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The Little League That Could: A History of…
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The Little League That Could: A History of the American Football League (édition 2010)

par Ken Rappoport

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279695,271 (3.43)12
Wearing borrowed uniforms, practicing on obscure college campuses, and led by a former Marine Corps W.W. II fighter ace as commissioner, the American Football League (AFL) debuted in the Fall of 1960 to challenge the monopoly of the well-established National Football League. Within ten years it had won two Super Bowls and had forced a merger with its rival, splitting the NFL into the National and American Football Conferences. This colorful history of the AFL and its unforgettable cast of characters, from Billy Cannon to Joe Namath to its "Foolish Club" of team owners, arrives on the 50th anniversary of the AFL's first season to recount the startling success of an upstart league that prevailed against long odds.… (plus d'informations)
Membre:jrgoetziii
Titre:The Little League That Could: A History of the American Football League
Auteurs:Ken Rappoport
Info:Taylor Trade Publishing (2010), Hardcover, 232 pages
Collections:Votre bibliothèque
Évaluation:****1/2
Mots-clés:Aucun

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The Little League That Could: A History of the American Football League par Ken Rappoport

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Cette critique a été écrite dans le cadre des Critiques en avant-première de LibraryThing.
I love History. There are so many different aspects and angles from which history can be told. There are certainly the events and biographies. History can be related through the influences of drink (beer), food (hamburger), and products (cars). The Little League that Could gives a glimpse into the 1960's through football and specifically professional football and the old American Football league, (AFL) There is a story of how the domiannt NFL was challenged by a new league, the AFL, and the struggles the AFL went through to get started. It gives us a glimpse into the 1960 and how at that tme while african american did play professioanl ball it on a limited basis and still predominatly white. With the coming og the AFL, it shows how more players were needed an the game opened to more blacks and the AFL targeted the "Negro colleges to recruit players. It was at this time because of television contracts that footbal surpassed baseball as the national pastime. (although baseball is still my favorite.) This book provides a number of biographical sketches of players and coaches as well as owners, and shat is history other than a number of biographies coming together. It is a fast read and very enjoyable and I would recommend it to those who enjoy American History, the 1960's, Sports, or just reading. ( )
  morryb | Jan 20, 2011 |
Cette critique a été écrite dans le cadre des Critiques en avant-première de LibraryThing.
I am a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and have followed the AFL/AFC all of my life, so I enjoyed reading The Little League That Could: A History of the American Football League. The author uses the participants in the league to tell the story of the league. The book gives great insight into how the league was formed by Lamar Hunt, and how he and the other original owners challenged the established NFL. The book contains great stories about the players, coaches, great games, and rivalries. It also does a good job of covering how television affected the league and the merger. For anyone interested in learning more about the AFL, an ever better book is Going Long by Jeff Miller. ( )
  jsewvello | Dec 31, 2010 |
Cette critique a été écrite dans le cadre des Critiques en avant-première de LibraryThing.
At times in this history of the American Football League, the author has some interesting anecdotes. Far too often, however, the book just lumbers along.

I've read hundreds of sports histories/sports biographies and the best of them are well-organized and put the events of the particular sport into historical context in the rest of the world. This book did neither of those things.

Perhaps most annoying were the lengthy sidebars. Sidebars ought to be a half page or so and briefly address interesting little points. Some sidebars here go on for pages and totally wreck the flow.

The only good thing about it is that it was an ER book so I didn't waste my money on it. Unfortunately, however, I wasted my time on it. Very disappointing. ( )
1 voter lindapanzo | Dec 5, 2010 |
Cette critique a été écrite dans le cadre des Critiques en avant-première de LibraryThing.
As a longtime football fan, I enjoyed reading this retrospective look at the decade long history of the AFL. While not a chronological perspective or detailed football strategy, Mr. Rappoport weaves together a compelling oral history based on the recollections of the various players and coaches.

While several other football leagues had tried and failed (USFL and WFL) to compete with the NFL, the AFL came into existence at a key time with the right combination of talented owners and players. One aspect that help propel the league to greater heights was the emergence of TV and key agreements to broadcast games. Without the power of television, the league might not have survived. It's interesting to note now, in the area of multi-million dollar contracts, how low the salaries of most football players was in the 1960s. In fact, most had outside jobs in the off-season to make ends meets.

Additionally, the competition with the NFL was aided by hubrus, as the AFL went head to head for the best players and coaches. While some of the confrontations are well known, such as Joe Namath's famous comments prior to Super Bowl III, many of the inside stories related in the book revealed two leagues that were viciously competitive but also mutually dependent on the other.

Overall, the book is a great recounting of a bygone era of football and worth a read by any sports fan. ( )
  peach3009 | Dec 4, 2010 |
Cette critique a été écrite dans le cadre des Critiques en avant-première de LibraryThing.
My house is a football house, but mostly an AFC football house. I’m a long time Patriots fan and Mrs. Doug bleeds KC Chiefs red. With a little knowledge of football history you would know that the AFC is comprised mostly of the teams from upstart American Football League that started playing in the 1960s.

Ken Rappoport weaves stories told by the players, owners, and coaches from the days of the American Football League in The Little League That Could: A History of the American Football League

It all began when Lamar Hunt watched the 1958 NFL title game between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts. He envisioned that football was the best sport for television and that it would become big because of television.

He wanted in.

He tried convincing the NFL to grant him an expansion franchise. He tried buying the Cardinals (then located in Chicago). Neither route to NFL ownership worked.

Unable to get in, he decided to start his own league. He first teamed up with Bud Adams who he had met while Adams while also trying, unsuccessfully, to buy the Cardinals. The other big money owner was Barron Hilton, scion of the hotel family (and eventually grandfather to Paris). Those three brought along five other franchises, including the underfunded Billy Sullivan and my beloved Boston Patriots.

I was expecting the book to be an encyclopedia retelling of the history of the AFL. It’s not. It’s told by the participants in the league. I had the feeling that I was sitting in a bar with these great personalities telling me their stories of glory. Rappoport does a great job capturing those stories and weaving them together into a coherent narrative.

The AFL survived the battle with the NFL because it was putting good football on the field and on television. They were successfully recruiting players away and driving up the cost of player contracts. The NFL underestimated the AFL and let quality players go to the little league, assuming it would collapse and the players would come back to the NFL. After initially underestimating the AFL, the NFL owners gave up the battle and agreed to merge the leagues.

The book is a great combination of the business side of the game and the playing side of the game. There are some great stories in the book. If you’re a football fan or a sports history buff you will enjoy reading this book.

The publisher was kind enough to send me a copy of the book to review. ( )
  dougcornelius | Oct 23, 2010 |
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Wearing borrowed uniforms, practicing on obscure college campuses, and led by a former Marine Corps W.W. II fighter ace as commissioner, the American Football League (AFL) debuted in the Fall of 1960 to challenge the monopoly of the well-established National Football League. Within ten years it had won two Super Bowls and had forced a merger with its rival, splitting the NFL into the National and American Football Conferences. This colorful history of the AFL and its unforgettable cast of characters, from Billy Cannon to Joe Namath to its "Foolish Club" of team owners, arrives on the 50th anniversary of the AFL's first season to recount the startling success of an upstart league that prevailed against long odds.

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