When Saturday Mattered Most is the stirring story of the 1958 undefeated Army football team and the controversial coach who inspired Vince Lombardi
It was the end of an era, the last season before the surge of professional football began to lure the nation's best young student-athletes away from the military academies. That fall, the Black Knights of Army were the class of the nation. Mark Beech, a second-generation West Pointer, recounts this memorable and never-to-be-repeated season with:
- Pete Dawkins, the Heisman Trophy winner who rose to the rank of Brigadier General
- The long -Reclusive Bill Carpenter, the fabled "lonesome end" who earned the Distinguished Service Cross for saving his company in Vietnam
- Red Blaik, who led Army back to glory after the cribbing scandal and had the field at Michie Stadium named in his honor
Combining the triumph of The Junction Boys with the heroics of The Long Gray Line, Beech captures a unique period in the history of football, the military, and mid-twentieth-century America.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
MARK BEECH has been a reporter, writer and editor at Sports Illustrated since 1997, and has covered a wide range of subjects, including NCAA football, horse racing and NASCAR. An army brat and second-generation West Point graduate, he lives with his wife, Allison, and their two children in Westchester County, New York.
Mark Beech is an editor at Sports Illustrated, where he spent nearly a decade covering college football. He is the author of the book When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football. He has also written about a wide range of other sports, including college basketball, horse racing and NASCAR. A second-generation West Point graduate, he spent five years as an officer in the U.S. Army before turning to journalism. He lives with his family in Westchester County, New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mark Beech does a superb job of taking the reader back to a time when the priorities in college football had nothing to do with getting players ready for the pros. Imagine that. This book was recommended to me by a friend with ties to West Point. I'm a college football fan, but didn't know that much about Army football. I learned a lot and would recommend it to anybody who enjoys football, sports in general or 20th century history.
I have always been a fan about Army football, but this book taught me so much more about Army in the past. It even helps me with watching the games now. Would recomend to anyone with intrest in football at all.
An outstanding account of Army's magical football season of 1958. Beech takes you behind the scenes with descriptions so vivid that you'll feel that you're standing on the sidelines or in the locker room re-living some of the most heartfelt and glorious moments in Army football history. In between his detailed accounts of each game that season, he backfills with superb character bios of not only the main protagonists of that team, but also some of the lesser known, but equally colorful players and coaches. He captures the ideosynchrasies and complexities of the head coach, Red Blaik, as well as his pure football genius. It is remarkable that an undermanned, under-sized team of players who had to carry the burdens and stresses of daily military academy living could have achieved such success on the field of play against the football powers of that day: Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Pitt, South Carolina (among others) as well as academy arch-rival, Navy. It is doubtful that we'll ever see a team faced with so many physical and mental challenges come as close to perfection ever again. Beech's book is a gift to the world of sportswriting.