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Horns, Hogs, & Nixon Coming: Texas vs. Arkansas in Dixie's Last Stand Paperback – July 26, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sportswriter Frei's first book is a decent account of the December 1969 gridiron clash between the Texas Longhorns and the Arkansas Razorbacks, a dramatic, all-white affair played out before Pres. Richard Nixon and a war-torn American public, and often considered the finest game in the history of college football. Frei, a reporter for the Denver Post, covers all the bases in a wistful, sepia-toned "when it was a game" vehicle that has become the male version of the chick flick: translucent irony, fleeting ethical conundrums, black and white (sometimes literally) views of right and wrong, reverence for authority figures and a nod and a wink's worth of boys-will-be-boys lead up to the "Big Shootout" (as the game was later dubbed), complete with a healthy amount of blood, guts and glory. The author does his best to invoke the atmosphere of two very different Southern college towns during that turbulent juncture in American history (down to the Neil Young reference in the title). He's mostly successful, although the subtitle promises far more analysis of the dying days of segregation than Frei delivers. One shortcoming: the overuse of pointed if tacit connections, most notably Pres. Bill Clinton's relationship to Arkansas, the ROTC and his clumsy avoidance of the war in Vietnam. While Frei fills his narrative with descriptions of interrelated smalltown events and people in Fayetteville, Ark., bringing Clinton into the picture does nothing to advance the story. Still, Frei's target audience-fans of Southern college football-will enjoy this history.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The December 1969 college football match between undefeated Texas and Arkansas was memorable, one for the record book. However, Frei's often humorous telling is much more than a rehash of the game. Attended by both President Nixon and future leader Bill Clinton, the game was also memorable for its combination of Southern pride and anti-Vietnam War protests. Frei's treatment also serves as a larger history of the social and political climate surrounding the competition. Frei, who currently writes for the Denver Post and contributes a weekly column to ESPN.com, is familiar with the mayhem of campus life in the Sixties; during this time his father was the head football coach at the University of Oregon. This delightful, well-researched chronicle of a turbulent era also includes an index, bibliography, rosters, and the 1969 results. Libraries should buy where demand warrants. Larry R. Little, Penticton P.L., B.C.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (July 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589791290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589791299
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having spent 4 years as a manager for the Longhorns, I search out books on UT sports. Imagine my surprise in finding one with my picture (in the team photo) on the back of the dust jacket! Seriously, a well-researched, well-written book. How do I know? For starters, I was there at some of those conversations, both as an observer & participant. Many of the incidents Frei describes brought back many memories. I knew the Texas players & coaches very, very well. Some of them I still see on occasion.
I particularly enjoyed Frei's delving into more than just the game itself. For those of us in college during the late 60's, it was a tumultuous time. Sports often was a "safety-valve release" for the on-campus tensions that raged around us. Gathering in stadiums across the country was one way of forgetting about the social unrest threatening to tear our country apart. Frei made all of those memories come alive.
I commend Terry Frei for his book. Sure, he could have gone for pumped-up sales by getting into the "dirt" (& every sport has it!), but instead he chose to do a more serious work. I congratulate him for that. The book both gets across the intensity of the game - & of the rivalry between UA & UT - & its connection with the times. I heartily recommend "HHNC" to all sports fans. It will be enjoyed by all who love college athletics, especially football.
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Format: Hardcover
Horns, Hogs and Nixon Coming is a book that even non sports-fans will enjoy tremendously: it made a convert of me. I received this book as a gift, reluctantly. College football ranks very low on my list of things I enjoy: even lower still are Baby-Boomer nostalgia books. Terry Frei's writing lifts Horns, Hogs far above the level of typical testosterone-drenched sports tomes and Big Chill-style self-importance. With restraint and skill, Frei shows how the strands of social issues and the trajectories of many human lives intersected to produce a memorable weekend both on and off the football field. Frei does not claim that one college football game changed history. He does show how that one point in time served as a stage where humans displayed courage, intelligence, idealism, administrative cowardice and even vanity. Terry Frei did not forget Freddie Steinmark's courage; neither will the readers of this book. Buy it if you enjoy true tales of humanity well told.
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Format: Hardcover
A very well-written book on one of the truly classic games in college football. Sadly, not surprising to see a still-bitter PSU fan whining about the '69 national title rightly won by the Longhorns. This famous qoute by a much-beloved Texas player says it all: "We could never figure out why they didn't choose to settle it on the grass in Dallas, rather than from a soapbox in Pennsylvania."
-- Freddie Steinmark on the protestations of Penn State and Joe Paterno that they deserved the MNC in 1969, after they refused the invitation to play the Horns in the Cotton Bowl.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an inside look at one of the most important college football games ever played, written by someone who obviously knows his stuff and who developed the sources that allowed him to bring this game alive in the book. There's plenty of inside football to satisfy the fan, with the bonus of a look at the visit of a President as well as some of the key social issues facing the country at that time. It's a unusual idea that produces a terrific read. The interviews with the players are fascinating and in some cases troubling. As a fan, it was interesting to see how the game has changed over this relatively brief time. I understand the workings of a college program better after reading this book. I'm very glad I read it.
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Format: Hardcover
Finally all of the lore and myths surrounding the Big Shootout and set straight--on the record. Terry Frei produced a fine book, a fine accouting of the Game of the Century. I enjoyed his profiles of the players, the coaches, and the times. A first-class read that I would recommend to any college football fan. Frei's first effort ranks him right up there with Mike Corcoran as a writer who can bring to life a sports event that happened more than a quarter-century ago. Buy it!
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Format: Hardcover
Frei has an amazing way with words. He has been able to paint a picture that with such clarity that I could almost smell the Fall air... This book falls into the category of books that makes you lose sleep as it becomes impossible to put down ("... I'll just read one more chapter... and THEN I'll turn off the light...")
Any football fan or anyone who is a student of the 60's will appreciate "Horns, Hogs and Nixon Coming." If you're both, you'll be twice-blessed!
Mr. Frei, thank you for an exciting and well-painted story! Please continue to supply us with historically accurate sports-related stories.
P.S. I felt compelled to provide a review about this book after reading the one and only "yawn" review written about this book. I'm certain this review was provided by someone whom thinks he/she is an avid Denver sportsfan and didn't appreciate one of Frei's columns or something. I'm doubtful that "reviewer" ever opened the front cover to the book...
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