“Entertaining and informative narration . . . [Bowden] frames the picture with a wide lens, but then focuses on the roles and lives of a few key players.” Publishers Weekly
The Best Game Ever
Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL
978-0-8021-4412-6 • $14.00 • Paperback • May 2009
The remarkable story of the 1958 NFL Championship game between the Colts and the Giantsconsidered by many to be the greatest football game ever playedfrom Mark Bowden, bestselling author of Black Hawk Down
A brilliant retelling of football’s greatest game that was a New York Times best seller and praised by reviewers, professional and college coaches, and NFL executives alike, The Best Game Ever tells the story of the 1958 NFL Championship game between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts played at Yankee Stadium on December 28, 1958. Bowden delivers a brilliant narrative on the game, the stories behind the key players, and the effect the contest had on the modern game of football and today’s NFL.
The championship, played on a freezing Sunday evening in front of 64,000 fans and millions of television viewers around the country, would go down as the greatest in football’s history. On the field and roaming the sidelines were 17 future Hall of Famers, including Colts stars Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, and Gino Marchetti and Giants greats Frank Gifford, Sam Huff and assistant coaches Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry. An estimated 45 million viewersat that time the largest crowd to have ever watched a football gametuned in to see what would become the first sudden death contest in NFL history. It was a battle of the league’s best offensethe Coltsversus its best defensethe Giants. And it was a contest between the blue-collar Baltimore team, many of whom worked off-season jobs selling liquor or insurance or taking shifts at Bethlehem Steel, versus the glamour boys of the Giants squad who often appeared in magazine ads and TV commercials and were seen around town at trendy spots like Toots Shoors mingling with the likes of politicians, Broadway stars, even Ernest Hemingway on occasion.
The Best Game Ever is a brilliant portrait of how a single game changed the history of American sport. Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the championship, it is destined to be a sports classic.