailblazer, raconteur, and Hall of Fame football coach—arguably the most famous figure in the storied history of Michigan State University football. Daugherty’s nineteen-year tenure at MSU was marked by great success. Between 1955 and 1966, eight Spartan teams finished in the Associated Press top ten college football teams. Daugherty was a character. With his zany wit putting him in demand as a public speaker, Daugherty became so well known for his winning teams and quotable comments that he adorned the cover of the October 8, 1956, issue of Time magazine. Daugherty was a major figure in bringing African American athletes into the mainstream of college sports. From his arrival at MSU, he worked to field integrated teams. His undefeated 1966 powerhouse squad—one that played Notre Dame to an unforgettable 10–10 tie in the season finale—included four black players selected among the first eight players taken in the NFL draft. MSU memorialized Daugherty by naming the football team’s practice facility the Duffy Daugherty Football Building in his honor.
 
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Dusty, Deek, and Mr. Do-Right
High School Football in Illinois
Taylor Bell
University of Illinois Press, 2010
From small towns like Metamora, Aledo, and Carthage to East St. Louis and Chicago's South Side, Illinois's high school football fields have been the proving ground for such future stars as Dick Butkus, Red Grange, and Otto Graham. In Dusty, Deek, and Mr. Do-Right, longtime fan and sportswriter Taylor Bell shares the stories of the greatest players, toughest coaches, most memorable games, and fiercest rivalries in Illinois history. Drawing on dozens of personal interviews, Bell profiles memorable figures such as Tuscola's record-setting quarterback Dusty Burk, Pittsfield's brutally demanding yet devoted Coach Donald "Deek" Pollard, and Evanston's Murney "Mr. Do-Right" Lazier, who coached sternly but without prejudice in the racially charged 1960s and '70s. The book also discusses winning programs at schools such as East St. Louis, Mount Carmel, and Joliet Catholic, as well as longstanding rivalries and memorable games in the state playoff and Prep Bowl.
 
The ultimate book for high school football fans in Illinois, Dusty, Deek, and Mr. Do-Right is infused with Bell's own love for the game and illustrated with sixty photographs of the players and coaches who made lifetime memories under the Friday night lights.
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Dyed in Crimson
Football, Faith, and Remaking Harvard's America
Zev Eleff
University of Illinois Press, 2023
In 1926, Harvard athletic director Bill Bingham chose former Crimson All-American Arnold Horween as coach of the university’s moribund football team. The pair instilled a fresh culture, one based on merit rather than social status, and in the virtues of honor and courage over mere winning. Yet their success challenged entrenched ideas about who belonged at Harvard and, by extension, who deserved to lay claim to the American dream.

Zev Eleff tells the story of two immigrants’ sons shaped by a vision of an America that rewarded any person of virtue. As a player, the Chicago-born Horween had led Harvard to its 1920 Rose Bowl victory. As a coach, he faced intractable opposition from powerful East Coast alumni because of his values and Midwestern, Jewish background. Eleff traces Bingham and Horween’s careers as student-athletes and their campaign to wrest control of the football program from alumni. He also looks at how Horween undermined stereotypes of Jewish masculinity and dealt with the resurgent antisemitism of the 1920s.

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The Eagles Encyclopedia
Ray Didinger
Temple University Press, 2005
In the City of Brotherly Love, no team tugs at the hearts and weighs on the minds of fans more than the Philadelphia Eagles. But, much more than a local obsession, the Eagles are also one of football's most storied franchises.Amply illustrated with 200 photos of the players, coaches, fans, and the stadiums in which the team has played, The Eagles Encyclopedia recounts the greatest moments in the team's history, and brings to life the men who helped create modern football.Fans will read about: * Bert Bell's 1933 purchase of the Frankford Yellow Jackets, the city's first NFL franchise * The Philadelphia-Pittsburgh "Steagles"during WWII, which produced the team's first winning season * The 1960 NFL title victory over the Packers and the 1980 Super Bowl game * The sterling careers of Hall of Famers like Chuck Bednarik and Steve van Buren * The Duffel Bag Dynasty of 1947-1949, when the Eagles went to three consecutive NFL championships, including back-to-back championships * The thrilling 21st century, which has so far seen four consecutive NFC championship games and a second Super Bowl bid!But wait, there's more! The Eagles Encyclopedia also includes: * A year by year history of the team—from 1933 to the present, with stats from each season * Individual profiles of more than 100 Eagles players—from Swede Hanson to Donovan McNabb * A statistical chapter that provides all the Eagles records—a complete roster, and every draft pickWritten by Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Ray Didinger and local sports historian Robert S. Lyons, The Eagles Encyclopedia is the first comprehensive chronicle of the team's history and an indispensable guide for every Eagles fan.This book is not sanctioned by the NFL or its teams.
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The Eagles Encyclopedia
Champions Edition
Ray Didinger
Temple University Press, 2018

Ray Didinger, like every die-hard Eagles fan, has been waiting since the 1960 NFL Title for the Birds to win the Super Bowl. In this “Champions Edition” of The Eagles Encyclopedia, beloved Eagles commentator Didinger celebrates his team and their remarkable, against-all-odds season that ended at Super Bowl LII, where they claimed victory over the Patriots in Minnesota. 

Didinger updates his best-selling book The Eagles Encyclopedia with the departure of Coach Chip Kelly and the dawn of the Doug Pederson era. He provides a new chapter on the 2017–18 season and postseason. And he includes dozens of new player, coach, and front-office profiles as well as Hall of Fame updates on 2018 inductees Brian Dawkins and Terrell Owens. 

But wait, there’s more! 

  • An all-new 16-page color insert highlights key moments on the road to the Super Bowl
  • Iconic photos old and new, from Concrete Charlie Bednarik’s tackle of Frank Gifford to Nick Foles and the Philly Special
  • More than 100 new photos from the recent season as well as from earlier periods in the Eagles’ storied history

TheEagles Encyclopedia: Champions Edition is more than a keepsake of a championship season. It is a book about a city and a team and the emotion that binds them.

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Earl Campbell
Yards after Contact
By Asher Price
University of Texas Press, 2019

Earl Campbell was a force in American football, winning a state championship in high school, rushing his way to a Heisman trophy for the University of Texas, and earning MVP as he took the Houston Oilers to the brink of the Super Bowl. An exhilarating blend of biography and history, Earl Campbell chronicles the challenges and sacrifices one supremely gifted athlete faced in his journey to the Hall of Fame. The story begins in Tyler, Texas, and features his indomitable mother, a crusading judge, and a newly integrated high school, then moves to Austin, home of the University of Texas (infamously, the last all-white national champion in college football), where legendary coach Darrell Royal stakes his legacy on recruiting Campbell. Later, in booming, Luv-Ya-Blue Houston, Campbell reaches his peak with beloved coach Bum Phillips, who celebrates his star runner’s bruising style even as it takes its toll on Campbell’s body.

Drawing on new interviews and research, Asher Price reveals how a naturally reticent kid from the country who never sought the spotlight struggled with complex issues of race and health. In an age when concussion revelations and player protest against racial injustice rock the NFL, Campbell’s life is a timely story of hard-earned success—and heart-wrenching sacrifice.

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Emlen Tunnell
The Charismatic Life of a War Hero and NFL Legend
David Lyons
Temple University Press, 2024
The most successful Black football star of his era, and, in 1967, the first Black inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Emlen Tunnell is, sadly, almost forgotten now. A WWII hero who served with distinction in the Coast Guard, Tunnell followed his service with a groundbreaking career in the NFL. He held league records for interceptions, interception return yards, punt returns, and punt return yardage. In 1948, he broke the color barrier to become the first Black player on the New York Giants. He was later a player, coach, and scout for Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers.

David Lyons’s poignant biography, Emlen Tunnell, chronicles this amazing athlete, nicknamed “the Gremlin” for his returns and aerial attacks that wreaked havoc reminiscent of the damage caused by phantom gremlins of WWII. Tunnell was also a game changer, revolutionizing his defensive position as a safety, making it as exciting as a running back.

While Tunnell encountered racism and discrimination on and off the gridiron, the gregarious athlete had a charm and charisma that was disarming. He often mentored teammates and introduced them to Black culture. After his stint in the NFL and until his death, Tunnell was an NFL scout and the first Black assistant coach for the Giants.

Emlen Tunnell thoroughly recounts the extraordinary life and career of this great athlete and does justice to his remarkable legacy.
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The End of Autumn
Reflections on My Life in Football
Michael Oriard
University of Illinois Press, 2009
Much of Michael Oriard's education took place outside the schoolroom of his native Spokane, Washington, during "slaughter practices" on high school football fields. He was taught to "punish" and "dominate," to rouse his school spirit with religion, and to "tough it" through injuries, even serious ones. At the age of eighteen he entered Notre Dame and walked onto the football team, where studying hard was never harder. By his senior year, playing for Ara Parseghian's Fighting Irish, he was the starting center and co-captain of the team.

After graduating, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and head coach Hank Stram. There he learned what it meant to be "owned." He rediscovered the game as it was played by grown men with families who were still treated like children and who dreaded nothing more than the end of their football careers. And without their fully realizing the consequences, every hard tackle inflicted its injury, some gradually growing into chronic conditions, some suddenly cutting a player's career short and ushering him off the field to be soon forgotten.

In this thoughtful narrative, Oriard describes the dreams of glory, the game day anxieties, the brutal training camps and harsh practices, his starry-eyed experience at Notre Dame, and the cold-blooded business of professional football. Told from the inside, the book leaves aside the hype and the pathos of the game to present a direct and honest account of the personal rewards but also the costs players paid to make others rich and entertained.

Originally published in 1982, The End of Autumn recounts the experiences of an ordinary player in a bygone era--before ESPN, before the Bowl Championship Series, before free agency and million-dollar salaries for NFL players. In a new afterword, Oriard reflects on the process of writing the book and how the game has changed in the thirty years since his "retirement" from football at the age of twenty-six.

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Five Rings
The Super Bowl History of the New England Patriots (So Far)
Jerry Thornton
University Press of New England, 2018
Since 2001 the Patriots have played in eight Super Bowl championships and won five, a run of excellence unparalleled in all of professional sports. In a league designed to ensure that no one franchise can dominate over time, New England won for over a decade and a half. A dynasty that began with an improbable run to a championship in 2001 has rebuilt, rebooted, and retooled several times over, winning most recently in 2017. But during those years, no other franchise reached the same level of controversy, drama, and turmoil—or even came close. Jerry Thornton, bestselling author of From Darkness to Dynasty, provides an all-access pass to the Patriots’ years of unparalleled greatness from the unique perspective of an observant, obsessive, utterly dedicated fan.
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Football and Colonialism
Body and Popular Culture in Urban Mozambique
Nuno Domingos
Ohio University Press, 2017

In articles for the newspaper O Brado Africano in the mid-1950s, poet and journalist José Craveirinha described the ways in which the Mozambican football players in the suburbs of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) adapted the European sport to their own expressive ends. Through gesture, footwork, and patois, they used what Craveirinha termed “malice”—or cunning—to negotiate their places in the colonial state. “These manifestations demand a vast study,” Craveirinha wrote, “which would lead to a greater knowledge of the black man, of his problems, of his clashes with European civilization, in short, to a thorough treatise of useful and instructive ethnography.”

In Football and Colonialism, Nuno Domingos accomplishes that study. Ambitious and meticulously researched, the work draws upon an array of primary sources, including newspapers, national archives, poetry and songs, and interviews with former footballers. Domingos shows how local performances and popular culture practices became sites of an embodied history of Mozambique. The work will break new ground for scholars of African history and politics, urban studies, popular culture, and gendered forms of domination and resistance.

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Football and Manliness
An Unauthorized Feminist Account of the NFL
Thomas P. Oates
University of Illinois Press, 2017
Women, African Americans, and gays have recently upended US culture with demands for inclusion and respect, while economic changes have transformed work and daily life for millions of Americans. The national obsession with the National Football League provides a window on this dynamic period of change, reshaping ideas about manliness to respond to new urgencies on and beyond the gridiron. Thomas P. Oates uses feminist theory to break down the dynamic cultural politics shaping, and shaped by, today's NFL. As he shows, the league's wildly popular product provides an arena for media producers to work out and recalibrate the anxieties, contradictions, and challenges that characterize contemporary masculinity. Oates draws from a range of pop culture narratives to map the complex set of theories about gender and race and to reveal a league and fan base in flux. Though longing for a past dominated by white masculinity, the mediated NFL also subtly aligns with a new economic reality that demands it cope with the shifting relations of gender, race, sexuality, and class. Indeed, pro football crafts new meanings of each by its canny mobilization of historic ideological processes.
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Football in the Americas
FayTbol, Futebol, Soccer
Edited by Rory M. Miller and Liz Crolley
University of London Press, 2007

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Football U.
Spectator Sports in the Life of the American University
J. Douglas Toma
University of Michigan Press, 2003
The Big Ten . . . the SEC . . . the Final Four . . . sometimes it seems that American higher education is more about sports than studies. Not so, says this well-researched, evenhanded study of athletics in university life. Sports--particularly football--play a key role in defining institutions that might otherwise be indistinguishable and are an indispensable tool in building a sense of community on campus, as well as an important factor in mustering alumni and political support.
While abuses exist, the "football school" is not only a legitimate member of the academic community but an inevitable one as well--and football provides much-needed identity at every level from the local to the national scale. Pointing out that universities compete as much academically as athletically, J. Douglas Toma argues that fielding a winning sports team is a quick, effective way to win recognition and that doing so pays dividends across the board, by raising public awareness (thereby making a school more attractive to potential students and faculty) and by creating a wider constituency of "fans" whose loyalties pay off in increased contributions and appropriations that support academic programs as well. He notes that universities like Harvard and Yale, now eclipsed on the gridiron, were "football powers" in the era when America's westward expansion spawned new schools unable to challenge older institutions academically but able to win acclaim through sports. This fosters a campus and alumni culture based on "football Saturday"--a bonding experience that helped forge a larger community whose support, both personal and financial, has become integral to the life of the institution.
Football U. brings welcome impartiality to a subject all too often riven by controversy, pitting football boosters against critics who complain that academic achievement takes second place to athletic success. But as a tool for creating "brand awareness" as well as local loyalty and widespread support, high-profile athletic programs meet a variety of institutional needs in ways no other aspect of university life can. This, Toma observes, is a two-edged sword, for even as it fosters collegiality, it discourages reform when the pendulum swings too far in the direction of athletic dominance. Nevertheless, Football U. is here to stay.
J. Douglas Toma is Director and Senior Fellow, The Executive Doctorate and Penn Center for Higher Education Management, the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.
[more]

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Forward Pass
The Play That Saved Football
Philip L. Brooks
Westholme Publishing, 2007
The Most Important Innovation in the History of Football
In 1913, a small, up-and-coming school came to West Point to challenge the great Army football team. The opposing quarterback dropped back, raised the football, and threw a perfect spiral to his wide open teammate. Again and again the quarterback and his receiver completed passes, resulting in a stunning 35-13 defeat of Army. That school was Notre Dame and the receiver was Knute Rockne: the game of football was transformed. The story of Notre Dame’s passing attack goes back seven years, when the forward pass was first legalized as a means of opening the game up to avoid the fatalities that plagued early football and nearly saw the game banned. A student of the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg, Jesse Harper, envisioned a mixture of precision passing and running throughout the game, and after arriving at Notre Dame, he schooled his team in his new-fangled approach.
In Forward Pass: The Play That Saved Football, Philip L. Brooks introduces the reader to the dirt, spectacle, and emotion of the great teams of the early twentieth century, including Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indians, Stagg’s University of Chicago Maroons, Fielding Yost’s Michigan Wolverines, Johnny Heisman’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and Gil Dobie’s Washington Huskies. While most teams experimented with passing, it was Jesse Harper and Knute Rockne who showed how the forward pass could be used as the ultimate offensive strategy and key to the brilliant future of football.
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From Darkness to Dynasty
The First 40 Years of the New England Patriots
Jerry Thornton
University Press of New England, 2018
From Darkness to Dynasty tells the unlikely history of the New England Patriots as it has never been told before. From their humble beginnings as a team bought with rainy-day money by a man who had no idea what he was doing to the fateful season that saw them win their first Super Bowl, Jerry Thornton shares the wild, humiliating, unbelievable, and wonderful stories that comprised the first forty years of what would ultimately become the most dominant franchise in NFL history. Witty, hilarious, and brutally honest, From Darkness to Dynasty returns to the thrilling, perilous days of yesteryear—a welcome corrective for those who hate the Patriots and a useful reminder for those who love them that all glory is fleeting.
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From Football to Soccer
The Early History of the Beautiful Game in the United States
Brian D. Bunk
University of Illinois Press, 2021
Rediscovering soccer's long history in the U.S.

Across North America, native peoples and colonists alike played a variety of kicking games long before soccer's emergence in the late 1800s. Brian D. Bunk examines the development and social impact of these sports through the rise of professional soccer after World War I. As he shows, the various games called football gave women an outlet as athletes and encouraged men to form social bonds based on educational experience, occupation, ethnic identity, or military service. Football also followed young people to college as higher education expanded in the nineteenth century. University play, along with the arrival of immigrants from the British Isles, helped spark the creation of organized soccer in the United States—and the beautiful game's transformation into a truly international sport.

A multilayered look at one game’s place in American life, From Football to Soccer refutes the notion of the U.S. as a land outside of football history.

[more]

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From Frontiers to Football
An Alternative History of Latin America since 1800
Matthew Brown
Reaktion Books, 2014
With Brazil hosting the FIFA World Cup this summer and the Olympic Games in 2016, all eyes are on Latin America. But what vision of these countries will we be given? Will our airwaves be full of cultural stereotypes about Latin Americans and inaccurate interpretations of the region’s position in the world? In From Frontiers to Football, Matthew Brown provides a much-needed historical analysis to rebut misconceptions about Latin America’s past while giving readers the tools with which to understand the region’s complex present.
           
Telling the story of Latin America’s engagement with global empires from 1800 to today, From Frontiers to Football is as much a narrative of repeated cycles, continued dependency, and thwarted dreams as it is a tale of imperial designs overthrown, colonial armies defeated, and other successes that have inspired colonized peoples across the globe. Brown restores a cultural history to the continent, giving as much attention to pop singer Shakira and retired footballer Pelé as he does to coffee producers, copper miners, government policies, and covert imperialism. Latin America, Brown shows, is no longer a frontier or periphery, but rather is at the forefront of innovation and a global center for social, cultural, and economic activities. Clear and readable, From Frontiers to Football presents a compelling introduction to the history of Latin America’s interactions with the world over the last two centuries.
[more]

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From Sandlots to the Super Bowl
The National Football League, 1920-1967
Craig R. Coenen
University of Tennessee Press, 2005
The National Football League that celebrated its first Super Bowl in 1967 bore scant resemblance to the league of its obscure origins. In its earliest years, the league was a ragtag collection of locally supported small-town teams that generated attention only in the locales in which they played, if they were lucky. Many teams received no support at all. Only after enduring a slow, often treacherous, journey did the enterprise of professional football reach its position as the king of the sports world by the late 1960s. In From Sandlots to the Super Bowl, Craig R. Coenen recounts the NFL’s ascension from a cash-strapped laughingstock to a perennial autumn obsession for millions of sports fans. It offers an in-depth summary of the NFL’s early years and its struggles to build an identity. This book shows how the fledgling NFL of the 1920s and 1930s attempted to build support both on a local and national scale. Considered a sport of hooligans and lower-class athletes, professional football paled in comparison to the reputations of competing sports such as college football and professional baseball. Even more difficult for the league, developing civic support for franchises proved an almost impossible task. Teams would spring up and disappear overnight, generating hardly any notice among sports fans.Coenen shows how the league’s survival depended on small town franchises being able to tap into the civic pride and larger economic interests of nearby, growing urban centers. This book also details how the league faced challenges from rival leagues, the government, and at times, itself. Finally, it documents how the NFL mastered the use of new technologies like television to market itself, generate new revenue, and secure its financial future.This book approaches the history of the National Football League not only with stats and scores but with what happened beyond the gridiron. Starting in Canton and Massillon and ending in Los Angeles with Super Bowl I, From Sandlots to the Super Bowl offers an entertaining and absorbing look at the first five decades of America’s most popular professional sport.
[more]

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Grantland Rice and His Heroes
The Sportswriter as Mythmaker in the 1920s
Mark Inabinett
University of Tennessee Press, 1994
Rice was a leading sportswriter of the so-called "Golden Age of Sports." Now, 40 years after Rice's death in 1954, Inabinett pays tribute to Rice's prose and poetry, which transformed the decade's leading athletes into popular heroes. After summarizing his fellow Southerner's career, Inabinett profiles six men who became idols during Rice's tenure: Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Knute Rockne, Jack Dempsey, Bobby Jones, and Bill Tilden. Rice's own story is told in The Tumult and the Shouting (1954). This slim, nostalgic effort may appeal to libraries buying sports history.
Morey Berger, St. Joseph's Hosp. Lib., Tucson
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
[more]

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Green Bay Packers
Trials, Triumphs, and Tradition
William Povletich
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2012

On the field, legends like Don Hutson, Ray Nitschke, and Brett Favre made the Green Bay Packers into a professional football powerhouse. But the history of the NFL’s only small-town franchise is as much a story of business creativity as gridiron supremacy. Behind every Packer who became a legend on the field, there was an Andrew Turnbull, Dominic Olejniczak, or Bob Harlan, leaders whose dedication and creativity in preserving the franchise were unwavering.

Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Traditions tells the improbable story of professional football’s most iconic team, and along the way gives a unique window into the rise of modern professional sports. As the NFL has evolved into a financial juggernaut, the Green Bay Packers, with more than 112,158 stockholders, stand alone as the only professional sports franchise owned by fans, thus providing the only public record of how a sports team is run.

Featuring more than 300 photographs, some never before seen, Green Bay Packers illustrates how the most creative team in sports is also one of the most successful, with names like Lambeau, Canadeo, Lombardi, Hornung, Holmgren, and White leading the way to a league-best thirteen NFL titles and twenty-one Hall of Fame inductees. This comprehensive, up-to-date history of the Packers includes the 2011 season.

[more]

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Gridiron Capital
How American Football Became a Samoan Game
Lisa Uperesa
Duke University Press, 2022
Since the 1970s, a “Polynesian Pipeline” has brought football players from American Sāmoa to Hawaii and the mainland United States to play at the collegiate and professional levels. In Gridiron Capital Lisa Uperesa charts the cultural and social dynamics that have made football so central to Samoan communities. For Samoan athletes, football is not just an opportunity for upward mobility; it is a way to contribute to, support, and represent their family, village, and nation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, and media analysis, Uperesa shows how the Samoan ascendancy in football is underpinned by the legacies of US empire and a set of imperial formations that mark Indigenous Pacific peoples as racialized subjects of US economic aid and development. Samoan players succeed by becoming entrepreneurs: building and commodifying their bodies and brands to enhance their football stock and market value. Uperesa offers insights into the social and physical costs of pursuing a football career, the structures that compel Pacific Islander youth toward athletic labor, and the possibilities for safeguarding their health and wellbeing in the future.

Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award recipient
[more]

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Gridiron Gourmet
Gender and Food at the Football Tailgate
Maria J. Veri
University of Arkansas Press, 2019
On football weekends in the United States, thousands of fans gather in the parking lots outside of stadiums, where they park their trucks, let down the gates, and begin a pregame ritual of drinking and grilling.

Tailgating, which began in the early 1900s as a quaint picnic lunch outside of the stadium, has evolved into a massive public social event with complex menus, extravagant creative fare, and state-of-art grilling equipment. Unlike traditional notions of the home kitchen, the blacktop is a highly masculine culinary environment in which men and the food they cook are often the star attractions.

Gridiron Gourmet examines tailgating as shown in television, film, advertising, and cookbooks, and takes a close look at the experiences of those tailgaters who are as serious about their brisket as they are about cheering on their favorite team, demonstrating how and why the gendered performances on the football field are often matched by the intensity of the masculine displays in front of grills, smokers, and deep fryers.
[more]

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A Hero Perished
The Diary and Selected Letters of Nile Kinnick
Paul Baender
University of Iowa Press, 1992

A Hero Perished tells Nile Kinnick's story. This grandson of an Iowa governor, the son of parents who disciplined him to strive for his measure of greatness, became a Heisman Trophy winner and national celebrity through a combination of talent and circumstance. Following his college successes, Kinnick began legal study to prepare for a political career, but with the approach of war he entered the Navy Air Corps to refashion himself as a fighter pilot. Assigned to the carrier USS Lexington on its premier cruise, he took off in a defective plane—and his death shocked a nation grown almost used to tragic loss.

For the first time, Kinnick tells his own tale through his engaging letters—all but one previously unpublished—and his diary, printed in its entirety for the first time. The result is a human, intimate look at the true person behind the myth, revealing both his foibles and his essential principles. A Hero Perished also includes a definitive text of Kinnick's moving Heisman Award acceptance speech and his impassioned commencement supper address, calling on the new Iowa graduates to achieve moral courage in a time of depression and war.

An illuminating comment on a time and attitude that have passed, A Hero Perished is of and about a football player, but it is not a football book—it is far more. This volume displays Kinnick—who was, despite his great gifts and achievements, a vulnerable and decent young man—in a time of great change and peril when a phase of our culture was passing away.

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The Hidden Game of Football
A Revolutionary Approach to the Game and Its Statistics
Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn
University of Chicago Press, 2023
The 1988 cult classic behind football’s data analytics revolution, now back in print with a new foreword and preface.

Data analytics have revolutionized football. With play sheets informed by advanced statistical analysis, today’s coaches pass more, kick less, and go for more two-point or fourth-down conversions than ever before. In 1988, sportswriters Bob Carroll, Pete Palmer, and John Thorn proposed just this style of play in The Hidden Game of Football, but at the time baffled readers scoffed at such a heartless approach to the game. Football was the ultimate team sport and unlike baseball could not be reduced to pure probabilities. Nevertheless, the book developed a cult following among analysts who, inspired by its unorthodox methods, went on to develop the core metrics of football analytics used today: win probability, expected points, QBR, and more. With a new preface by Thorn and Palmer and a new foreword by Football Outsiders’s Aaron Schatz, The Hidden Game of Football remains an essential resource for armchair coaches, fantasy managers, and fans of all stripes.
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Home and Away
The Rise and Fall of Professional Football on the Banks of the Ohio, 1919–1934
Carl M. Becker
Ohio University Press, 1998
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.
[more]

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Home and Away
The Rise and Fall of Professional Football on the Banks of the Ohio, 1919–1934
Carl M. Becker
Ohio University Press, 1998
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.
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Home Field
Texas High School Football Stadiums from Alice to Zephyr
Photographs by Jeff Wilson
University of Texas Press, 2010

"The promise of an empty football field is an irresistible force for those who understand and revere the game," Jeff Wilson observes. Drawn by the sense of possibility and nostalgia inherent in every stadium, Wilson traveled the state of Texas to photograph high school stadiums for a photo essay that appeared in Texas Monthly in August 2005. The magazine's readers responded with an outpouring of enthusiasm, and Wilson's photo essay was nominated for a prestigious National Magazine Award.

In Home Field, Wilson creates a unique photo portrait of nearly eighty Texas high school football stadiums, ranging from the bright lights, artificial turf, and seating for thousands at Southlake Carroll to the lone set of bleachers under the wide open sky in Veribest. Shot from the fifty-yard line facing the home stands, these photographs invite us to view each stadium from the same vantage point and experience it as an evocative place that holds a community's collective memories. Accompanying the photographs are reminiscences about the fields from players, coaches, team physicians, athletic directors, sportswriters and announcers, school superintendents, principals and teachers, band directors, maintenance workers, booster club parents, students, and fans. Their stories—whether funny, nostalgic, or poignant—reveal just how important high school football is to Texans and how it creates an unforgettable sense of community and camaraderie.

Sure to bring back memories as soon as you open the book, Home Field captures what football is supposed to be—"simple and pure, like a perfect spiral arcing gracefully across the sky."

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Integrating the Gridiron
Black Civil Rights and American College Football
Demas, Lane
Rutgers University Press, 2011
Even the most casual sports fans celebrate the achievements of professional athletes, among them Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Louis. Yet before and after these heroes staked a claim for African Americans in professional sports, dozens of college athletes asserted their own civil rights on the amateur playing field, and continue to do so today.

Integrating the Gridiron, the first book devoted to exploring the racial politics of college athletics, examines the history of African Americans on predominantly white college football teams from the nineteenth century through today. Lane Demas compares the acceptance and treatment of black student athletes by presenting compelling stories of those who integrated teams nationwide, and illuminates race relations in a number of regions, including the South, Midwest, West Coast, and Northeast. Focused case studies examine the University of California, Los Angeles in the late 1930s; integrated football in the Midwest and the 1951 Johnny Bright incident; the southern response to black players and the 1955 integration of the Sugar Bowl; and black protest in college football and the 1969 University of Wyoming "Black 14." Each of these issues drew national media attention and transcended the world of sports, revealing how fans—and non-fans—used college football to shape their understanding of the larger civil rights movement.
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Inventing the Boston Game
Football, Soccer, and the Origins of a National Myth
Kevin Tallec Marston and Mike Cronin
University of Massachusetts Press, 2024

On Boston Common stands a monument dedicated to the Oneida Football Club. It honors the site where, in the 1860s, sixteen boys played what was then called the “Boston game”—an early version of football in the United States. The boys were largely the sons of upper-class Boston Brahmins, and they lived through the transformative periods of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age. Later as they grew old, in the 1920s, a handful of them orchestrated a series of commemorative events about their boyhood game. Benefitting from elite networks developed through the city’s social and educational institutions, including Harvard University, they donated artifacts (such as an oddly shaped, battered black ball) to museums, deposited self-penned histories into libraries and archives, and erected bronze and stone memorials, all to elevate themselves as the inventors of American football (and later, by extension, soccer). But was this origin story of what, by then, had become one of America’s favorite games as straightforward as they made it seem or a myth-making hoax?

In Inventing the Boston Game, Kevin Tallec Marston and Mike Cronin investigate the history of the Oneida Football Club and reveal what really happened. In a compelling, well told narrative that is informed by sports history, Boston history, and the study of memory, they posit that these men engaged in self-memorialization to reinforce their elite cultural status during a period of tremendous social and economic change, and particularly increased immigration. This exploration of the Club’s history provides fascinating insight into how and why origin stories are created in the first place. 

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Kansas City vs. Oakland
The Bitter Sports Rivalry That Defined an Era
Matthew C. Ehrlich
University of Illinois Press, 2019
A driving ambition linked Oakland and Kansas City in the 1960s. Each city sought the national attention and civic glory that came with being home to professional sports teams. Their successful campaigns to lure pro franchises ignited mutual rivalries in football and baseball that thrilled hometown fans. But even Super Bowl victories and World Series triumphs proved to be no defense against urban problems in the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. Matthew C. Ehrlich tells the fascinating history of these iconic sports towns. From early American Football League battles to Oakland's deft poaching of baseball's Kansas City Athletics, the cities emerged as fierce opponents from Day One. Ehrlich weaves a saga of athletic stars and folk heroes like Len Dawson, Al Davis, George Brett, and Reggie Jackson with a chronicle of two cities forced to confront the wrenching racial turmoil, labor conflict, and economic crises that arise when soaring aspirations collide with harsh realities.Colorful and thought-provoking, Kansas City vs. Oakland breaks down who won and who lost when big-time sports came to town.
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Keepers of the Flame
NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media
Travis Vogan
University of Illinois Press, 2014
NFL Films changed the way Americans view football. Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media traces the subsidiary's development from a small independent film production company to the marketing machine that Sports Illustrated named "perhaps the most effective propaganda organ in the history of corporate America."
 
Drawing on research at the NFL Films Archive and the Pro Football Hall of Fame and interviews with media pioneer Steve Sabol and others, Travis Vogan shows how NFL Films has constructed a consistent, romanticized, and remarkably visible mythology for the National Football League. The company packages football as a visceral and dramatic sequence of violent, beautiful, graceful, and heroic gridiron battles. Historically proven formulas for presentation--such as the dramatic voiceovers once provided by John Facenda's baritone, the soaring scores of Sam Spence's rousing background music, and the epic poetry found in Steve Sabol's scripts--are still used today.
 
From the Vincent Price-narrated Strange but True Football Stories to the currently running series Hard Knocks, NFL Films distinguishes the NFL from other sports organizations and from other media and entertainment. Vogan tells the larger story of the company's relationship with and vast influence on our culture's representations of sport, the expansion of sports television beyond live game broadcasts, and the emergence of cable television and Internet sports media.
 
Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media presents sports media as an integral facet of American popular culture and NFL Films as key to the transformation of professional football into the national obsession commonly known as America's Game.
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Mavericks, Money, and Men
The AFL, Black Players, and the Evolution of Modern Football
Charles Ross
Temple University Press, 2016

The American Football League, established in 1960, was innovative both in its commitment to finding talented, overlooked players—particularly those who played for historically black colleges and universities—and in the decision by team owners to share television revenues. 

In Mavericks, Money and Men, football historian Charles Ross chronicles the AFL’s key events,  including Buck Buchanan becoming the first overall draft pick in 1963, and the 1965 boycott led by black players who refused to play in the AFL-All Star game after experiencing blatant racism. He also recounts how the success of the AFL forced a merger with the NFL in 1969, which arguably facilitated the evolution of modern professional football.

Ross shows how the league, originally created as a challenge to the dominance of the NFL, pressured for and ultimately accelerated the racial integration of pro football and also allowed the sport to adapt to how African Americans were themselves changing the game.

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Meeting Tom Brady
One Man's Quest for Truth, Enlightenment, and a Simple Game of Catch with the Patriots Quarterback
Richard J. King
University Press of New England, 2015
Imagine that you are an average American man. You work hard and love football. Your present is a highway of unbounded opportunity, your future a far horizon unclouded by doubt. Then comes middle age. Who can you look to when the highway begins to crack, when opportunity shrinks to the size of a cubicle, and the horizon looms close? For Richard J. King, the answer is clear: Tom Brady. The legendary quarterback of the New England Patriots is not just a four-time Super Bowl champion, three-time MVP, and certain Hall of Famer. He is a male epitome. Gifted but humble. Driven but balanced. Aging but youthful. Devoted to both career and family. At the pinnacle of success but somehow still one of us. If anyone can point the way to living a worthy life, Tom Brady can. And so, at the start of the 2013 football season, King sets off in an ’88 Volkswagen minibus in a time-honored quest to answer life’s pressing questions—and to meet his hero. From training camp to the playoffs, from Spy-gate to Deflate-gate, King takes us on a tour of stadiums and bars across the country. Along the way he talks with players, sportswriters, and Patriots management, and poses the existential question, “What would you ask Tom Brady?” Meeting Tom Brady is funny and wise, a memoir of an eventful season in both King’s life and Brady’s—a determined pursuit, with uncertain results.
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The Mouse Who Played Football
Written by Brian Westbrook Sr. and Lesley Van Arsdall
Temple University Press, 2022

Some folks think Brian the mouse is too small. He may be a tough little fella, but they are not sure Brian has what it takes. The Mouse Who Played Football, by former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook Sr. and sports reporter Lesley Van Arsdall, shows how Brian the mouse proves everyone wrong with unyielding confidence that his small size can be his strength.

This charming children’s book, featuring appealing and dynamic illustrations by Mr. Tom, demonstrates how Brian the mouse overcomes what others see as a “big problem.” His determination—as well as speed and toughness on the gridiron—helps him become a star player in high school, college, and eventually, the MFL, the Mouse Football League.

The Mouse Who Played Football, based on Westbrook’s own experiences,is an inspiring story that encourages young readers to believe in themselves and make their unique differences their strengths.

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My Life with the Green & Gold
Tales from 20 Years of Sportscasting
Jessie Garcia
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2013

Ever wonder what it’s like to interview famous athletes and coaches? For twenty years, sportscaster Jessie Garcia has done just that. In My Life with the Green & Gold she brings fans to the sidelines at Lambeau Field, inside the locker room, aboard the Packers bus, and into the host’s chair at The Mike McCarthy Show.

A self-proclaimed “terrible athlete” born without sports in her blood, Garcia reported on Wisconsin’s beloved Green Bay Packers during the Holmgren, Rhodes, Sherman, and McCarthy years. She’s been a Packers sideline reporter for preseason games and covered the team during their Super Bowl showdowns against the Patriots, Broncos, and Steelers. She’s traveled with the team to Tokyo and the White House and to schools and retirement homes, where the gridiron heroes interacted with their fans. She’s visited the hometowns of players and coaches, she’s met their proud parents and their pets, she’s interviewed the team trainer about their strength exercises. My Life with the Green & Gold also features up-close and personal stories about other teams and athletes she’s covered, from the Badgers and Brewers to Wisconsin Olympians such as Bonnie Blair and Casey FitzRandolph.

Garcia’s expertise is capturing behind-the-scenes, human-interest stories. In My Life with the Green & Gold, she shares a personal and humorous insider’s look at many Wisconsin sports heroes from the perspective of a female sports journalist who has ridden the adrenaline rush to be on the air at 5:00 a.m., 10:00 p.m., and any hour in between, while also juggling the many demands of family life. Not many parents can say they’ve changed their child’s diaper in the tunnel at Lambeau, but Jessie Garcia can.

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Never Ask "Why"
Football Players' Fight for Freedom in the NFL
By Ed Garvey; Edited by Chuck Cascio
Temple University Press, 2023

When pro football players formed a union to stand up against the NFL for their own interests, they chose lawyer Ed Garvey as their Executive Director. The NFL Players Association (NFLPA), would take on the NFL over player contracts, collective bargaining agreements, and antitrust suits. It lobbied for players’ free agency, contract rights, and impartial arbitration of disciplinary disputes. Garvey navigated strikes, lockouts, scabs, stooges, lies, as well as the sports media complex—to maintain players’ dignity. According to the league, the players were to take what they were given and “never ask why.” 

In Never Ask “Why,” journalist Chuck Cascio presents the late Garvey’s rich account of the early years of the NFLPA, taking readers among the players as they held the league accountable to play fair. Learning from their mistakes, the NFLPA would succeed in curbing commissioner Pete Rozelle’s disciplinary power and striking down the Rozelle Rule’s absolute control over free agency.

Garvey tells the intimate stories of how pro football players, rivals on the field, rallied together to stand up for themselves. He worked tirelessly to change a system that exploited players and even controlled the media. In the end, Garvey shows how the NFLPA transformed the state of pro sports leagues today and how, even still, they work to keep down the players on whose backs they profit.

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Never Easy, Never Pretty
A Fan, A City, A Championship Season
Dean Bartoli Smith
Temple University Press, 2013

When the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, it was a joyous moment for fans and team alike. For Dean Bartoli Smith, a lifelong Baltimore football fan and writer for The Baltimore Brew and Press Box, it was especially sweet. In Never Easy, Never Pretty, he recalls the ups and downs and ultimate thrills of a special season while also showing how a football team impacts its fans and its city. Smith recounts the season from start to glorious finish while interweaving Baltimore’s professional football history, telling his own story of growing up with the Colts, then gradually transferring adult loyalties to the new team in town, the Ravens. Family, friends, and other fans share their recollections, too, letting us see how a football team becomes part of a community.

Smith’s game-by-game recounting of an improbable season brings back all the excitement and uncertainty as the team starts strong, wobbles, then finds its inspiration and character in the playoffs. For each game Never Easy, Never Pretty features a diverse array of quotes, interviews, and commentary from players, broadcasters, and executives, including Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Art Donovan, Kevin Byrne, Steve Bisciotti, and Ozzie Newsome.

Never Easy, Never Pretty
 highlights the Ravens’ electrifying season and celebrates a team, a city, and its emotional landscape during an unlikely run to a Super Bowl victory. The result is an insightful and poignant book about much more than a championship season.

Never Easy, Never Pretty includes:

The 4th & 29 play by Ray Rice against the Chargers


The game-saving first down


The 70-yard bomb from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones known as the “Mile High Miracle”


•Interviews with Rob Burnett, Keith Mills, Lenny Moore, Sean Landeta, Terrell Suggs, Tom Matte, and many others
•Photographs by long-time Ravens photographer Phil Hoffmann


[more]

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The New Eagles Encyclopedia
Ray Didinger
Temple University Press, 2014
While much has changed in the decade since the original publication of The Eagles Encyclopedia, the passion of Eagles fans has only grown stronger. That's why author Ray Didinger revised, updated, and expanded his history of the team with The New Eagles Encyclopedia.
 
Didinger presents a year-by-year history of the franchise from its inception in 1933 through the 2013 season. There are profiles of more than 100 players, past and present, as well as every head coach and owner along with dozens of new photographs and stats, stats, and more stats.
 
The New Eagles Encyclopedia includes:
* More player profiles including new entries on Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick.
* The end of the Andy Reid era and the arrival of Chip Kelly.
* Expanded chapters on Eagles in the Hall of Fame and other milestone moments.
* Summaries of every post-season game.
* A new chapter on the Eagles-Cowboys rivalry.
 
An essential addition to every fan's bookshelf, The New Eagles Encyclopedia is the definitive information source on the Philadelphia Eagles.
 
This book is not sanctioned by the NFL or its teams.
[more]

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The NFL
Critical and Cultural Perspectives
Thomas Oates
Temple University Press, 2015

The National Football League is one of the most significant cultural engines in contemporary American life. Yet despite intense and near ubiquitous media coverage, commentators rarely turn a critical lens on the league to ask what material and social forces have contributed to its success, and how the NFL has influenced public life in the United States.  

 

The editors of and contributors to The NFL examine the league as a culturally, economically, and politically powerful presence in American life. The essays, by established and up-and-coming scholars, explore how the NFL is packaged for commercial consumption, the league's influence on American identity, and its relationship to state and cultural militarism.

 

The NFL is the first collection of critical essays to focus attention on the NFL as a cultural force. It boldly moves beyond popular celebrations of the sport and toward a fuller understanding of football's role in shaping contemporary sport, media, and everyday life. 

 

Contributors include: David L. Andrews, Aaron Baker, Michael Butterworth, Jacob Dittmer, Dan Grano, Samantha King, Kyle Kusz, Toby Miller, Ronald L. Mower, Dylan Mulvin, Oliver J.C. Rick, Katie Rodgers, and the editors. 

 
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NFL Football
A History of America's New National Pastime
Richard C. Crepeau
University of Illinois Press, 2020
The new NFL Centennial Edition

A multi-billion-dollar entertainment empire, the National Football League is a coast-to-coast obsession that borders on religion and dominates our sports-mad culture. But today's NFL also provides a stage for playing out important issues roiling American society.
 
The updated and expanded edition of NFL Football observes the league's centennial by following the NFL into the twenty-first century, where off-the-field concerns compete with touchdowns and goal line stands for headlines. Richard Crepeau delves into the history of the league and breaks down the new era with an in-depth look at the controversies and dramas swirling around pro football today:
  • Tensions between players and Commissioner Roger Goodell over collusion, drug policies, and revenue;
  • The firestorm surrounding Colin Kaepernick and protests of police violence and inequality;
  • Andrew Luck and others choosing early retirement over the threat to their long-term health;
  • Paul Tagliabue's role in covering up information on concussions;
  • The Super Bowl's evolution into a national holiday.
 Authoritative and up to the minute, NFL Football continues the epic American success story.
[more]

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NFL Football
A History of America's New National Pastime
Richard C. Crepeau
University of Illinois Press, 2014
This wide-ranging history synthesizes scholarship and media sources to give the reader an inside view of the television contracts, labor issues, and other off-the-field forces that shaped the National Football League. Historian Richard Crepeau shows how Commissioner Pete Rozelle's steady leadership guided the league's explosive growth during the era of Monday Night Football and the Super Bowl's transformation into a mid-winter spectacle. Crepeau also delves into the league's masterful exploitation of media from radio to the internet, its ability to get taxpayers to subsidize team stadiums, and its success in delivering an outlet for experiencing vicarious violence to a public uneasy over the changing rules of masculinity.
 
Probing and learned, NFL Football tells an epic American success story peopled by larger-than-life figures and driven by ambition, money, sweat, and dizzying social and technological changes.
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The NFL Off-Camera
An A–Z Guide to the League's Most Memorable Players and Personalities
Bob Angelo
Temple University Press, 2023
During his four-decade career at NFL Films, writing and directing segments for weekly highlight shows and national telecasts, Bob Angelo saw and heard things that never made their way into his productions. Now, in The NFL Off-Camera, Angelo mines the thousands of interviews he conducted to compile a revealing collection of short, insightful essays profiling his favorite—and least favorite—pro football players, coaches, team owners, executives, and broadcasters—all of whom he interacted with personally.
 
Angelo effuses about his meeting with the larger-than-life Jim Brown and appreciates the trash talking John Randle. He poignantly reflects on “Bullet” Bob Hayes, the world's fastest man who “could not outrun his demons,” and showcases the mercurial Duane Thomas and the free-wheeling Tony Siragusa. The NFL Off-Camera reveals why Angelo sparred with Hall-of-Fame player turned broadcaster Frank Gifford and demonstrates why Super Bowl champion head coach Sean Payton is his “least favorite person in pro football.” 

From Jared Allen to Jim Zorn, The NFL Off-Camera explores nearly 100 of the game’s outsized personalities and debunks some of football's most enduring myths. Angelo’s original, unfiltered look at Pro Football is as hard-hitting and exciting as any one of his NFL Films.
 
 
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Ninety-Nine Iron
The Season Sewanee Won Five Games in Six Days
Wendell Givens
University of Alabama Press, 2003
The fascinating story of the 1899 Sewanee football team’s remarkable, unassailable winning streak

Ninety-Nine Iron is the story of the 1899 Sewanee football team. The University of the South, as it is formally called, is a small Episcopal college on Mounteagle Mountain in southeastern Tennessee. It is a respected academic institution not known for its athletic programs. But in that final year of the 19th century the Sewanee football team, led by captain “Diddy” Seibels, produced a record that is legendary.

In six days, on a grueling 2,500-mile train trip, the team defeated Texas, Texas A&M, Tulane, Louisiana State University, and Ole Miss—all much larger schools than Sewanee. In addition to this marathon of victory, the 21 members of the Sewanee Iron Men won all 12 of their regular games, and of their 12 opponents, only Auburn managed to score at all against them. Ten of these 12 victories were against Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponents, which put Sewanee in the record books for most conference games played and most won in a season.

In Ninety-Nine Iron, Wendell Givens provides a play-by-play account of that remarkable season. He includes an overview of campus life at Sewanee and profiles of the players, the team’s coach (Billy Suter), the manager (Luke Lea), and the trainer (Cal Burrows). In the five years he researched the work, Givens conducted interviews with Seibels and visited the five cities in which the Iron Men had played—Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Memphis. Givens has written a vivid account of a sports achievement not likely to be seen again.
 
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On Any Given Sunday
A Life of Bert Bell
Robert S. Lyons, Foreword by Don Shula
Temple University Press, 2009
Bert Bell, a native of Philadelphia, has been called the most powerful executive figure in the history of professional football. He was responsible for helping to transform the game from a circus sideshow into what has become the most popular spectator sport in America. In On Any Given Sunday, the first biography of this important sports figure, historian Robert Lyons recounts the remarkable story of how de Benneville “Bert” Bell rejected the gentility of a high society lifestyle in favor of the tougher gridiron, and rose to become the founder of the Philadelphia Eagles and Commissioner of the National Football League.

Bell, who arguably saved the league from bankruptcy by conceiving the idea for the annual player draft, later made the historic decision to introduce “sudden death” overtime—a move that propelled professional football into the national consciousness. He coined the phrase “on any given sunday” and negotiated the league’s first national TV contract. Lyons also describes in fascinating detail Bell’s relationships with leading figures ranging from such Philadelphia icons as Walter Annenberg and John B. Kelly to national celebrities and U.S. Presidents. He also provides insight into Bell’s colorful personal life—including his hell-raising early years and his secret marriage to Frances Upton, a golden name in show business.

On Any Given Sunday is being published on the 50th anniversary of Bell’s death.
[more]

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One for the Thumb
The New Steelers Reader
Roberts, Randy
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006

On February 5, 2006, the Pittsburgh Steelers joined the ranks of the elite teams in National Football League history, celebrating their fifth Super Bowl victory. From an unspectacular 7-5 start, to completing the greatest playoff run ever, to the fairy tale ending of Jerome Bettis's Hall of Fame career and the vindication of Bill Cowher's coaching tenure, the 2005 season was not only one for the thumb, but “truly one for the ages.”

One for the Thumb is a collection of the best writing about the fabled franchise by local and national sportswriters, and former players. It covers the team's history from Art Rooney Sr.'s purchase of the NFL franchise in 1933 for $2,500 to their Super Bowl XL victory. From their frustrating early days as the Pirates, Steagles, and Card-Pitts, through their four Super Bowl wins in the 1970s, to the fateful day in 2004 when they selected Ben Roethlisberger as the eleventh overall pick in the draft, One for the Thumb captures the essence of the team whose identity is forever linked with the spirit of the hardworking, blue-collar city it represents.

From immortals Bobby Layne, Ernie Stautner, and John Henry Johnson, to Chuck Noll, Terry Bradshaw, Mean Joe Greene, Rocky Bleier, and Neil O'Donnell, to current greats Troy Polamalu, Jerome Bettis, Ben Roethlisberger, and Bill Cowher, One for the Thumb is the definitive anthology of the Pittsburgh Steelers--a must-read for all fans of the team and the game of football.

[more]

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Pigskin Nation
How the NFL Remade American Politics
Jesse Berrett
University of Illinois Press, 2018
Cast as the ultimate hardhats, football players of the 1960s seemed to personify a crewcut traditional manhood that channeled the Puritan work ethic. Yet, despite a social upheaval against such virtues, the National Football League won over all of America—and became a cultural force that recast politics in its own smashmouth image. Jesse Berrett explores pro football's new place in the zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s. The NFL's brilliant harnessing of the sports-media complex, combined with a nimble curation of its official line, brought different visions of the same game to both Main Street and the ivory tower. Politicians, meanwhile, spouted gridiron jargon as their handlers co-opted the NFL's gift for spectacle and mythmaking to shape a potent new politics that in essence became pro football. Governing, entertainment, news, elections, celebrity--all put aside old loyalties to pursue the mass audience captured by the NFL's alchemy of presentation, television, and high-stepping style. An invigorating appraisal of a dynamic era, Pigskin Nation reveals how pro football created the template for a future that became our present.
[more]

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The Razorbacks
A Story of Arkansas Football
Orville Henry
University of Arkansas Press, 1996
From the humble beginnings in 1894, to the great programs of Frank Broyles, the National Championship in 1964, and Lou Holtz's Orange Bowl victory over Oklahoma in 1978, and then to Arkansas's recent re-entry into the national rankings with bowl invitations—the whole spectrum of Hog football is covered in this lively chronicle.
[more]

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The Redskins Encyclopedia
Michael Richman
Temple University Press, 2007

"Hail to the Redskins" and Redskin-mania have consumed the nation's capital since 1937, the Redskins' fist year in Washington.  And the fervor remains as strong, if not stronger, today.

Amply illustrated with 200 photos of players, coaches, and fans, The Redskins Encyclopedia recounts the franchise's first 75 seasons, reliving the great -- and not so great -- moments in the team's storied history, and the men who helped make Sundays memorable.

Fans will read about:
--Coaches like George Allen, the eccentric, passionate man who left a legacy as an NFL pioneer, and Joe Gibbs, who formed a D-Y-N-A-S-T-Y
--Players like star running back and all-time Redskins ground-gainer John Riggins, who once told Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to "loosen up, Sandy baby," and Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP honors
--The franchise's golden run of four Super Bowl appearances -- and three wins -- in the 1980s and early 1990s
--The legendary Redskins-Cowboys rivalry
--A year-by-year history of the team from 1932 to the present, with stats from each season
--Individual profiles of more than 100 Redskins players -- from Sammy Baugh to Darrell Green to Art Monk to Sonny Jurgensen to Charley Taylor to Joe Theismann

With an unparalleled collection of anecdotes, quotes, trivia, and hard-to-find information, The Redskins Encyclopedia is a must-have book for any fan who has ever bled burgundy and gold.

[more]

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The Republic of Football
Legends of the Texas High School Game
Chad S. Conine
University of Texas Press, 2016

Anywhere football is played, Texas is the force to reckon with. Its powerhouse programs produce the best football players in America. In The Republic of Football, Chad S. Conine vividly captures Texas’s impact on the game with action-filled stories about legendary high school players, coaches, and teams from around the state and across seven decades.

Drawing on dozens of interviews, Conine offers rare glimpses of the early days of some of football’s biggest stars. He reveals that some players took time to achieve greatness—LaDainian Tomlinson wasn’t even the featured running back on his high school team until a breakthrough game in his senior season vaulted him to the highest level of the sport—while others, like Colt McCoy, showed their first flashes of brilliance in middle school. In telling these and many other stories of players and coaches, including Hayden Fry, Spike Dykes, Bob McQueen, Lovie Smith, Art Briles, Lawrence Elkins, Warren McVea, Ray Rhodes, Dat Nguyen, Zach Thomas, Drew Brees, and Adrian Peterson, Conine spotlights the decisive moments when players caught fire and teams such as Celina, Southlake Carroll, and Converse Judson turned into Texas dynasties. Packed with never-before-told anecdotes, as well as fresh takes on the games everyone remembers, The Republic of Football is a must-read for all fans of Friday night lights.

[more]

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Rutgers Football
A Gridiron Tradition in Scarlet
Pellowski, Michael J
Rutgers University Press, 2007
Thirteen seconds remaining, score tied at 25, fourth and seven for Rutgers at Louisville's 27. Against the third ranked team in the nation, on a perfect autumn evening, the Scarlet Knights stormed back from 18 down, with Coach Greg Schiano's vaunted defense shutting down Louisville's passing attack. As Jeremy Ito's kick cleared the uprights with seconds on the clock, the Scarlet Knights announced their arrival as one of the most fearsome teams in the nation.

Rutgers Football: A Gridiron Tradition in Scarlet
is a richly illustrated history of one of the most storied programs in all of college football. From the first intercollegiate contest against Princeton in 1869, which started college football as we know it, through the years that Paul Robeson suited up for the team, the famous undefeated season of 1976, and right up to the Schiano era, former Scarlet Knight Michael Pellowski takes you on a fascinating journey that chronicles the highlights of the first 137 years of Rutgers football. He makes special mention of the Scarlet Knights who have gone on to successful careers in the NFL-Brian Leonard, Mike McMahon, L.J. Smith, Gary Brackett, Ray Lucas, Deron Cherry, among others-and includes a complete listing of letter winners.

Now, with the Empire State Building being lit red in the team's honor, and fans believing that a national championship is within reach, Rutgers Football: A Gridiron Tradition in Scarlet provides the indispensable backstory for this team as it "chops" its way to future greatness.
[more]

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Schools for Scandal
The Dysfunctional Marriage of Division I Sports and Higher Education
Sheldon Anderson
University of Missouri Press, 2024
For well over a century, big-time college sports has functioned as a business enterprise, one that serves to undermine the mission of institutions of higher education.This book chronicles the long and tortured history of the NCAA’s attempt to maintain the myth of amateurism and the student-athlete, along with the attendant fiction that the players’ academic achievement is the top priority of Division-I athletic programs. It is an indictment of the current system, making the case that big-time college sports cannot continue its connection to universities without undermining the mission of higher education. It concludes with bold proposals to separate big-time college sports from the university, transforming them into on-campus business operations.

 
[more]

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Six Seasons Remembered
The National Championship Years Of Tennessee Football
Haywood Harris
University of Tennessee Press, 2004

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Sixteen and Counting
The National Championships of Alabama Football
Edited and with an Introduction by Kenneth Gaddy; Foreword by Bill Battle
University of Alabama Press, 2017
Dramatic accounts of every University of Alabama National Championship football season recounted by noted sports writers, players, and Alabamians.

Dating back to 1925, when Wallace Wade coached the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season and earned a spot in the Rose Bowl, the driving goal of every University of Alabama football season has been a national championship. A winning team surfaced that very next year, when Hoyt “Wu” Winslett’s squad sealed the national championship at the Rose Bowl for a second time. Winning seasons and bowl games culminating in the coveted crown followed again in 1930, 1934, 1941, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979, 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015—more championships than any other college team in the nation.

Sixteen and Counting features a chapter highlighting each of these championship seasons and collects the legendary stories of many of the outstanding coaches and players on the University of Alabama’s championship teams. College football legends such as Wallace Wade, Wu Winslett, Johnny Mack Brown, Pooley Herbert, Frank Thomas, Dixie Howell, Don Hutson, Jimmy Nelson, Holt Rast, Pat Trammel, Sam Bailey, Lee Roy Jordan, Harry Gilmer, Bill Lee, Ken Stabler, Joe Namath, Gary Rutledge, Randy Billingsley, Barry Krauss, Clem Gryska, Gene Stallings, Paul “Bear” Bryant, and, of course, Nick Saban all make prominent appearances.

A seventeenth chapter is included that looks at the uncrowned teams commonly referred to as “the other five,” who were considered national champions by at least one national ranking service at the end of the season. Every glorious milestone and high point in Alabama football history is included here: “Mama called,” the wishbone formation, “The Goal Line Stand,” the Million Dollar Band, the coaching tower, the Davis kicking dynasty, the Notre Dame box, Coach of the Year, Team of the Decade, and two Heisman trophy winners.
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Smokey
The True Stories behind the University of Tennessee’s Beloved Mascot
Thomas J. Mattingly
University of Tennessee Press, 2012
The band blares “Rocky Top” and the crowd roars as the University of Tennessee football team storms out of the tunnel and onto the field through the giant “T,” their beloved mascot Smokey leading the way. The iconic Bluetick Coonhound has been part of the pageantry and tradition at the University of Tennessee since 1953, delighting fans both young and old.
    For this entertaining and enlightening book, UT sports historian Thomas J. Mattingly has teamed up with longtime Smokey owner Earl C. Hudson to tell the stories of the nine hounds that have been top dog on campus for more than half a century. It was the Rev. Bill Brooks, Hudson’s brother-in-law, whose prize-winning dog “Brooks’ Blue Smokey,” became the first mascot by winning a student body-led contest at a home football game in 1953. The Coonhound breed was selected because it was native to the state, and several (no one remembers exactly how many) were brought onto the field at halftime to compete. But Smokey stole the show when he threw back his head and howled. The crowd cheered, and Smokey howled again. The raucous applause and barking built to a frenzy. The enthusiastic hound won the hearts of the Volunteer faithful that day, and he and the dogs that followed have remained among the University of Tennessee’s most popular symbols ever since.
    The authors have interviewed Smokey’s former handlers, university archivists, sports journalists, and local historians as well as legions of longtime fans. Their recollections provide not only the background of the mascot but a history of UT athletics as well. Vol fans will enjoy reading about Smokey’s adventures throughout the years, from his kidnapping in 1955 by mischievous Kentucky students to his confrontation with the Baylor Bear at the 1957 Sugar Bowl to the time he suffered heat exhaustion at the 1991 UCLA game and was listed on the Vols’ injury report until his return later in the season.
    Filled with photographs and memorabilia, including vintage game programs, football schedules, letters, cartoons, and more, this book brings to life the magic of UT football and the endearing canines that have become such an indispensable part of the experience.

THOMAS J. MATTINGLY is the author of Tennessee Football: The Peyton Manning Years, The University of Tennessee Football Vault: The Story of the Tennessee Volunteers, 1891-2006, The University of Tennessee All-Access Football Vault and The University of Tennessee Trivia Book. He writes about Vol history on his Knoxville News Sentinel blog, “The Vol Historian.”

EARL C. HUDSON’s family have cared for the Smokeys since 1994.

[more]

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Soldier Field
A Stadium and Its City
Liam T. A. Ford
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Sports fans nationwide know Soldier Field as the home of the Chicago Bears. For decades its signature columns provided an iconic backdrop for gridiron matches. But few realize that the stadium has been much more than that. Soldier Field: A Stadium and Its City explores how this amphitheater evolved from a public war memorial into a majestic arena that helped define Chicago.

Chicago Tribune staff writer Liam Ford led the reporting on the stadium’s controversial 2003 renovation—and simultaneously found himself unearthing a dramatic history. As he tells it, the tale of Soldier Field truly is the story of Chicago, filled with political intrigue and civic pride. Designed by Holabird and Roche, Soldier Field arose through a serendipitous combination of local tax dollars, City Beautiful boosterism, and the machinations of Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson. The result was a stadium that stood at the center of Chicago’s political, cultural, and sporting life for nearly sixty years before the arrival of Walter Payton and William “The Refrigerator” Perry.

Ford describes it all in the voice of a seasoned reporter: the high school football games, track and field contests, rodeos, and even NASCAR races. Photographs, including many from the Chicago Park District’s own collections, capture these remarkable scenes: the swelling crowds at ethnic festivals, Catholic masses, and political rallies. Few remember that Soldier Field hosted Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr., Judy Garland and Johnny Cash—as well as Grateful Dead’s final show.

Soldier Field captures the dramatic history of Chicago’s stadium on the lake and will captivate sports fans and historians alike.

[more]

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Stagg's University
The Rise, Decline, and Fall of Big-Time Football at Chicago
Robin Lester
University of Illinois Press, 1995

The legendary University of Chicago football program had an unusual beginning, a dazzling middle, and an inglorious conclusion. Its architect: Amos Alonzo Stagg, the most creative and entrepreneurial college coach of his time. A former all-American gridiron star at Yale, Stagg joined an elite academic institution that boasted intellectual notables like John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, and Albert Michelson. Within fifteen years, the fame of Stagg's football program had eclipsed even Michelson's renown as the first American citizen to win a Nobel Prize. 

Robin Lester follows the commercial trail blazed by Stagg and University President William Rainey Harper and the subsequent transformation of college football into a mass entertainment industry that changed campuses and captured the national imagination. Fascinating and detailed, Stagg's Universityreveals how the University of Chicago's football industry prefigured today's billion-dollar sport juggernaut and details the life and leadership of one of its foundational personages.

[more]

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The Steelers Encyclopedia
Chuck Finder
Temple University Press, 2012

The pitiful Pittsburgh Pirates, established in 1933 by the inimitable “Chief,” Art Rooney Sr defied both belief and the odds by becoming the six-time Super Bowl champions that the Pittsburgh Steelers are today. They began as lovable losers, the Pirates, degenerating into the Same Old Steelers, the Steagles, and the Car-Pitts, but wound up one of professional sports’ most iconic franchises.

In The Steelers Encyclopedia, veteran sportswriter Chuck Finder nimbly chronicles this remarkable team from conception to Immaculate Reception to today. From turnovers to the Terrible Towel, Finder interviews nearly 100 ex-Steelers, coaches, front-office personnel, and fans, and includes more than 150 photographs—many of them never published before.

In The Steelers Encyclopedia, fans will—

Read about wild behind-the-scenes tales such as:

• Jack Lambert, the gap-toothed linebacker considered the game’s scariest player, screaming down a hallway clad in his undies, boots, and cowboy hat because he was afraid of a teammate’s prank snake

• One Super Bowl team making an unscheduled pit stop because they, um, imbibed too many celebratory refreshments after leaving the stadium

• Driving with the club’s legendary founding father, Art Rooney Sr., to his day job—the horse track

Get a look at the stars, the games, and the franchise:

• New details about the Rooneys, the sale of their team, the difficult times and decisions they faced in surviving, then thriving

• Characters ranging from bonus-baby Byron “Whizzer” White, a future U.S. Supreme Court Justice, to league MVPs Bill Dudley, Terry Bradshaw, and Johnny Unitas

• The parade of Hall of Fame ex-Steelers that continues in 2012 with Dermontti Dawson and Jack Butler . . . and includes one Canton honoree who was almost moved to a different position and another whose career took off upon ditching his glasses for contacts

• The nasal voice that provided the team’s historic soundtrack and belonged to the inventor of the Terrible Towel, Myron Cope

Learn the Steelers by the numbers:

• A year-by-year history of the team from 1933 to the present, with stats from each season and each Super Bowl

• Chapters about each Super Bowl and the scouting staff responsible for building champions

• Individual profiles of every Steelers head coach and more than100 Steelers players—from Jerome Bettis to Rod Woodson

• Revealing the man who wrote the Steelers polka, the kid who named the Steel Curtain, and the first weightlifting coach of the Super Steelers

• The cheerleaders—both female and male

For everyone who lives in Steeler Nation, this is the most comprehensive history of football’s most beloved franchise, the Black and Gold.

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Third Down and a War to Go
Terry Frei
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2007

On December 11, 1941, All-American football player Dave Schreiner wrote to his parents, "I'm not going to sit here snug as a bug, playing football, when others are giving their lives for their country. ... If everyone tried to stay out of it, what a fine country we'd have!" Schreiner didn't stay out of it. Neither did his Wisconsin Badger teammates, including friend and co-captain Mark "Had" Hoskins and standouts "Crazylegs" Hirsch and Pat Harder. After that legendary 1942 season, the Badgers scattered to serve, fight, and even die around the world.

This fully revised edition of the popular hardcover includes follow-up research and updates about many of the '42 Badgers, plus a new foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Maraniss. Readers and reviewers agree: Terry Frei's heart-wrenching story of Schreiner and his band of brothers is much more than one team's tale. It's an All-American story.

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Thursday Night Lights
The Story of Black High School Football in Texas
By Michael Hurd
University of Texas Press, 2019

At a time when “Friday night lights” shone only on white high school football games, African American teams across Texas burned up the gridiron on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The segregated high schools in the Prairie View Interscholastic League (the African American counterpart of the University Interscholastic League, which excluded black schools from membership until 1967) created an exciting brand of football that produced hundreds of outstanding players, many of whom became college All-Americans, All-Pros, and Pro Football Hall of Famers, including NFL greats such as “Mean” Joe Green (Temple Dunbar), Otis Taylor (Houston Worthing), Dick “Night Train” Lane (Austin Anderson), Ken Houston (Lufkin Dunbar), and Bubba Smith (Beaumont Charlton-Pollard).

Thursday Night Lights tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of African American high school football in Texas. Drawing on interviews, newspaper stories, and memorabilia, Michael Hurd introduces the players, coaches, schools, and towns where African Americans built powerhouse football programs under the PVIL leadership. He covers fifty years (1920–1970) of high school football history, including championship seasons and legendary rivalries such as the annual Turkey Day Classic game between Houston schools Jack Yates and Phillis Wheatley, which drew standing-room-only crowds of up to 40,000, making it the largest prep sports event in postwar America. In telling this story, Hurd explains why the PVIL was necessary, traces its development, and shows how football offered a potent source of pride and ambition in the black community, helping black kids succeed both athletically and educationally in a racist society.

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A Tiger Walk through History
The Complete Story of Auburn Football from 1892 to the Tuberville Era
Paul Hemphill
University of Alabama Press, 2008

In this lively and fascinating book, noted writer and Auburn alum Paul Hemphill tells the story of the progress of Auburn from that first game coached by Auburn legend George Petrie through the team’s growth and development into the national force it is today. Hemphill records the many highs and occasional lows, and the heartbreak and jubilation each caused, noting the standouts great and small on the way.

A Tiger Walk through History contains 172 photographs, many of them rare and surprising. The text and photos capture the many great players and coaches in the Auburn football experience: Auburn’s first bowl appearance in 1936; coaching eras of innovative football genius John Heisman, after whom the Heisman trophy is named;  “Iron Mike” Donahue; Ralph “Shug” Jordan, who brought Auburn its first national championship in 1957; Pat Dye, Terry Bowden, and present coach Tommy Tuberville; Auburn’s two Heisman trophy winners Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson; and victories over rivals Alabama and Georgia. The 2007-2008 season is highlighted, including the sixth straight win over Alabama and a bowl victory over Clemson. As the game has grown, Auburn and its team have grown with it, and Auburn now ranks as a perennial power both in its conference and in the nation.

Vince Dooley states in his foreword that “beyond the famous coaches and players and their heroics on behalf of the Orange and Blue, A Tiger Walk through History is also about time-honored traditions—rallying cries like ‘Sullivan-to-Beasley’ and ‘Punt Bama Punt’ and ‘Rolling Toomer’s Corner’—that echo in resounding fashion from the pages of Paul Hemphill’s remarkable book.”

No fan, whether casual or devoted, can afford to miss this riveting account of the Plainsmen’s journey from the very beginning to today, which is the record of a great university as well as the story of the development of a great football team.

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front cover of Voices of the Razorbacks
Voices of the Razorbacks
A History of Arkansas's Iconic Sports Broadcasters
Hoyt Purvis
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2013
The creation and development of the Razorback Sports Network not only helped to build a loyal following for the Razorbacks, but also forged a close identification among Razorback fans with broadcasters such as Paul Eels and Bud Campbell, who became "voices of the Razorbacks." A sense of kinship developed within the audience, and the broadcasts of Razorback sports have become an integral part of the state's culture.
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front cover of Walter Camp and the Creation of American Football
Walter Camp and the Creation of American Football
Roger R Tamte
University of Illinois Press, 2018
Walter Camp made the development of football—indeed, its very creation—his lifelong mission. From his days as a college athlete, Camp's love of the game and dedication to its future put it on the course that would allow it to seize the passions of the nation.

Roger R. Tamte tells the engrossing but forgotten life story of Walter Camp, the man contemporaries called "the father of American football." He charts Camp's leadership as American players moved away from rugby and for the first time tells the story behind the remarkably inventive rule change that, in Camp's own words, was "more important than all the rest of the legislation combined." Trials also emerged, as when disputes over forward passing, the ten-yard first down, and other rules became so public that President Theodore Roosevelt took sides. The resulting political process produced losses for Camp as well as successes, but soon a consensus grew that football needed no new major changes. American football was on its way, but as time passed, Camp's name and defining influence became lost to history.

Entertaining and exhaustively researched, Walter Camp and the Creation of American Football weaves the life story of an important sports pioneer with a long-overdue history of the dramatic events that produced the nation's most popular game.

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front cover of Wounded Lions
Wounded Lions
Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky, and the Crises in Penn State Athletics
Ronald A. Smith
University of Illinois Press, 2016
The Jerry Sandusky child molestation case stunned the nation. As subsequent revelations uncovered an athletic program operating free of oversight, university officials faced criminal charges while unprecedented NCAA sanctions hammered Penn State football and blackened the reputation of coach Joe Paterno.

In Wounded Lions, acclaimed sport historian and longtime Penn State professor Ronald A. Smith heavily draws from university archives to answer the How? and Why? at the heart of the scandal. The Sandusky case was far from the first example of illegal behavior related to the football program or the university's attempts to suppress news of it. As Smith shows, decades of infighting among administrators, alumni, trustees, faculty, and coaches established policies intended to protect the university, and the football team considered synonymous with its name, at all costs. If the habits predated Paterno, they also became sanctified during his tenure. Smith names names to show how abuses of power warped the "Penn State Way" even with hires like women's basketball coach Rene Portland, who allegedly practiced sexual bias against players for decades. Smith also details a system that concealed Sandusky's horrific acts just as deftly as it whitewashed years of rules violations, coaching malfeasance, and player crime while Paterno set records and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the university.

A myth-shattering account of misplaced priorities, Wounded Lions charts the intertwined history of an elite university, its storied sports program, and the worst scandal in collegiate athletic history.

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