Red Grange and the Rise of Modern Football

Overview

Before the Super Bowl, before Monday Night Football, even before the NFL, there was Red Grange. Catapulted into the public eye in 1924 by scoring four touchdowns in twelve minutes for the University of Illinois, the "Galloping Ghost" went on to a trailblazing career as a professional player, star of Hollywood films, and broadcaster. He, Babe Ruth, and Jack Dempsey were among the nation's most heralded figures during the "golden age of sport" of the 1920s, and he was also on the cover of Sports Illustrated when ...
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Overview

Before the Super Bowl, before Monday Night Football, even before the NFL, there was Red Grange. Catapulted into the public eye in 1924 by scoring four touchdowns in twelve minutes for the University of Illinois, the "Galloping Ghost" went on to a trailblazing career as a professional player, star of Hollywood films, and broadcaster. He, Babe Ruth, and Jack Dempsey were among the nation's most heralded figures during the "golden age of sport" of the 1920s, and he was also on the cover of Sports Illustrated when that magazine did a special issue in 1991 on the greatest moments in sports. John Carroll depicts the career of this soft-spoken pioneer who helped lift pro football above its reputation as "a dirty little business run by rogues and bargain-basement entrepreneurs." A reluctant celebrity and folk hero, Red Grange throughout his life symbolized older, more rural American values. He was an unpretentious self-made individual who made his mark in a society increasingly controlled by machines, vast corporations, and stifling bureaucracies. His story is an essential element in understanding football's central place in American culture.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Carroll (Regents' Professor of History, Lamar Univ.) provides an excellent review of the life of Red Grange, the very mention of whom creates images of football; he is credited with being a major catalyst for the growth and increasing popularity of professional football. Starting with the historic Illinois-Michigan college football game in 1924, the author provides substantial documentation in chronicling the life of Grange from the time of his difficult, even traumatic childhood and adolescence through his successes in college and professional football to his death. Carroll details many of the social issues that not only confronted society during the 1920s and 1930s but also influenced the rise of football's popularity. The media frenzy that surrounded Grange's life helped to spotlight professional football's quest for legitimacy with sports purists. An informative and enjoyable book; highly recommended for all sports collections.--Tim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252023842
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Series: Sport and Society Series
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Prologue : comet over the prairie 1
1 An odd kind of family 11
2 Football and the emergence of Red Grange 25
3 Grange and the golden age of sport 43
4 Football and mass society 59
5 A media frenzy 77
6 The great debate 97
7 The grand eastern tour 107
8 Barnstorming, Hollywood, and the AFL 119
9 Down but not out 140
10 A solid pro player 158
11 Finding a niche 181
12 A reluctant hero 196
Epilogue : Red Grange in perspective 211
Notes 219
Index 255
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