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Big Play: Barra on Football Hardcover – December, 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I love how Allen Barra writes about football, which is like no one else in our business." -- Peter King, Sports Illustrated

"We need Allen Barra to reflect, examine, and give us his singular point of view." -- Steve Sabol, NFL Films

From the Publisher

From writing sports history’s first draft to redefining football history --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.; First Edition edition (December 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574888684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574888683
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,075,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By George McAdams VINE VOICE on December 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've had the pleasure of knowing Allen Barra since 1970 or so when we wrote for the UAB (University of Alabama in Birmingham) student newspaper. A very imaginative writer, he could write 15 inches of column on anything and everything, and while he wrote mostly about entertainment items back then, sports was always something that intrigued him.

Over the years, I occasionally read his articles in INSIDE SPORTS and other publications, then in the early 1990's, I picked-up a Village Voice because of the blurb on the cover "Barra on Tyson," and we've renewed our friendship. But, please don't think that this review is merely the writing of an appreciative friend.

From the early 1990's, I've read his works in a variety of publications and webzines, such as Slate.com., and the New York times: sometimes agreeing with him, sometimes not, but always enjoying his way of cutting through the bull. Allen sometimes has a way of over-analyzing situations that drives some folks nuts, but he actually developed, with the assistance of an economics professor at the UAB whose name I forget, a great way of using statistics to compare two players from different era.

With regards to this collection of articles, I cannot tell you if these 38 articles, covering 20+ years of writings, are the cream of the crop, because there are some I've read that aren't included that were terrific, too. However, I will tell you that these are written by someone who knows how to write about sports in a way that tries to place it in perspective to the society that we live in. Usually when a writer tries to do that, they end up in a fourth and inches situation and then get caught behind the line of scrimage, and the ball is turned over. In BIG PLAY, though, Allen gets the first down everytime and succeeds on such a scale that I am truly puzzled why he has not won a Pulitzer Prize.

This is an excellent book for anyone who loves football and appreciates great writing.
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Format: Hardcover
Big Play has the best writing on college football Ive read since Dan Jenkins' classic Saturday's America, and the best stuff on pro football since Tex Maule was at his peak in Sports Illustrated. A great book, particularly the Bart Starr-Johnny Unitas comparison.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting anecdotes. Starts with a fascinating overview of the beginnings of the game. His "Clearing the Bases" is really good as well.
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