Wednesday, August 25, 2010


A review of Mark Bowden’s The Best Game Ever (2008)

(Rating 4 of 5)

This book is not about one game, despite its title, rather it is about the world in which the game was played. It is played in Dwight D. Eisenhower's America where people are discussing sputnik and the Rosenburgs. Where if you were a black player, playing for the Baltimore Colts, you had to play in a city that was segregated. The modern Civil Rights Movement, which would led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, was just getting started, but in this place that still seemed too far away.

In the 1950s baseball is the national pass time and basketball is in second with the Boston Celtics of Bill Russell being totally dominant. Football was not really new, it had been around for over half a century, but it was still evolving. The book captures this evolution and those who had made it so. Coaches, players and commissioners, all who had a hand in creating the modern game are featured in this book. The two personalities that stand out the most are Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry.



This Championship game would be played at Yankee stadium because the Giants were not important enough to get there own stadium. It would be the first ever NFL game to go into overtime. The two teams were the Giants and the Colts, who as a Patriots fan I despise both making it in some ways a difficult book for me. Nevertheless I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to know more about this era in the history of football.

{Video is from the NFL Greatest Films series}

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