Synopses & Reviews
The first fifty years of Americaand#8217;s most popular spectator sport have been strangely neglected by historians claiming to tell the and#8220;complete storyand#8221; of pro football. Well, here are the early stories that and#8220;complete storyand#8221; has left out. What about the awful secret carried around by Sid Luckman, the Bearsand#8217; Hall of Fame quarterback whose father was a mobster and a murderer? Or Steve Hamas, who briefly played in the NFL then turned to boxing and beat Max Schmeling, conqueror of Joe Louis? Or the two one-armed players who suited up for NFL teams in 1945? Or Steelers owner Art Rooney postponing a game in 1938 because of injuries? These are just a few of the little-known facts Dan Daly unearths in recounting the untold history of pro football in its first half century.and#160;These decades were also full of ideas and experimentation, such as the invention of the modern T formation that revolutionized offense, unlimited player substitution, and soccer-style kicking, as well as the emergence of televised pro football as prime-time entertainment. Relying on obscure sources, original interviews, old game films and statistical databases, Dalyand#8217;s extensive research and engaging stories bring the NFLand#8217;s formative yearsand#8212;and pro footballand#8217;s folk rootsand#8212;to life.
For the last twenty-five years, the most dominant offensive strategy in college football has been the spread offense, which relies on empty backfields, lots of receivers and passing, and no huddles between plays. Where the spread offense started, why it took so long to take hold, and the evolution of its many variations are the much-debated mysteries that Bart Wright sets about solving in this book.
Football Revolution recovers a key, overlooked, part of the story. The book reveals how Jack Neumeier, a high school football coach in California in the 1970s, built an offensive strategy around a young player named John Elway, whose father was a coach at nearby California State University, Northridge. One of the elder Elways assistant coaches, Dennis Erickson, then borrowed Neumeiers innovations and built on them, bringing what we now know as the spread offense onto the national stage at the University of Miami in the 1980s. With Ericksons career as a lens, this book shows how the inspiration of a high school coach became the dominant offense in college football, prepping a whole generation of quarterbacks for the NFL and forever changing the way the game is played.
About the Author
A sports columnist for the Washington Times
, Dan Daly has been writing about pro football for more than thirty years and is the winner of numerous awards. His book (with Bob Oand#8217;Donnell) The Pro Football Chronicle
was judged one of the and#8220;truly fine books about the sportand#8221; by ESPN.comand#8217;s Rob Neyer.