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Mudbaths & Bloodbaths: The Inside Story of the Bears-Packers Rivalry Paperback – August, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Prairie Oak Pr; First Edition edition (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879483440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879483446
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,439,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although the authors are Wisconsin sportswriters, this book offers a truly balanced history of the greatest and longest-lasting rivalry in sports. Chapters are arranged creatively, from player profiles to the greatest games. Bear and Packer fans alike will find the treatment even, fair, and complete. Even the dark side of the rivalry is presented, offering a rare behind the scenes look at how the rivalry developed, its personality, and its true characters. The book, however, is sparse on photos. Still, it is a history not only of two teams but two disimilar cities, states, and types of fans and their strained relations. As much a cultural history as one of the greatest stories in sports.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my Dad for Christmas - & I just had to read it before passing it on! I approached it with some trepidation, though, as it is written by "Award-winning Wisconsin sportswriters," and published in Madison, Wisconsin. But the foreward is written by a nice man from the Chicago Tribune and I found the book to be fairly evenly balanced. The style is easily readable - not in chronological order but arranged by interesting topics. For the chronically chronologically-oriented, there is an appended game-by-game synopsis from the first meeting of the Staleys (who soon became Da Bears) and the Packers on November 27, 1921 to the 152nd meeting at the end of the 1996 season. There are many clever turns of phrase - for instance, the rivalry as "uncivil war," or "Once again, Ditka had added insult on top of victory."
These meetings are not just games, they are "events." As the authors tell us, "The Catholic churches in Green Bay recognized in short time what kind of impact the rivalry had on people's lives. By 1928, St. Mary's parish had scheduled a special mass at 5:15 Sunday morning, so fans could catch the early train to Chicago."
Chapter 5 is entitled "Hard-Edged Names in Hard-Nosed Games" and begins: "The seven men to which this chapter is devoted had two things in common. One was that their names didn't roll off the tongue, but rattled around in the mouth and forced their way through the teeth. Hard-edged names, full of consonants and resonance." Names that were uttered in hushed reverential or loud cursing tones at family gatherings. (My family straddles both sides of the Illinois-Wisconsin line so it depends on which part of the family was talking ;-). Names like Nagurski, Nitschke, Butkus and Ditka.
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Format: Hardcover
If you want to feel the pure energy of football mudbaths&bloodbaths is definitly a book for you. In this book you gonna read all about the oldest rivalry in sport history,the hate between two teams,the cheap shots,the fans,the coachs and for sure the players.From the first game at Cubs park on november 27 1921 to their last meeting of 96 season at Lambeau field.The players from the oldies and the ones from now gave theirs versions of the story.Curly Lambeau,George Halas,Brett Favre & Erik Kramer to name few of them. Mudbaths&bloodbaths is more than just the story of bears-packers rivalry,this book bring you back to the beginning,when football was football.When the players from each teams can do anything to beat the other team.When the rules book had only two words"jungle law".
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Format: Paperback
Plain and simple, this book is about football in its purest form. Forget the 49ers v. Cowboys, Vikings v. Packers, Yankees v. Red Sox, this is the greatest rivalry in sports. Many of the reviews for this book seem to indicate that the book is slanted heavily in favor of the Packers. I would disagree. While the second chapter favored the Pack a little more, the other chapters seem to favor the bears slightly but are close to even. Overall, I think the book was reasonably balanced. I can honestly say the book would make a great gift for a fan on either side of the rivalry.

To be honest, I had trouble putting this book down. D'Amato and Christl did a commendable job of retelling the stories that transpired in this rivalry between charter members of the NFL. From this first game in 1921 though 1997, the great stories are collected. Included are the Lambeau v. Halas years, Lombardi v. Halas years, Gregg, v. Ditka years, and Holmgrem v. Wannstedt years. From the begining through the 80's, these teams hated each other. Even when one of the teams stuck, they still put it all on the line against their rival.

Two chapters that I particularly enjoyed were the chapters on Seven Memorable Names from the rivalry and the Twenty Greatest Games. Names like Brute Trafton, Bronko Nagurski, Clarke Hinkle, Bulldog Turner, Ray Nitschke, Mike Ditka, Dick Butkis, and Don Majkowski are the story. So many names I remember and grew up with are here. These are the stories of legends. The only disappointment is in that the fans seem to carry the tradition of the rivalry alone. Perhaps this because of the Packers recent dominance of the Bears. Nevertheless, I wish the teams would hate each other again.
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Format: Hardcover
I have two major problems with this book. One, its poor structure. What starts off as a thoughtful examination of sports rivalries and some truly informative and exciting writing on the early Bears and Packers later degenerates into a mish-mash of anecdotes and facts which range from fascinating to utterly pointless. It seems as though the authors somehow ran out of things to say even though there is clearly masses of material in the intertwined history of these teams. Surely a more chronological approach would have given a better idea of the series' ebbs and flows. Also the section concentrating on certain players 'representative' of the hardnosed nature of the rivalry like Trafton, Nagurski, Butkus was overdone. Only a brief mention of Jim Taylor? I'm a Bears fan but surely he deserved FAR more attention in such a history. Walter Payton was also criminally underrepresented. Secondly, the concentration on old-timers, unbalanced the book. The stories of George Halas' techniques are excellent but even after having it rammed down my throat for much of the book I still don't believe Bronko Nagurski or Clarke Hinkle are the toughest men who ever lived. Yes these guys played with very little padding or protection but if that was the nature of the game now so would today's players. Such casual mythologizing of the past should be handled with much more care. However there are some fantastic stories in here, its just a pity the book's undoubted brilliance is only displayed in patches.
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