“Remembering the Stars of the NFL Glory Years: An Inside Look at the Golden Age of Football” by Wayne Stewart
Football (American), professional, history
July 13, 2017
3 of 5 stars (okay)
Professional football has undergone many changes since the “Golden Age” of the game, a twenty year time frame from 1955 to 1975, give or take a few years. Many of the great players from that era are remembered in this book by veteran sportswriter Wayne Stewart.
Stewart doesn’t try to rank players from that time in a numerical pecking order. Instead, he divides the book up by other means and writes a page or two on each player mentioned. There is a chapter for offensive players, a chapter for defensive players, one for funniest moments (my favorite chapter), one for the toughest, one for some other players not mentioned earlier, then finally a comparison of the game then to now.
In all chapters, the reading is easy, quick and flows well. Because he doesn’t use too many statistics, that makes the book more of an anecdotal read than an analytical one. That is good for a reader who wants to simply learn a little bit more about each of these players, especially if that reader never saw them play during their careers.
Many of the stories are told from only a few sources. It appears that Stewart obtained much of the material from a few interviews, most notably Gino Marchetti and Myron Pottios. Both of these men are mentioned and quoted frequently. While the information from these stories is good and entertaining, it does give the book a feel that this is mainly about how these men feel about who was the best during the era.
The other matter that caught my attention was that the chapter on defensive players included other positions. The most notable example was the mention of former offensive center Mick Tinglehoff near the end of the chapter on defensive players. Since he was an offensive player, I wondered why he was included in the defensive chapter. The tie-in was that he snapped to Vikings teammate Paul Krause for many years when Krause would be the placeholder for kicks. Krause is deservedly mentioned in the defensive chapter as one of the best defensive backs (he still holds the career record for pass interceptions), but including Tinglehoff on the pages with him was a head-scratcher for me.
Nonetheless, this is a decent book that football fans who watched the game during that time will enjoy reading. It is like a time machine, taking the reader back to a time when professional football was played in a much different manner than it is today.
I wish to thank Rowman & Littlefield for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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