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Forward Pass: The Play That Saved Football…
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Forward Pass: The Play That Saved Football

by Philip L. Brooks

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159416052X, Hardcover)

On a cool autumn afternoon in 1913, a small, up-and-coming school came to West Point to challenge the great Army football team. Early in the game, the opposing quarterback dropped back, raised the football, and threw a perfect overhead spiral into the outstretched hands of his wide open teammate. Again and again the quarterback and his receiver completed passes, resulting in a stunning 35-13 defeat of Army. That midwestern school was Notre Dame and the receiver was Knute Rockne: the game of football was transformed. The story of Notre Dame's passing attack goes back seven years, however, when the forward pass was first legalized as a means of opening the game up to avoid the fatalities that plagued early football and nearly saw the game banned. At first, passing was accomplished by pushing the ball forward, swinging it underhanded, and occasionally tossing it overhead, and was used to make up a deficit late in a game. But a student of the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg, Jesse Harper, envisioned a mixture of precision passing and running throughout the game, and after arriving at Notre Dame, he schooled his team in his new-fangled approach.

In Forward Pass: The Play That Saved Football, Philip L. Brooks introduces the reader to the dirt, spectacle, and emotion of the great teams of the early twentieth century. All teams of the era--Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indians, Stagg's University of Chicago Maroons, Fielding Yost's Michigan Wolverines, Johnny Heisman's Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the Ivy League's Big Three, and Gil Dobie's Washington Huskies--experimented with passing in order to keep the sport alive. But it was Jesse Harper and Knute Rockne who showed the country how the forward pass could be used as the ultimate offensive strategy, the key to the brilliant future of football.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:34 -0400)

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