How Football Explains America

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How Football Explains America

Format:  Hardcover,

211 pages

Publisher: Independent Pub Group

Publish Date: Sep 2008

ISBN-13: 9781600780462

ISBN-10: 1600780466

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
Using some of the most prominent voices in pro sports and cultural and media criticism, "How Football Explains America" is a fascinating, first-of-its-kind journey through the making of America's most complex, intriguing, and popular game. ESPN's Sal Paolantonio's explores just how crucial football is to understanding the American psyche. Interspersed with memorable images from the climax of Super Bowl XLII, Paolantonio tackles varying American themes from Manifest Destiny to "fourth and one" as he goes deep in order to answer the age-old question "Why does America love football so much?" An unabashedly celebratory explanation of America's love affair with the game and the men who make it possible, this work sheds light on topics such as how the pioneers and cowboys helped create a game that resembled their march across the continent, why rugby and soccer don't excite the American male like football does. how rule changes are continually made to enhance the dramatic action and create a better narrative, the eternal appeal of the heroic quarterback position, the military lineage from General Douglas MacArthur to the New York Jets' head coach Eric Mangini, and how the burgeoning medium of television identified and exploited the NFL's great characters. It is a must read for anyone interested in more fully understanding not only the game but also the nation in which it thrives.


Publisher: Independent Pub Group
Publish Date: Sep 2008
ISBN-13: 9781600780462
ISBN-10: 1600780466
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 211
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.88
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.25 x 8.0 x 1.0

Chapter outline

Prologuep. ix
How Football Explains Manifest Destinyp. 1
How Football Explains Daniel Boone and Davy Crockettp. 15
How Football Explains Alexis de Tocquevillep. 33
How Football Explains John Coltrane and Jackie Robinsonp. 51
How Football Explains West Pointp. 73
How Football Explains the Battle of Midwayp. 95
How Football Explains Father Knows Bestp. 115
How Football Explains the '60sp. 139
How Football Explains Show Businessp. 159
How Football Explains Us Allp. 183
Acknowledgmentsp. 199
Notesp. 201
Selected Bibliographyp. 209


Review by Library Journal (2009-02-01)

A more accurate, if less provocative, title for this fascinating pop culture treatise would be How Football Relates to American History and Culture. While no one thing does in fact really explain America, football does cut a very wide swath in its connection to the American experience. Relying on interviews and eclectic research sources, ESPN reporter Paolantonio links key points about the game to events, characters, cultural details, and American symbols.

For example, he says that the establishment in football of down and distance, possession and territory, is tied to the American policy of Manifest Destiny. Huddles are connected to the importance of free assembly in a democracy as noted by Alexis de Toqueville. Similarly, the author demonstrates common American concepts like the frontier, race, ethnicity, immigration, leadership, social change, commercialism, celebrity worship, corruption, and teamwork in the context of football.

The book is very engagingly written, with each chapter framed by an incident from the 2007 NFL season to bring to life the main argument in the body of that chapter. Paolantonio is a popular and well-known figure, and this insightful examination of why we love football will be read by a broad range of patrons.

-John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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