The President's Team: The 1963 Army-Navy Game and the Assassination of JFK

The President's Team: The 1963 Army-Navy Game and the Assassination of JFK

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by Michael P. Connelly, Edward M. Kennedy, Roger Staubach
     
 

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President John F. Kennedy, a former naval hero and a passionate football fan, was looking forward to watching the Midshipmen take on the Cadets at the annual Army-Navy game on November 30, 1963. "I hope to be on the winning side when the game ends," he telegrammed the Navy coach on November 20. Two days later, the president was assassinated in Dallas, changing the

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Overview

President John F. Kennedy, a former naval hero and a passionate football fan, was looking forward to watching the Midshipmen take on the Cadets at the annual Army-Navy game on November 30, 1963. "I hope to be on the winning side when the game ends," he telegrammed the Navy coach on November 20. Two days later, the president was assassinated in Dallas, changing the nation forever.

                Exploring the close relationship between President Kennedy and the Navy football squad of the early 1960s, author Michael Connelly describes how the 1963 Army-Navy game---which was played on December 7 after an initial postponement---served as a welcome distraction for a nation in mourning while provding a opportunity to honor JFK's memory. Connelly ties together the historic Army-Navy rivalry with the changing political landscape of the 1960s, both at home and overseas. The President's Team delves into Kennedy's love of football and the special bond he established with many of the Navy players, including Heisman winner and former Hall of Famer Roger Staubach.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Boston Herald sportswriter Connelly (Rebound!) offers a fresh take on the early 1960s by exploring the connection between touch-football-playing war hero President John F. Kennedy and the successful Naval Academy football team that produced two Heisman Trophy winners, Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach, in four years. Relying on research and on his own interviews, the author goes through the 1963 season game by game with the nationally ranked Midshipmen losing only to Southern Methodist in a rough October contest in Dallas. Just before the much-anticipated annual battle with 7-2 Army, though, the President was assassinated in the seminal horrific event of the era. With the nation in mourning, the game was delayed, but when the sobered service teams finally met, it was a thrilling contest that wasn't decided until the final play at the goal line. Navy won and was invited to play top-ranked Texas in the Cotton Bowl, but on New Year's Day Navy once again met defeat in Dallas. Connelly concludes the book by telling where the players are now. VERDICT A fascinating glimpse at a time still in memory but far gone from today; recommended for all college football fans.—John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616731106
Publisher:
MVP Books
Publication date:
11/10/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
602,029
File size:
6 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Connelly did a superb job of weaving the incidents of the final year of Kennedy's presidency into his narrative on the Army-Navy rivalry and 1963 game. It's an emotional history lesson for those who lived that year, a very entertaining read.

nflblog.dallasnews.com

Boston Herald sports reporter Michael Connelly takes readers back to the time period and tells the parallel stories in an engaging, though occasionally verbose, manner. He has read almost every press account of the subject and also spoke with the players and coaches who are still alive. Mr. Connelly doesn't break a great deal of new ground, but synthesizes information well. As a decorated Navy hero, Mr. Kennedy had a special bond with the football team of the U.S. Naval Academy that predated his presidency. There is an extensive discussion of Mr. Kennedy's naval heroics as well as his love of football, including much detail about the Kennedy family's frequent football games on the lawn of their estate in Hyannis Port, MA… As Mr. Connelly noted, during the season Mr. Staubach "scrambled, dodged and avoided the fastest and biggest football players in the country, but there was no escaping the wrath of Ethel." Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy poked his finger in the face of Navy Coach Wayne Hardin and said "I thought you knew, how important that game was to my family.' Such behind-the-scenes revelations make "The President's Team: The 1963 Army-Navy Game & The Assassination of JFK" an enjoyable book.

The Washington Times

Booklist Online, January 13, 2009

With even Kennedy’s assassination gradually fading into history as just another national tragedy, Connelly’s reframing of the event in terms of a very specific context manages to capture the anguish of a nation in a new and surprisingly compelling way.

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