Perfect Rivals

Perfect Rivals

4.4 10
by Jeff Carroll
     
 

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College football is a sport of rivalries—and no two teams were ever more perfectly matched than the Miami Hurricanes and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In Perfect Rivals, award-winning sportswriter Jeff Carroll takes us inside the locker rooms and onto the gridiron, as two storied programs with very different cultures battle for national supremacy, school pride,

Overview

College football is a sport of rivalries—and no two teams were ever more perfectly matched than the Miami Hurricanes and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In Perfect Rivals, award-winning sportswriter Jeff Carroll takes us inside the locker rooms and onto the gridiron, as two storied programs with very different cultures battle for national supremacy, school pride, and the soul of the game itself.

Beginning with the Hurricanes’ nationally televised 58–7 pasting of the Irish at the Orange Bowl in November 1985, the two teams faced each other five times over a six-year span. The last three of those games had national championship implications, as a resurgent Notre Dame sought to reclaim its historic preeminence against a faster, mouthier, more talented Miami squad notorious for trash-talking opponents, stalking out of pregame buffets, and wearing military fatigues on the team plane. The games were marked by heartbreaking finishes, disputed plays, and nasty onfield brawls. Adding fuel to the fire was a controversial slogan created by a Notre Dame student and picked up by the press—“Catholics vs. Convicts”—which served to heighten the cultural (and, some would say, racial) tension between the opposing schools.

Carroll’s fast-paced, up-close-and-personal narrative centers on a handful of colorful characters on both sides of the rivalry: the coaches, from dapper Jimmy Johnson to punctilious Lou Holtz, and the players, including Miami’s Steve Walsh, a quiet Midwesterner and one-time Holtz recruit who defied the freewheeling Miami stereotype, and devout Baptist Tony Rice, only the second black quarterback in Notre Dame history, who defined the rivalry and decided the contests.

Filled with you-are-there depictions of game action and insights drawn from Carroll’s unfettered access to many of the major figures involved, Perfect Rivals is a vivid re-creation of one of the most entertaining eras in the history of college football.
 


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345523150
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Jeff Carroll is a freelance writer for the South Bend Tribune and The Times of northwest Indiana. His work has been honored seventeen times by various professional organizations, including the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press Sports Editors, and the Illinois and Indiana state press associations. He lives in the Chicago area with his family.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Perfect Rivals: Notre Dame, Miami, and the Battle for the Soul of College Football 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Swweeeettttttt
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ValpoSteve More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Perfect Rivals. The book had me reliving a time in my life where I was a high school football player leaving JV games on Saturday morning and racing up the tollway to South Bend for ND football in the afternoon. Jeff Carroll captured all the fan fare and excitement of the Notre Dame, Miami rivalry. Each year they played was another step toward adulthood for me. But each game they played I was a kid cheering for Montana and Theisman and my favorite college football team. Carroll didn't take the whole history of ND football as some books have done. He took a slice in time...The most important slice...The Holtz years when the program was returning to it's former glory, and coupled it with the brash and brazen Hurricanes, who you loved to hate and hated to see win. I thought the book was full of well researched and documented commentary from players and coaches on both sides of the war. In fact I learned quite a bit about those guys we loved to hate...the Miami Hurricanes. And finally Carroll delves into the Pink Elephant that no one wants to talk about College Football and the quest for money. Yes, Even Notre Dame succumbed to the greediness that was out there. But it answers for me one important question...WHY? I felt that this book humanizes the Hurricanes in a way I didn't expect, and shows just how fragile psyche of NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL REALLY WAS! Thank you Jeff for giving me back a piece of my youth at Notre Dame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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SlapShot62 More than 1 year ago
A good visit back to this college football rivalry, but not a very strong effort overall. It was fun to relive the mood and tone of college football from the 1980s, but Carroll just does not give much depth to what he offers. Quite simply, he just fell short. Great idea for a book, good presentation of the basics, but he made little effort to expand on those basics. Much more detail and more views from those who were there easily could have added 100 great pages to this book. I'm glad I read it, but I'm not in a rush to recommend the book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago