How Football Explains America
How Football Explains America

How Football Explains America

By Sal Paolantonio

SPORTS & RECREATION

240 Pages, 5 x 8

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Cloth, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $27.95)

ISBN 9781600780462

Rights: WOR

Triumph Books (Sep 2008)

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9781600780462
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Overview

Using some of the most prominent voices in pro sports and cultural and media criticism, How Football Explains America is a fascinating, first-of-its-kind journey through the making of America's most complex, intriguing, and popular game. ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio’s explores just how crucial football is to understanding the American psyche. Interspersed with memorable images from the climax of Super Bowl XLII, Paolantonio tackles varying American themes from Manifest Destiny to “fourth and one” as he goes deep in order to answer the age-old question Why does America love football so much? An unabashedly celebratory explanation of America’s love affair with the game and the men who make it possible, this work sheds light on topics such as how the pioneers and cowboys helped create a game that resembled their march across the continent, why rugby and soccer don't excite the American male like football does. how rule changes are continually made to enhance the dramatic action and create a better narrative, the eternal appeal of the heroic quarterback position, the military lineage from General Douglas MacArthur to the New York Jets’ head coach Eric Mangini, and how the burgeoning medium of television identified and exploited the NFL’s great characters. It is a must read for anyone interested in more fully understanding not only the game but also the nation in which it thrives.

Author Biography

Sal Paolantonio is a national correspondent for ESPN, covering the NFL for SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, and ESPN.com. He also hosts ESPN's State Farm NFL Matchup on Sunday mornings. He is a former sportswriter and political correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He lives with his family in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Media

Leading up to the Super Bowl the Global Post takes a look at How Football Explains America.
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How Football Explains America appears on Muse Machine as part of \""Three Books Try to Figure Us Out.\"" "
Peter King of Sports Illustrated includes How Football Explains America on his holiday book list.
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Sal Pal appears on Between the Covers on National Review Online to analyze How Football Explains America.


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Sal Pal appears on Morning Joe on MSNBC to discuss his book How Football Explains America.
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Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel
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Press Releases

There is an extremely powerful connection between football and America. Football is America’s mythology. Americans hunger for action, heroes and a thrilling narrative. When the quarterback limps onto the field in the fourth quarter, he is our gladiator. He is an American warrior and his upcoming drive down the field will represent the quintessential American ideal: “Hold and advance. Or surrender.”

 

This September, Sal Paolantonio’s “How Football Explains America” (Triumph Books) explores just how crucial football is to understanding the American psyche. ESPN’s Paolantonio presents an intelligent discourse on America’s game that goes far beyond the icons, great plays and x’s and o’s and earnestly peers into the heart and soul of a game that has captured our collective imaginations since the days of Walter Camp, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and Harvard vs. Yale. Interspersed with memorable images from the climax of Super Bowl XLII, Paolantonio tackles varying American themes from Manifest Destiny to “fourth and one” as he goes deep in order to answer the age-old question: “Why does America love football so much?”

 

Written as the American response to Franklin Foer’s How Soccer Explains the World, Paolantonio’s HOW FOOTBALL EXPLAINS AMERICA is not a history of football. It’s an unabashedly celebratory explanation of our love affair with the game and the men who make it possible. Paolantonio also sheds light on:

 

·                     How the pioneers and cowboys helped create a game that resembled their march across the continent.

·                     Why rugby and soccer don\'t excite the American male like football does.

·                     How rule changes are continually made to enhance the dramatic action and create a better narrative.

·                     The eternal appeal of the heroic quarterback position.

·                     The original play-by-play call: The “Miniature Gridiron” of the Philadelphia Inquirer of the 1890s.

·                     How President Teddy Roosevelt saved football.

·                     The military lineage from General Douglas MacArthur to the New York Jets’ head coach Eric Mangini.

·                     How television needed football as much…or more…than football needed television.

·                     How the burgeoning medium of television identified and exploited the NFL’s great characters: Lombardi, Landry, Unitas, Namath and others.

·                     The beauty of the huddle: “sanctuary in the middle of a maelstrom”.

·                     The game’s current day myth-making partners: ESPN and Fantasy Football.

 

America is about the freedom to compete and be successful on a level playing field….

You can look at football and see the heart of America.”—NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

 

As the football season approaches, HOW FOOTBALL EXPLAINS AMERICA offers an explanation for our heart-pounding devotion to our teams. It is a must read for anyone interested in more fully understanding not only the game but also the nation in which it thrives.