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Papa Bear: The Life and Legacy of George Halas
     

Papa Bear: The Life and Legacy of George Halas

by Jeff Davis
 

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"Papa Bear is everything a sports book should be: Passionate, encyclopedic, utterly biased and filled with endearingly anachronistic phrases. . ."

New York Times Book Review

Granted unprecedented access to George Halas’s former players, friends and associates, author Jeff Davis tells the incredible story of how one man grabbed an

Overview

"Papa Bear is everything a sports book should be: Passionate, encyclopedic, utterly biased and filled with endearingly anachronistic phrases. . ."

New York Times Book Review

Granted unprecedented access to George Halas’s former players, friends and associates, author Jeff Davis tells the incredible story of how one man grabbed an outlaw game by the throat, shook it up, and made it into the most popular spectator sport on the planet.

Editorial Reviews

Joe Queenan
Papa Bear is everything a sports book should be: passionate, encyclopedic, utterly biased and filled with endearingly anachronistic phrases like ''They bivouacked in corn country'' and ''By season's end, they were glad to beat a retreat home to the City of Big Shoulders.'' At 534 pages in length, it seems to describe every bone-crunching tackle, ill-advised draw play and outrageous holding penalty in the Bears' history. Davis, a journalist and a lifelong resident of Chicago, is generally admiring of the Promethean Halas, without attempting to camouflage his abrasive personality, his mistreatment of his players, his manipulation of the press, his baiting of the officials, his penchant for hiring private detectives to tail his own family members and his gutter mouth.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Halas was the longtime owner of the Chicago Bears and one of the driving forces behind the creation and growth of the NFL. He was an innovator both on and off the field, and his influence can still be felt in professional football, even 21 years after his death. While many football fans are familiar with the story about how Halas and some associates founded the league in 1920 in a Canton, Ohio, automobile dealership, far fewer are aware of the growing pains the NFL endured in its early years. In his laudatory look at Halas, Davis, a Chicago journalist, provides plenty of little-known details about the formative days of both the NFL and the Bears, offering profiles of players and explanations of Halas's coaching style and business strategy. His in-depth reporting, however, is the biography's strength and weakness. Bear fans who can't get enough of the early history of the team will revel in the many game accounts, but more casual fans may find the narrative slowed by such details, particularly in the book's final portion, where Davis extends the story of the Bears to 2003 and expresses his skepticism about the team's current owners. Agent, Paul Bresnick. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Halas was, of course, one of the legendary founders of the National Football League and the longtime owner and successful coach of the Chicago Bears football franchise. There has been a great need for a new full-scale biography of Halas to update George Vass's still very serviceable George Halas and the Chicago Bears (1971) and Halas's own entertaining and colorful autobiography Halas by Halas (1979). Davis, longtime Chicago area journalist and sports producer, provides a welcome assessment that combines analysis and anecdote. "Papa Bear," as Davis notes, was less of a cuddly bear than a formidable and frugal (especially when negotiating player salaries) figure with uncanny and brilliant skills as a businessman and sportsman. There will be many more biographies of Halas in the future, but Davis's will remain a standard if only for its many interviews (some 60 in all). Because Halas cast a shadow well beyond Chicago, this work is recommended for most libraries.-Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780071477413
Publisher:
McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date:
07/27/2006
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
306,313
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Davis is a lifelong Chicagoan and career journalist. He has covered network and local news and sports for more than three decades as a writer, television sports producer, and reporter. His work has earned numerous honors, including five Emmys. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.

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