Harvey Frommer / Players
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Harvey Frommers Sports Book Reviews:
Its that time of year when football is the talk of many towns and a sport publishers trot out their new wares for. What follows is a beginning sampling of some of the more interesting efforts.
The Best American Sports Writing 2012 edited by Michael Wilbon (HMH, $14.95, 361 pages, paper) has a lot to recommend it - -and a couple of pieces that I have close connections to. As the author Tony Dorsetts autobiography Running Tough, I was especially enthralled with S. I. Prices piece on football in Aliquippa, Pa., where the young Tony learned his stuff. As the co-author along with my wife Myrna of Basketball My Way by Nancy Lieberman, I was especially interested in the Ben McGrath piece on Nancy as mens basketball coach. These two and others make The Best American Sports Writing 2012 live up to its claim in its title.
Ten Gallon War by John Eisenberg (HMH, $27.00, 308 pages) is an intriguing flashback to pro football history and the fight for dominance in the gridiron sports in Dallas. It was the Texans of the AFL versus the Cowboys of the NFL and the birth of the game in Big D. Like a street fight with an amazing cast of characters, this one is sure to entertain any sports fan.
From the University of Wisconsin comes Alan Ameche by Dan Manoyan (Terrace Books, University of Wisconsin Press, $26. 95, 279 pages).It was Ameche who catapulted Wisconsin into collegiate footballs big time as a Heisman Trophy winner for the Badgers. He continued with a brilliant pro career with the Baltimore Colts. A wonderful look back at football history and an insightful portrait of one of the games legends.
Best of Rivals by Adam Lazarus (DaCapo, $26.00, 304 pages) is a treat for Niner fans. It focuses via many interviews on as its sub-title proclaims the Inside Story Behind the NFLs Greatest Quarterback Controversy. That might be press agent speak, but the book is worth the read illuminating and engrossing.
From Kevin Cook comes The Last Headbangers (Norton, $26.95, 278 pages). The book is football history - - this time the seventies - a time of beyond head-slapping, a time of hard-hitting, rowdy and raunchy behavior. Painkillers, steroids and a sport on the ascent in more ways than one. If you want to re-live some it, this is the tome for you.