Chris Willis has worked at NFL Films as the head of the research library since 1996. He has written three books on early pro football, including Old Leather: An Oral History of Early Pro Football in Ohio, 1920–1935 (2005), The Columbus Panhandles: A Complete History of Pro Football’s Toughest Team, 1900–1922 (2007), and The Man Who Built the National Football League: Joe F. Carr (2010), all published by Scarecrow Press.
Dutch Clark: The Life of an NFL Legend and the Birth of the Detroit Lionsby Chris Willis
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In 1963, 17 charter members were inducted into the newly established Pro Football Hall of Fame. Joining the likes of Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, George Halas, and Sammy Baugh was Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark. A bona fide superstar for the NFL in the 1930s, Clark led the Lions to success on the gridiron and helped establish the NFL in one of America’s most passionate sports cities. Throughout his seven-year NFL career (1931–1932, 1934–1938), Clark was selected first team NFL All-Pro six times, led the league in scoring three times, was team captain of the Detroit Lions, and helped the Lions win the 1935 NFL Championship in their second season in Detroit. The triple-threat star could do everything—he could run, he could pass, and he could kick.
In Dutch Clark: The Life of an NFL Legend and the Birth of the Detroit Lions, Chris Willis tells the remarkable story of an athlete from a small town in Colorado who would become one of the NFL’s greatest players. To recount the story of this sports pioneer, Willis had complete cooperation from the Clark family and unlimited access to personal letters, the Dutch Clark Scrapbooks, and family photos. Appendixes include Clark’s football statistics and a list of his honors and awards. Supplemented with archival interviews, never-before-seen photos, newspaper quotes, and anecdotes, Dutch Clark tells the rags-to-riches story of one of the NFL’s first stars.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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chris willis has done just outstanding job of historical research on the subject. his clear, concise, and entertaining writing style makes this book a joy to read. highly recommended.
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading sports biographies. Very well researched and an easy read. I really enjoyed learning about the early days of the NFL and how it was played on the field in the 1930's. The author combined early newspaper research with interview quotes and told an entertaining story of one of the NFL's first true supestars- Dutch Clark.