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After the NFL formed in 1920, pro football's popularity grew gradually but steadily. It burst into national prominence with the Chicago Bears-Washington Redskins championship game of 1940. As one sportswriter put it: "The weather was perfect. So were the Bears." The final score was 73-0. Peterson shows how, after World War II, the newly-created All-America Football Conference challenged the NFL, which never viewed the new teams as much of a threat. That is, not until 1950 when the two leagues merged. In the first game of the 1950 season, the Cleveland Browns, winner of all four AAFC titles, buried the 1949 NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles 35-10.
An elegy to a time when, for many players, the game was at least as important as the money it brought them, Pigskin takes readers up to the 1958 championship game when the Baltimore Colts beat the New York Giants in overtime. An estimated thirty million people saw the game on their grainy, black-and-white television screens and many of them became instant fans. Pro football had arrived as a major sport.
|1.||Before the Television Bonanza||3|
|2.||In the Beginning||13|
|3.||The Cradle of Professionalism||23|
|4.||The Coming of Jim Thorpe||45|
|5.||The Birth and Infancy of the NFL||67|
|6.||Glimmers of Glory||85|
|7.||The Pro Style Is Born||109|
|8.||A Debacle and the Wartime Blues||127|
|9.||The Postwar War||147|
|10.||Black Players and Blackballs||169|
|11.||The Television Era Begins||191|
|Notes on Sources||213|
Posted January 8, 2014
Bought this for myself for Christmas, since I had a gift card laying around with a $50 balance.
The writing is good and it flows well, follows a good
I'm about halfway thru now, but if the rest of the book is like the first, then I'm not disappointed. This is a great tale of the early years of pro football from 1880ish until late 50s. My complaints are, however - holy crap, 33 bucks for a paperback? What is this, a college textbook? I have no idea why so expensive, it's certainly nothing special. Another beef is the font size. Yeah, I'm getting old and need reading glasses, but jeez, this stuff is like size 8 font. Come on, man! Lastly, there's a section of photos in the middle. For $33, I'd kind of expect them to look better than if someone ran 100 copies of a black & white picture. Best bet - find a library copy.