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Breaker Boys: The NFL's Greatest Team and the Stolen 1925 Championship Hardcover – October 2, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 311 pages
  • Publisher: ESPN; 1st edition (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933060352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933060354
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Breaker Boys is more than just a grid-iron classic. It's a story about dreaming big in America. Hands down one of the most remarkable sports stories ever told." --Gavin O'Connor, director, Miracle -- Gavin O'Connor, director, Miracle

"David Fleming has done justice to what is surely one of the National Football League's last great untold stories. If you think today's sports scene is wild, wait until you meet Doc Striegel, Dick Rauch, Tony Latone, and the rest of the Pottsville Maroons -- a great team Fleming brings to life with gusto." --John Eisenberg, author of The Great Match Race: When North Met South in America's First Sports Spectacle -- John Eisenberg

...a remarkable book. -- John McClain, Houston Chronicle

A fascinating story, by a great writer--I guarantee you'll enjoy this book. -- John Hancock, WBT Radio

If you love history and sports, you have to check out this book. -- Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch

About the Author

David Fleming is a seniorwriter for ESPN The Magazine and columnist for ESPN.com's Page 2. Before joining ESPN in 2000, Fleming covered the NFL for six seasons as a staff writer at Sports Illustrated. During the past ten years he has profiled nearly every major star in the NFL. Fleming is a native of Detroit and a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he was captain of the varsity wrestling team. He began his writing career at the Pulse-Journal in Mason, Ohio, and later worked at The Cincinnati Post. He and his wife, Kim, live in Davidson, North Carolina, with their daughters.

Customer Reviews

Great book and an obscure story that's very well done by David Fleming.
Derri Fukmi
This is a fast read, very interesting, and I guarantee you that you will learn some things in this book which you did not previously know.
L. Singleton
The book tells the story of Dr. Streigel, and how he built a powerhouse team.
Randy Cook

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The previous review is exactly why all real NFL fans should read this book and find out for themselves. For 80 years the NFL and people like Mr. Maher have been bullying Pottsville in the same manner, denying them their championship but, more importantly, as Fleming so wonderfully points out in his book, denying all NFL fans a chance to know one of the league's most entertaining and influential teams.

Besides being a great read that captures the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, the wild times of the 1920s and the early days of the NFL, Fleming's exhaustive research and balanced approach sheds new light on the game's oldest controversy. It's clear Mr. Maher has popped off without reading the book. (I think it just became available today--I was given an advance reader copy several weeks ago.) If he had read the book he would know that 1) The NFL has never produced this so-called 'territory' rule; 2) Fleming uncovered proof that the Maroons were given permission from the league to play the disputed game; and 3) If the ND game did nothing to entrench the NFL in the public's mind then why was the result splashed across the top of all the region's newspapers and why, later, did NFL icons like George Halas, Red Grange, Art Rooney and Paul Tagliabue stand behind the Maroons claim? Whose opinion carries more weight here?

Controversy or not, this is a great book, about a great team, very much in the same spirit as Seabiscuit.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Reddick on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Just as history transformed a crew of unlikely athletes into winners, this book has ignited an interest in football and the genre of sports literature in an unlikely reader. Imediately, I was engaged by Fleming's vivid and disturbingly accurate descriptions of the working man's life in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. A life so desolate and dangerous that it is difficult to imagine without the help of a well crafted novel such as this. Not being much of a football fan, I anticipated that my interest would remain down in those mines. As it turned out, I was eager to rise up out of the caverns, just as the players did, and take part in the magical sunlit games that became the Maroons' future. For the first time, I have seen those games through the eyes of the men who played them, and I find myself relating their passion to the players of today. Who knew sports literature could interest this young Mom of two and not just my husband and father? I hope to see more from this author.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I travel from my home in Shamokin to Reading a lot, and the road (PA route 901) goes right past the somewhat tacky strip mall that has replaced the old Maroons' Field. Were it not for a historical marker there, no one these days would probably realize that this was the field that was the home base for the 1925 NFL champions. The book "Breaker Boys" retells the story of the Pottsville team, and the folks who backed it, in almost minute detail. It recounts the chicanery the NFL president and the owner of the Frankford Yellow Jackets used to deprive Pottsville of its hard-won championship. There was a concerted effort on the part of the NFL to purge its ranks of small town teams, and Pottsville's game against the Four Horsemen gave the NFL the perfect opportunity to do so. Even these days efforts are being made to restore what was unjustly taken, but I fear that will never happen. Read the book and decide for yourself who was correct: Pottsville or the NFL. I know on which side I fall.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Warren on October 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A great read for any football fan. Dave Fleming explains both sides of the controversy of the 1925 championship. He gives an illustrated account of the team of 1925 and their contribution to the NFL. No one has explored all known sources like Dave has. I guarantee that this is the most comprehensive examination ever published. If you were lucky enough to read the ARC, you must get this book which has more information as well as a complete source of all material used for this book. Highly recommended. Well written.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Ney on November 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After eight decades, a history of the Pottsville Maroons NFL football team has finally been written. Those of us football fans who were fortunate to know of the Legend that is the Maroons knew that theirs was one of the greatest untold stories of professional sports - until now. This book is an excellent chronicle of the team from the small city of Pottsville, in the coal regions of Central Pennsylvania. Finally, a whole nation of football fans can appreciate their tale. Before reading the book, start by studying the pictures of the players found in the middle of the book. After reading the book, look at their photos again; after going through the whole season with them, you will have a sense of knowing who they really were. You will hear both sides of the argument about the stolen championship of 1925; the book will show you what caused this whole incident: who was involved, and the motivation behind each actor. The author's research has produced an indepth record of the 1925 Maroons, very easy and enjoyable to read, and a book of interest to die-hard football fans and historians everywhere. Contemporary newspaper accounts and other primary sources, as well as interviews with descendents of the players and information later published, were painstakingly collected and assembled in a way that makes you want to keep reading to see what happens next. After reading this book, you will have formed your own well-informed opinion of how the matter of the "Stolen Championship" should have been handled in the past, and since it is still an ongoing issue, how it should be handled in the future.
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