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America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation Hardcover – 2004
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There is not a single mention of the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl winning team. How is this possible given the fact they are often brought up as just as worthy of the title of single greatest season as the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins' season? Plus there's the impact coach Mike Ditka had on not just the NFL but culturally (since the book touches on pro football's cultural reach the whole "Da Bears" phenomenon was not even mentioned) as well as defensive coach Buddy Ryan's influential 46 defense let alone the whole Ditka-Ryan dynamic. Throw in the fact William "the Refrigerator" Perry was the forerunner of today's 300+-lb. linemen and was a character in his own right and the author lost me on why this seminal team didn't get even a single page on its own.
The other huge omission is, although this book came out in 2004, there is zero discussion on the Bill Belichick era with the New England Patriots. By 2004, the Pats along with the Colts (who are covered very well) were the two dominant teams in the NFL. Given the author's propensity to cover the Cleveland Browns saga and the fact Belichick started as a head coach there makes it all the more puzzling.
Put it this way, Belichick is mentioned on two pages which equals the total ex-KC Chiefs flop of a coach Gunther Cunningham is sited. I don't get it.
Then because certain teams were incredibly relevant in the history of pro football (i.e., the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns) the author seems to spend an inordinate amount of text on them in the years they have been totally irrelevant in the overall scheme of the NFL. I get what he was attempting to do in providing a thread from the AAFC era and birth of the Cleveland Browns and the AFL era and '69 Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs to today but by short-shrifting the '80s Bears and '00s Patriots, he lost the plot.
Having said all that "America's Game" is worthy of any sports (and not just pro football) fan's attention. I learned so much I had not read or seen before especially on such issues as the Los Angeles Rams move to and out of LA, the early days of the AAFC and how Paul Brown lost the plot after his early domination of pro football and the way the Dallas Cowboys pioneered the use of computer technology in scouting.
Kudos also to the Bibliographic Essay which is extremely helpful in guiding those of us who want to read more on certain teams, players, eras, etc.