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Unbeatable: Notre Dame's 1988 Championship and the Last Great College Football Season Hardcover – August 13, 2013
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It's a must-read for any Notre Dame fan!
In 1980, Notre Dame hired Gerry Faust, the successful coach of Moeller High School in Cincinnati, to lead their football fortunes. He led them to disaster. Faust was a devout Catholic and a coach with high ethics but was not up to coaching at the college level. During his tenure at Notre Dame, he won 30 games and lost 26, not nearly enough to meet the demands of the true alumni as well as the "subway" supporters. When his team was humiliated by Miami of Florida in a 58-7 drubbing, it was time for him to go.
The second resurrection of Notre Dame football was placed in the hands of Lou Holtz, then the coach at Minnesota. UNBEATABLE by Jerry Barca is the story of Notre Dame's return to football glory and their national championship team of 1988. As the Irish celebrate the 25th anniversary of the last undefeated national championship team at Notre Dame, Barca looks at the 1988 season through the eyes of the players and coaches who led the Irish to a Fiesta Bowl victory over West Virginia in a battle between undefeated teams. There was no BCS National Championship game on January 2, 1989, when Notre Dame defeated the Mountaineers 34-21.Read more ›
While most historiographies(?) are merely a run-through of the bullet points of a story; highlighting the obvious characters with facts and figures taken from cursory searches of box scores and Wikipedia pages, UNBEATABLE is an original telling of Notre Dame football and this 1988 team like no other ND book or article I have ever read.
It's clear that Barca started telling this story from scratch by interviewing all the relevant parties recently to get their opinions "now" about what happened "then". I loved the stories that Tony Rice, Tim Ryan, and Pat Terrell tell about their recruitment, the detail in which other members such as Frank Stams and Reggie Ho talk about their mindsets as student athletes. And he stays away from hyperbole by just telling the story as it happens. It was a fresh perspective that is rare in modern-day sports reporting.
The book reminded me a lot of Bill Simmons's "The Book of Basketball" in that Barca clearly went back and re-watched the games and his love of the subject matter was ever-present thus creating an awesome read. Highly recommended. If you have a Notre Dame fan in your family, will make for an awesome gift.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic account of a Great National Championship !!! GO IRISH !!!Published 3 months ago by Gary J. Rutledge
This is a fantastic book. Jerry Barca has done an incredible job bringing the 1988 Notre Dame Championship Season to life. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Conor B. Dugan
I went to Notre Dame, and thus love ND football. If you were a fan back in 1988 (or even if you're a more recent Fighting Irish afficianado), this book is a must read. Read morePublished 14 months ago by MJZ
We love the Irish and loved the book. It brought back many great memories.Published 17 months ago by Kristine Mowery
I enjoyed "Unbeatable" very much. It's a fun fast read and Barca is a good story teller. I recommend it.Published 20 months ago by Mark Warren
Must Read for all! Highly recommend this book for all ages, regardless if you are a Notre Dame fan or not, it is truly a great book and Tony Rice is amazing!Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer