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Guts and Glory: The Golden Age of American Football, 1958-1978
Synopses & Reviews
In 1958, journalist Neil Leifer took the picture that remains one of his most famous to this day. The day he got the shot - Alan Ameche’s game-winning "Sudden Death" touchdown - was Leifer’s 16th birthday. This game, called "The Greatest Ever Played," signaled football’s emergence as America’s new national pastime; formerly half-empty stadiums welcomed sold-out crowds seemingly overnight, while football surpassed baseball in national television ratings. Starting then, on any given Sunday Leifer was most likely shooting a football game somewhere in America. . . .
After our limited and art editions, this book is now finally available as trade edition.
The National Football League has long reigned as Americaand#8217;s favorite professional sports league. In its early days, however, it was anything but a dominant sports industry, barely surviving World War II. Its rise began after the war, and the 1950s was a pivotal decade for the league. Run to Glory and Profits tells the economic story of how in one decade the NFL transformed from having a modest following in the Northeast to surpassing baseball as this countryand#8217;s most popular sport.
To break from the margins of the sports landscape, pro football brought innovation, action, skill, and episodic suspense on and#8220;any given Sunday.and#8221; These factors in turn drove attendance and rising revenues. Team owners were quick to embrace television as a new medium to put the league in front of a national audience. Based on primary documents, David George Surdam provides an economic analysis in telling the business story behind the NFLand#8217;s rise to popularity. Did the leagueand#8217;s vaunted competitive balance in the decade result from its more generous revenue sharing and its reverse-order draft? How did the league combat rival leagues, such as the All-America Football Conference and the American Football League? Although strife between owners and players developed quickly, pro-football fans stayed loyal because the product itself remained so good.
About the Author
Native New Yorker Neil Leifer began photographing sports events as a teenager. Over 160 of his pictures have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and over 40 of his photographs have graced the cover of Time. He has published 15 books, and was one of two principal photographers in TASCHEN's tribute to Muhammad Ali, GOAT--Greatest Of All Time.Jim Murray was a founding father of Sports Illustrated, and sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years. Murray was inducted into Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame writers' wing in 1988 and won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1990. He died in 1998.Sports authority Gabriel Schechter, is the author of five books, most recently This Bad Day in Yankees History.
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