Big Play: Barra on Football
In a follow-up to his Clearing the Bases Sports Illustratedas book of the year for 2002syndicated columnist Allen Barra turns his eye from Americaas pastime to Americaas passion. In this collection of essays, Barra delves into the gridironas all-time greats, some of the sportas enduring controversies, and suggests new ways to think about the game that holds our attention from August through January, every year. Barra turns his aggressively intelligent writing to the Heisman Trophy and its controversies and demonstrates why the Bowl Championship Series has not and cannot work. He explains how the infamous tie game between Notre Dame and Michigan State in 1966 changed football forever. He compares the careers of Bear Bryant and Vince Lombardi, George Allen and Don Shula, Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas, and Joe Montana and Steve Young, probing beyond the myths that surround each man and creating a new context to understand their achievements. He explains how Notre Dame embraced a destiny in pads, beyond the Gipper mystique and Rockne speeches. No other writer challenges a sportas myths, untrue truisms, and legends the way Barra does in these essays. The achievement of a writer who manages a balance between establishment insider and outspoken iconoclast, Big Play explores issues and controversies that fire up pigskin fans. Blending statistical commentary with insight and biting commentary with genuine fandom, Barra provides readers with another dose of his passionate, opinionated, and unique analysis of football."
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Alabama All-America Ara Parseghian athletes average ball Bart Starr baseball Bavaro Bear Bryant beat better Birmingham bowl games Bronko Brown Bubba Bubba Smith Bucs career college football Colts Dame Dame’s defense Don Shula Dupree’s fans field goal football game football history Football League football player football team football’s four Giants going Grambling greatest Green Bay head coach Heisman Trophy interceptions Irish Jets Jim Brown Joe Montana Joe Paterno John Elway Johnny Unitas linebacker Lombardi Lott Marcus Dupree McNabb Miami Michigan Mississippi Nagurski Namath national championship national title never NFL history NFL’s O’Brien offense Oklahoma Packers passer Paterno Payton played playoffs points postseason Pudge punt quarterback Raiders Rams record regular season runner running back rushing score Southern Cal sportswriter State’s stats Super Bowl Switzer Tampa Bay team’s there’s throw tight end Tittle touchdown Unitas’s Walker year’s