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The Best Game Ever: Giants Vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL [Audiobook] [Englisch] [Audio CD]

Mark Bowden , Matthew Christilaw , Phil Gigante

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 31. Mai 2008 --  


31. Mai 2008
This is the remarkable story of the 1958 NFL Championship game between the Colts and the Giants - considered by many to be the greatest American football game ever played - from Mark Bowden, bestselling author of "Black Hawk Down". On December 28, 1958, the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts met under the lights of Yankee Stadium for the American NFL Championship game. Played in front of sixty-four thousand fans and millions of television viewers around the country, the game would be remembered as the greatest in football history. On the field and roaming the sidelines were seventeen future Hall of Famers, including Colts stars Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, and Gino Marchetti, and Giants greats Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, and assistant coaches Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry. An estimated forty-five million viewers - at that time the largest crowd to have ever watched a football game - tuned in to see what would become the first sudden-death contest in NFL history. It was a battle of the league's best offense - the Colts - versus its best defense - the Giants. And it was a contest between the blue-collar Baltimore team versus the glamour boys of the Giants squad. "The Best Game Ever" is a brilliant portrait of how a single game changed the history of American sport and is destined to become a classic.
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


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"'Scrupulously researched... Bowden succeeds in making a contest from a half-century ago seem fresh, in part because he has a keen sense for the anecdotal... A great story and a great game.' Wall Street Journal" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Mark Bowden is the bestselling author of Killing Pablo, Finders Keepers, Guests of the Ayatollah and Black Hawk Down, which was made into a successful film by Ridley Scott. He is a national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  42 Rezensionen
20 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen What a magnificent book! 14. Mai 2008
Von John Kendall - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Mark Bowden has a proven record as an exciting writer of history. The Best Game Ever is his best book ever. He makes the 1958 NFL title game come alive. I have memories as a high school senior of watching this game on television. The game's black-and-white starkness is imbedded in my memory. Mr. Bowden makes this memory come alive in all its vivid character. His lively style is more that of an analytical journalist than an academic historian, and he offers insights that I have not read elsewhere. The photos of this cold-weather game offered in the book made me want to bundle up in spite of the fact that it is 90 degrees in San Antonio (my home) today. Every football fan should be grateful for this book.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Lightweight treatment of a great game 16. Juni 2008
Von Barry Sparks - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
December 28, 1958 marks one of the most classic moments in NFL history. That's the date the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants in sudden death overtime to win the NFL title as 45 million fans watched on television. It marked the birth of the modern NFL as football began to step out of the shadows of baseball.

The match up featured the greatest concentration of football talent for one game as 17 future Hall of Famers were involved. It pitted a team of self-made men and the league's best offense (Colts) versus a team of glamour boys and the best defense (Giants).

Author Mark Bowden tells the story of the 1958 championship game through a handful of players and coaches such as Raymond Berry, Weeb Ewbank, Sam Huff, Tom Landry (Giants' defensive coordinator) and Vince Lombardi (Giants' offensive coordinator). Bowden's exceptional study of Berry is the cornerstone of the book.

Bowden recounts how Johnny Unitas and Berry teamed up to take the Colts 86 yards in two minutes to tie the game. And, how Unitas engineered the 13-play drive in overtime to secure the thrilling victory. Unitas' greatness and leadership in the game elevated him to the highest echelon of NFL quarterbacks.

Interestingly, many of the players didn't realize that the game would continue into sudden death overtime after it was tied in regulation.

As a writer, Bowden makes the reader feel like he's in the middle of the game. He makes you wish you had been able to witness this great game. You envy those who did. NFL Commissioner Bert Bell called the Colts-Giants sudden death overtime game, "The greatest day in the history of professional football."

While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it's definitely a lightweight treatment of the subject. The book is 239, easy-to-read pages. When I finished the book, I wanted to read more about the game and its impact. I suspect many other readers will feel the same way.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Sheer enjoyment of the sport 14. Oktober 2009
Von John Galluzzo - Veröffentlicht auf
Bostonians like me are as parochial as sports fans get. In fact, we're sometimes downright myopic. "Who cares about the Giants and Colts? Well," we'd think, "Raymond Berry played in the 1958 championship game, and he later coached the New England Patriots. Maybe I'll read it."

The beauty of Bowden's treatment of the game - of course debatable as to its superlative (American publishing marketing working overtime) - is that it allows the football purist to read all the way through cheering for neither side in particular, but for the game and the sport itself. I wasn't alive when the game was played, and didn't have a rooting interest when I picked up the book. I just wanted a good read on a favored topic, and got just that.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen an evocative and gripping journalistic description of a pivotal sports moment 21. Januar 2009
Von Bruce J. Wasser - Veröffentlicht auf
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Appropriately dedicated to David Halberstam, "The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL" seamlessly blends a gripping journalistic description of the thrilling National Football League championship game with riveting personal stories of participants and witnesses. Author Mark Bowen clearly outlines the background and significance of the contest; he does so with both admiration and considerable affection for the men who fought on the semi-frozen Yankee Stadium turf that late December afternoon and evening. If Bowen extols the performance of the favored Giants, he reserves his greatest warmth for the underdog Baltimore Colts. Seventeen members of the NFL Hall of Fame participated in the contest, "the greatest concentration of football talent ever assembled for a single game."

Bowen provides compelling portraits of some of the sport's iconic figures: Vince Lombardi, Sam Huff, Tom Landry, Frank Gifford, Art "Fatso" Donovan, Lenny Moore and Johnny Unitas. However, Raymond Berry, the self-made wide receiver for the Colts holds a special place in Bowen's heart. Undersized and undervalued, Berry quietly revolutionized the sport with his meticulous preparation and unceasing quest for information. As the Colts marched down the field for the winning touchdown, the public address announcer's repetitious statement, "Unitas to Berry," exemplified two emerging stars summoning peak performances during moments of unbearable pressure.

"The Best Game Ever" contains marvelous anecdotes about the game and its witnesses. Bowen informs us that some of the players did not know about the "sudden death" rule, designed to produce a winner in a championship game. He gives life to the most famous photograph of the day, one taken by a teenager who gained access to an end-zone perspective by pushing wheelchair-bound veterans to one end of the field. As well, Bowen expertly analyzes the nascent confluence of television and football, a relationship nurtured by prescient NFL commissioner Bert Bell.

Ardent fans of professional football and students of American culture will find something to cherish in "The Best Game Ever."
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Unitas to Berry, First Down Colts 21. Dezember 2008
Von Brian Lewis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Bowden is a tremendous non-fiction writer, and I enjoyed this book tremendously, but it is a quick, light treatment of a subject loaded with nuance and historical context. The subtitle is Giants vs. Colts, 1958 and the Birth of the Modern NFL, but other than an epilog chapter, it does not really cover much ground after 1958.

This is the work of a terrific author churning out a quick book between his more serious efforts. There are strong portraits of several players, particularly Unitas (one of my boyhood idols) the Giant linebacker Sam Huff, and the methodical Raymond Berry, whose meticulous preparation altered the future of the wide receiver position, as well as the outcome of this championship game.

In light of a recent story about Donovan McNab, the Eagles quarterback being unfamiliar with the rules of overtime football during a regular season game, it was amusing to note how many of these now iconic NFL players actually thought the 1958 championship game could have ended in a tie. Sam Huff was walking off the field and mentally figuring out how the playoff shares would be divided when he first learned about the concept of sudden death.

The book misses many opportunities. The Giants had Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi on the same coaching staff, which strikes me worth a story line or two, but is not developed here. And Bowden makes some really odd choices I felt, perhaps reaching for a new angle on a frequently covered subject. For example, at the moment of the clinching touchdown the focus suddenly shifts to the amateur photographer who caught the moment Alan Ameche broke into the end zone.

Bowden acknowledges he spent some time reviewing the game film with Eagles coach Andy Reid, and while the background information gained there was probably helpful, I feel that experience could have been brought into the book more. What does a current NFL coach think of the level of play in the 50s? How did a mistake filled first half change into a beautifully played second half and overtime, as field conditions worsened?

If you are a football fan, you will not doubt enjoy the book, but it is certainly not in the same league with the author's own remarkable Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War
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