* "Sports enthusiasts of any age are sure to find it a winner...a touchdown."
The National Football League is the most popular sports league in the United States. Its championship game, the Super Bowl, is watched by millions of people every year. But it wasn’t always like this. In the last one hundred years, football has changed from a poorly organized, often overlooked sport to America’s favorite pastime. Here are the stories of that remarkable transformation. The stories of the greatest players, the most successful coaches, the most memorable games—and the amazing plays that made us gasp as we watched them in stadiums and on televisions all over America.
Discover the league’s scrappy beginnings in an automobile showroom, and early players like Red Grange, the Galloping Ghost. Relive the very first championship game, played indoors after a circus had visited, and famous games like the Ice Bowl. See the NFL at war, and meet some of the remarkable athletes who helped desegregate the league. Learn how the draft came into existence, and about the teams that strove for that almost impossible goal—a perfect season.
Veteran sportswriter Fred Bowen brings his in-depth knowledge and lively prose to these fascinating stories, and award-winning artist James E. Ransome has created stunning full-page illustrations that bring the sport of football to life like never before.
Gr 4–7—Bowen describes the history of the NFL, from its humble Ohio beginnings up to the 2019 Super Bowl. The text includes famous games, players, coaches, and events that helped shape the sport into the powerhouse it is today. Shorter chapters are divided into quarters, which help create an easy-to-follow, linear time line. Bowen's words flow best when describing on-the-field action, making readers feel as if they're watching the game in front of them. Ransome's complex sketch and watercolor illustrations break up the text-heavy pages and often use double layouts. Back matter includes an index, a bibliography (consisting of books and articles but not any specific websites besides Pro Football Reference), and a list of athletes and coaches featured in the endpapers. The chapters briefly discuss racism, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the evolution of the NFL draft, and the West Coast offense. While there is enough substance within the text to be used for school reports, it might be difficult for younger readers to parse out the pertinent information amongst the fun anecdotes. VERDICT A book for die-hard football fans who want to learn more about the NFL's storied past. Purchase to supplement football-themed sections that heavily feature team-centric books.—Kerri Williams, Center Moriches Free P.L., NY