Customer Reviews


62 Reviews
5 star:
 (42)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Premier Sports Writing
You've seen the titles before. The Most Astuounding, Greatest, Apocalyptic/Player/Team/Game Ever. So many of them and thousands of comparable books promise thrill-a-minute adventure, but stumble and fall slogging through descriptions of individual games.

By sharp and happy contrast, author Mark Beech is a sprinter pulling readers out of box score boredom to...
Published 23 months ago by VerbRiver

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
Good read but not what I expected. It did provide insight on life at West Point and how difficult it was for them to compete
Published 19 months ago by Bill Pointer


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Premier Sports Writing, September 29, 2012
By 
VerbRiver (Falls Church, Virginia United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football (Hardcover)
You've seen the titles before. The Most Astuounding, Greatest, Apocalyptic/Player/Team/Game Ever. So many of them and thousands of comparable books promise thrill-a-minute adventure, but stumble and fall slogging through descriptions of individual games.

By sharp and happy contrast, author Mark Beech is a sprinter pulling readers out of box score boredom to the living finish line of a splendidly told story.

When Saturday Mattered Most examines the history of Army's undefeated 1958 football team ... which immediately raises the question: Who wants to read about an old football team? The answer? Anyone who gives thanks for fine writing and a glimpse of timeless magnetism and courage; frailty and pain; scandal and character, the fascinating puzzle of men together.

The book far surpasses football. It tells the story of Red Blaik, a head coach of few words, who suffered the dismissal of more than 30 players (including his own son) because of honor code violations in a 1951 scandal. Here is Blaik clashing with the West Point brass over the place and future of Army football. Here is Blaik writing weekly summaries and game assessments to General MacArthur. And here is a coach evoking reverence among some and disdain among others, both views echoing down to the present.

This is also the story of the "Lonely (Lonesome) End", in the vanguard of the wideout style of football. And here is the story of Pete Dawkins the most decorated of cadets (Head of the Corps of Cadets; captain of the football team; class president; Rhodes Scholar; player of six musical instruments; tenth in his class; winner of the Maxwell Award; Winner of the Heisman Trophy) and possibly the second-best back on the Army team.

The book is so powerful and compactly written that Blaik's eventual resignation comes not so much as a surprise that he quit, but as a surprise that the book is nearly finished. The story and the writing are so appealing that I even read the acknowledgments. I never do that.

Best of all, the What-Became-of-Them section eloquently reminds us that those with a role on any Saturday that mattered most inevitably become the Monday-through-Friday everyday people, regardless of former status as hero, reserve, or fan in the stands. When Saturday Mattered Most ends with the stark fact built into every game: The fastest thing in sports is glory fading. A marvelous book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful...A Great Resource, September 20, 2012
This review is from: When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football (Hardcover)
I know very little about Army football, but I read a lot about military history and the service academies. Having read "When Saturday Mattered Most" I find myself talking somewhat intelligently about it in casual conversation around the office. Compounded with what I digested from Joe Drape's recent contribution, "Soldiers First," I found the two books complement each other nicely--a look back at old school football and a look inside the modern era of college football.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glory Days...., September 19, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football (Hardcover)
Mark Beech does a masterful job bringing the reader into Army's last great season and one of the last seasons before the Sunday Pro Football overtook college football as America's favorite sport.

As a fan of West Point and its storied football history, it was wondering to read stories about the greats: Pete Dawkins, Bob Anderson, Bob Novogratz, Coach Blaik, Bill Carpenter and others.

If you are a fan of West Point, a fan of football or even more broadly a fan of American history, this book is a must read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars new favorite book, July 1, 2013
This review is from: When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football (Hardcover)
I am not a football fan, but I loved this book. Mark Beech places the reader on the field, in the game, in the mud, in the locker room, on the bus, and at the desk as the cadets tackle their mountain of academic work before lights out. His carefully structured storytelling builds tension to the point at which it is hard to see how the team can overcome the obstacles to victory. Beech's straightforward, precise style is perfectly suited to the dignity and self-discipline of his characters. Avoiding the laudatory prose often found in sports writing, in honest language and well-researched detail this book depicts young men who redoubled their effort in the face of failure, who become leaders in a greater arena. The characters come alive as the story reveals exactly what makes each one tick. These are real heroes, nascent, and this story describes their days upon the fields of friendly strife.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done......, September 23, 2012
I just received this book from my father who was on that 1958 Army football team. (#83 Russ Waters) It talks about a time when duty and honor really meant something. They played good, clean football and truly represented West Point to the best of their ability. No dancing. No jawing. No ridiculous egos. It's a shame they did not get the chance to play LSU for the national title. Unfortunately, the service academies were not allowed to play in bowl games back then. Go figure. That Army team had 22 All Americans and the Heisman Trophy winner (Dawkins) as well as the Outland Trophy winner (Novogratz) . They would have hoisted the national championship trophy above their heads had they been given the chance to play for it................
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not just for Army football fans, September 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football (Hardcover)
Ordered this book because I am a fan of Army football. Quickly realized this is about much more than West Point. History buffs and football fans alike will find themselves unable to put it down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for sports fans, September 29, 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This terrific book is a look at the undefeated Army (West Point) football team of 1958, the last time that Army really contended for the national championship. The focus is on legendary coach Red Blaik and how he brought the Army team back after the cheating scandal of the early 1950's decimated the football team.

Interesting information about their "Lonesome End" approach on offense, whereby the flanker was lined up way, way out there, opening up room for their running game.

Very much recommended for sports fans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book. A well written presentation of that era., June 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A fascinating retelling of the golden years Army football and those who were integral to it. This is a book for anyone who loves college sports, Army football, or would like to learn about it. As a 1963 graduate I particularly enjoyed the very accurate description of cadet life and the important role athletics played during that era.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, excellent read, September 22, 2013
This is a great book. Not a great football book, not a great military/West Point book, not a great history book--a great book. Beech's writing pulls you in and moves the story along with a richness that surprises. I was concerned this would be a play-by-play of football games, but it's oh so much more than that. Personal, real, sincere, warts and all. A great view into the American psyche. And just a helluva good story, well told.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it..., June 22, 2013
Bottom line is you would do yourself a great service to read this book. As the name implies, it not only explains the transition between when college football was king on Saturdays and how pro football took over on Sundays, but also how Army and other service academies relegated their supremacy on college football Saturdays to the commercialism of private and other public universities that, without being charged with the mantle of providing leaders for the Sons and Daughters of America, could sell their souls to field successful football teams. In the1958 Army team, you see real heroes like Dawkns, who still inspires Cadets struggling at USMA to this day, and the politically incorrect but refreshingly successful management of a military academy and football team. If you consider yourself a member of one of the following camps, you should read this book: fan of college football, fan of military service or servicemember, graduate or associate of a service academy. If two or more of those descriptors apply to you, then you must immediately read this book. One last thing....suck it, Navy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football
When Saturday Mattered Most: The Last Golden Season of Army Football by Mark Beech (Hardcover - September 18, 2012)
$25.99 $18.29
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.