America’s Game

by Michael Maccambridge

I began playing fantasy football in 1992, at the urging of Kevin Wieser. I remember in those days how I used to run out on Monday morning and buy a copy of the Dallas Morning News and with pencil and paper in hand, manually figure out my team’s score from Sunday. I’d do the same thing on Tuesday to add in the Monday night football game.

We didn’t get our “official” league scoresheet in the mail until Thursday, and it came from California. There were many times that I had added wrong and despaired over a loss that I had thought was a win.

Reading America’s Game gave me incredible background to the history and personalities that have made the NFL the No. 1 sports pursuit in America, surpassing baseball in the 50s.

I had no idea the Cleveland Browns were named after their first coach, Paul Brown. I didn’t recall how close the cowboys came to drafting Joe Montana. Instead, they opted for tieght end Doug Cosbie in the 1979 draft.

I was intrigued by the tightly-guarded circle of original owners and coaches. Their insistence on making the NFL be a league of parity through profit-sharing and joint television revenue-sharing contracts was ingenious.

If you’re an NFL fan, even casually, you’ll devour the book. It’s well worth a few hours of light reading.

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