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My Greatest Day in Football: The Legends of Football Recount Their Greatest Moments
     

My Greatest Day in Football: The Legends of Football Recount Their Greatest Moments

by Bob McCullough
 

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Sports journalist Bob McCullough tracked down some of the best football players of past and present and asked them one question: What was your greatest day? The result is a fantastic collection of stories sure to satisfy football fans across America.

My Greatest Day in Football is an oral history wherein football greats from the last half-century talk

Overview

Sports journalist Bob McCullough tracked down some of the best football players of past and present and asked them one question: What was your greatest day? The result is a fantastic collection of stories sure to satisfy football fans across America.

My Greatest Day in Football is an oral history wherein football greats from the last half-century talk about their most rewarding moments in the game. Including first-person accounts from Hall of Famers such as Terry Bradshaw, Bud Grant, Steve Largent, and Y. A. Tittle, this book features expanded interviews to include thoughts on their greatest college day, greatest opponent, and greatest teammate.

Together their memories constitute a series of snapshots into the history of the NFL. Baltimore receiver Raymond Berry narrates an insider's account of the Colts' final drive that led to overtime in the 1958 NFL championship, against the Giants, a battle that became known as the Greatest Game Ever Played. Bart Starr delivers a blow-by-blow account of another final drive in the Ice Bowl: the championship game against Dallas that helped define the Packers dynasty in the sixties.

On the other side of the ball, Kansas City linebacker Bobby Bell talks about the maturation of the AFL in the context of a wild card drive to the Super Bowl, while Bradshaw and Jack Ham provide two very different perspectives on the Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty of the late seventies. Paul Warfield and Don Shula offer their take on Miami's perfect season, with Warfield contrasting that achievement against his first great NFL moment as a member of the Cleveland Browns, in which he proved that he belonged in the league against a Lombardi-coached Packer team.

One of the greatest defensive players of all time, Lawrence Taylor, brings the collection into the late eighties and early nineties as he tells the story of a game in which he literally tore the New Orleans Saints (and his own shoulder) apart, earning a rare accolade from a certain future Hall of Fame coach, Bill Parcells, whose greatest day came in one of several epic championship battles against a San Francisco 49ers team with Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott.

With its insider's look into the world of football, this book is a must-have for football fans everywhere.

Author Biography: BOB McCULLOUGH is the author of five books:

My Greatest Day in Golf, My Greatest Day in NASCAR, My Greatest Day in Baseball, 1946-1997, New York Running Guide (with Miles Jaffe), and Washington D.C. Running Guide (with Don Carter.) His writing has also appeared in The Boston Globe, SPORT magazine, The Phoenix, Los Angeles Times, and a wide variety of other publications. He is the primary jazz record reviewer for The Boston Globe and has written about sports, arts and entertainment, architecture, and real estate. He also reviews books for Publishers Weekly, The Boston Globe, The Phoenix, and SPORT. His two newest ventures are Inside NASCAR and writing for MSNBC's Web site.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the latest edition of his Greatest Day series (My Greatest Day in NASCAR), McCullough interviewed 29 football players and coaches about their superlative moments in professional and college football. Though sometimes rambling, the oral histories are refreshingly candid; McCullough does not direct his subjects' reminiscences beyond posing the initial question. By giving people like former Philadelphia Eagle star Chuck Bednarik, Monday Night Football commentator Frank Gifford (inducted into the Hall of Fame for his stellar offense with the Giants in the 1950s), and Steve Largent, Seattle Seahawks receiver in the 1980s free rein, McCullough captures the flavor of football in particular eras. Moreover, he doesn't edit their words, so readers get a real sense of the voice and personality of each subject. Super Bowl games by far take the lead in these recollections, but a few people chose other glorious events: election to the Hall of Fame, the chance to play alongside their own heroes, repeatedly sacking a longstanding rival. Paul Krause movingly recounts his wife's recovery from a six-month coma and, immediately thereafter, his own election to the Hall of Fame. A brief introductory paragraph about each player and coach provides some context, though more background information would prove helpful for nonaficionados. But fans and addicts will take hold of this book. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct. 8) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
McCullough follows the successful format he previously used with golfers and NASCAR drivers, here interviewing members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame about their greatest day in football. The interviews are much more than that, however. The personalities of the players take center stage, as many of them discuss not just a single game but their view of the game in general and their lives before, during, and after football. Two individual interviews stand out: those with Chuck Bednarik and Terry Bradshaw. Bednarik, the legendary center for the Philadelphia Eagles and the last of the two-way players, was a World War II combat veteran before he was 21, and his toughness shows in every word. Bradshaw, the quarterback who led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl championships, was often denigrated for his lack of intelligence, but the cogency with which he explains the Steelers' offense shows a mind that overflows with football knowledge and "smarts." The men interviewed here have made football what it is today. This book is a winner. Highly recommended for all libraries, for both teenage and adult readers. William Scheeren, Hempfield Area H.S. Lib., Greensburg, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Fun memories from football greats, and some fascinating insights into the politics of the Hall of Fame and football's evolution over the past 50 years, as compiled by McCullough (My Greatest Day in Golf, not reviewed). Twenty-seven Hall of Famers (with the exception of Bill Parcells) were interviewed for this collection, in which McCullough asked them to describe their greatest day in pro football, greatest day in college ball, and the best players they encountered. There's Pete Pihos, one of the best ends to ever play and an All Pro on both sides of the ball back in the 1940s and '50s, talking about playing against Sammy Baugh and the Redskins, and Bob St. Clair (all six feet, nine inches, and 265 pounds of him) running down Emlen Tunnell of the Giants. It doesn't come as much of a surprise that Bart Starr's greatest game was the Ice Bowl against Dallas on the way to the first Super Bowl, or that almost every player speaks the name Jim Brown (painfully absent) with a reverential awe. Some of the material comes across as disjointed: With Steve Largent, it's not at all clear which games he's talking about. And although it is admirable that McCullough lets the players speak in their own voice here, some tidying was in order: "They sent me a tape with like forty or fifty of my interceptions-I didn't even remember half of them. I only remembered maybe forty out of the fifty, you know?" Nobody speaks with such a sense of pure joy (not just about playing football but relating the entire atmosphere at the time and his part in it) as Sam Huff of the New York Giants. Fresh out of West Virginia ("I couldn't imagine trains running underground. I mean how do you fantasize about that?"), hebecame the prototype middle linebacker: "The head slap was legal at that time, you know, and when they slapped me, well, I slugged them back." Simply not to be missed: Meat and potatoes for the football fan.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312302962
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 9.86(h) x 0.82(d)

Meet the Author

Bob McCullough lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

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