Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Frank Gifford: The Glory Game, How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever

Frank was on Leonard Lopate's show yesterday. I matched the audio with various pics of Frank and others who played for Giants and Colts. For the KV baby boomer guys, and who knows, maybe some girls, the 1958 game was memorable, even though the Giants lost. I forgot exactly where I was but I remember listening to it on the radio. I think we were visiting Abe and Dotty Capon in Queens. btw I found another, very remote, KV connection to Frank Gifford
from amazon
Gifford, the 78-year-old former star for the New York Giants and later an icon on Monday Night Football, tells the story of this much-chronicled game between his Giants and Johnny Unitas's Baltimore Colts from both his perspective and through interviews with teammates and opponents. Gifford decided to write this book after David Halberstam, a friend of Gifford's who had planned to write a book about the game, was killed in a 2007 car accident. Gifford's is a candid, insightful and entertaining look at the camaraderie and culture of the first great stirrings of the NFL, when professional football was a second-class sport in comparison to baseball. He describes vividly an era where the Giants players worked second jobs in the off-season, spent many fall nights barhopping their way across midtown Manhattan and often partook of cigarettes and beer in their Yankee Stadium locker room. Despite the title, this is less a book about how that 1958 game changed the NFL (which was covered in Mark Bowden's summer release of The Best Game Ever) than it is an enjoyable telling of the men who played it.
In 1958 Frank Gifford was the golden boy on the glamour team in the most celebrated city in the NFL. When his New York Giants played the Baltimore Colts for the league championship that year, it became the single most memorable contest in the history of professional football. Broadcast to an audience of millions, it was the first title game ever to go into sudden-death overtime. Its drama, excitement, and controversy riveted the nation and helped propel football to the forefront of the American sports landscape.
Now, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of "The Greatest Game Ever Played," New York Giants Hall of Famer and longtime television analyst Frank Gifford provides an inside-the-helmet account that will take its place in the annals of sports literature. Drawing on the poignant and humorous memories of every living player from the game—including fellow Hall of Famers Sam Huff, Andy Robustelli, Art Donovan, Lenny Moore, and Raymond Berry—as well as the author's own experiences and reflections, The Glory Game captures a magnificent moment in American sports history. It is the story of two very different cities and teams, filled with the joy, the disappointment, and the eternal pride of a day that will forever symbolize all that is great about sports.

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