The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football

The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football

by S. C. Gwynne

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501116193
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

S.C. Gwynne is the author of Hymns of the Republic and the New York Times bestsellers Rebel Yell and Empire of the Summer Moon, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He spent most of his career as a journalist, including stints with Time as bureau chief, national correspondent, and senior editor, and with Texas Monthly as executive editor. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife.

Table of Contents

1 The Mad Pirate's Revenge 1

2 A Job You Wouldn't Want 9

3 A Brief History of Men Throwing Balls 19

4 Secrets of the Air 33

5 Ballad of the Lonesome Polecat 47

6 Of Mouse and Mormons 61

7 Maybe the Worst Team in America 75

8 The Future Does Not Exist 85

9 A Convocation of Rejects 91

10 Hal's Theory of Relativity 101

11 The Air Show Comes to Town 117

12 The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Pass 135

13 No Good Deed Unpunished 149

14 Bumps in the Road 157

15 Pilgrimage to Margaritaville 165

16 Rise of a Great American Offense 175

17 The Street Value of an Aerial Circus 189

18 Air Raid 197

19 High, Wide, and Handsome 219

20 Stars in Their Courses 239

Epilogue: The Game Changes 249

A Note on Sources and Methods 269

Bibliography 273

Index 277

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The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the best football book I've ever read. Hal Mumme is a great coach and an interesting character who's story is worth telling. The author did a wonderful job.
MinTwinsNY More than 1 year ago
No matter what level of football a fan follows, it has become very clear that the forward pass is now an integral part of the game. To many, this has made the game more exciting and to others, it simply brings more variation to the offense than the smash-mouth type of game that was espoused by coaches and players alike for the first several decades the game was played. However, it wasn’t an easy time to get the game to where it is today as many who wanted to make passing a bigger part of the game were rebuffed time and time again. One of those coaches who saw the benefits of a pass-first offense was Hal Mumme, a college football coach whose life was pretty much like any other coach – always working, wondering when the next pink slip would come and trying to convince players and athletic directors that this way would work. Mumme’s offense, dubbed the “Air Raid”, was given the opportunity to be put into effect at a tiny school in the Midwest, Iowa Wesleyan, that had been a losing program for years. Along with assistant coach Mike Leach (who developed his own air game and is the subject of the excellent first chapter of the book), Mumme turned the program around and not only brought winning football to the campus, but an entire new atmosphere. It is here where there is some fuzziness in the book, as Gwynne never gives a reason as to why Mumme was asked to leave Iowa Wesleyan, but that doesn’t stop him. Eventually landing in Kentucky, Mumme does the same thing to a football program at a basketball-first university. The Air Raid becomes a hit in Lexington, enough so that the Wildcats did the unthinkable at the time – they defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide. Equal parts biography and history, “The Perfect Pass” is a terrific book that all football fans should read to gain a better understanding of the history of the forward pass in the game and how the innovation of one relatively obscure coach help change the game for good. I wish to thank Scribner for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this latest book from a pulitzer prize nominated historian is a fun, fast read that is part football history, part buddy-story, part explanation of the game we all see on tv every weekend, and part how-to on persevering in the face of obstacles. a great gift!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this latest book from a pulitzer prize nominated historian is a fun, fast read that is part football history, part buddy-story, part explanation of the game we all see on tv every weekend, and part how-to on persevering in the face of obstacles. a great gift!