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Posted January 27, 2013
Professional sports teams do not represent cities and fans as th
Professional sports teams do not represent cities and fans as they actually are, they represent the image the fans would like to project to the outside world. This insightful and entertaining book proves this statement.
The National Football League does not celebrate the past as baseball does. It trots out the old-timers from time to time. Yet this book shows that the past is a real part of the fan’s experience. The story related by players and fans will captivate the reader.
The story revolves around the three years in the 1960’s that the Dallas Cowboys, an NFL expansion team, and the Dallas Texans, of the new born American Football League, fought over the professional football fans of Dallas, Texas. In it is a Texas size clash of millionaires, who look to claim the city for their respective teams. Using meticulous research, the author is able to shed new light on an often-told story.
Most interesting are the stories of the fans and players: the little girl with the crush on Chris Burford, the little boy begging his dad to take him to a Cowboys game. Fred Arbanas compares Len Dawson’s arrival at training camp to that of a Hollywood star.
Most of this entire book brings attention to some of the men that built these two teams. Don Meredith, who would probably, been a record setting quarterback had he not signed with the Cowboys. Sherrill Headrick was an undersized player with an almost unerring sense of how to play linebacker. He would vomit before every game and then self-medicates afterward. His is a case that is probably for another book. Most of all there is Abner Haynes, he starred for the Texans for all their years in Dallas. Within a few years of the move to Kansas City, Haynes and Headrick would no longer be with the team.
Best of all, the book is no hagiography of the Murchisons or the Hunts. Numerous citations do not reflect well on either man. Numerous books have been written on the Murchison family and their relationship to the Cowboys. A serious look into Lamar Hunt is still waiting.
This is a book for the serious student of the era and the general reader looking for a good and interesting story.
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