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Lost Champions

Author: Gretchen Atwood
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1620406020
Size: 25.55 MB
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Many know the story of Jackie Robinson integrating major league baseball in 1947. But few know that the NFL integrated a year earlier, when Kenny Washington stepped on the field for the Los Angeles Rams. He wasn't the only one. Four men broke pro football's color line in 1946, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode with the Los Angeles Rams and Bill Willis and Marion Motley with the Cleveland Browns. Lost Champions traces this history from the early 1930s--when NFL owners first instituted a ban on black players--through pro football's re-integration, to the 1950 NFL Championship Game, which pitted the Rams and Browns against each other in a showdown of the most prolific and advanced offenses pro football had ever seen. But the battle wasn't just waged on the gridiron. Lost Champions shows how efforts to integrate sports sits within the often-ignored history of the civil rights movement in the 1940s. The four players faced animosity and death threats for their role in integration while they and all black Americans were threatened in 1946 by a spike in lynchings, threat of legal expulsion from their own homes, and segregation all the way down to the simple act of going to an amusement park for a bit of relaxation. Finally, Lost Champions explains why these men and their stories have for so long languished in the shadow of Jackie Robinson, and why they too deserve widespread acclaim for integrating what is arguably the most popular sport in America.

Breaking Barriers

Author: Douglas Stark
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1442277548
Size: 60.45 MB
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Today, it is nearly impossible to talk about the best basketball players in America without acknowledging the accomplishments of incredibly talented black athletes like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. A little more than a century ago, however, the game was completely dominated by white players playing on segregated courts and teams. In Breaking Barriers: A History of Integration in Professional Basketball, Douglas Stark details the major moments that led to the sport opening its doors to black players. He charts the progress of integration from Bucky Lew—the first black professional basketball player in 1902—to the modern game played by athletes like Stephen Curry and LeBron James. Although Stark focuses on the official integration of basketball in the late 1940s, the story does not end there. Over the past 60-plus years, black athletes have continued to change the game of basketball in terms of style, social progress, and marketability. Spanning the early 1900s to the present day, no other book features such a comprehensive examination of the key events and figures that led to the integration of professional basketball. In Breaking Barriers, these crucial steps in the history of the sport are placed within the larger context of American history, making this book an essential addition to the literature on sports and race in America.

Showdown

Author: Thomas G. Smith
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807000752
Size: 78.54 MB
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In 1961—as America crackled with racial tension—the Washington Redskins stood alone as the only professional football team without a black player on its roster. In fact, during the entire twenty-five-year history of the franchise, no African American had ever played for George Preston Marshall, the Redskins’ cantankerous principal owner. With slicked-down white hair and angular facial features, the nattily attired, sixty-four-year-old NFL team owner already had a well-deserved reputation for flamboyance, showmanship, and erratic behavior. And like other Southern-born segregationists, Marshall stood firm against race-mixing. “We’ll start signing Negroes,” he once boasted, “when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites.” But that was about to change. Opposing Marshall was Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, whose determination that the Redskins—or “Paleskins,” as he called them—reflect John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier ideals led to one of the most high-profile contests to spill beyond the sports pages. Realizing that racial justice and gridiron success had the potential either to dovetail or take an ugly turn, civil rights advocates and sports fans alike anxiously turned their eyes toward the nation’s capital. There was always the possibility that Marshall—one of the NFL’s most influential and dominating founding fathers—might defy demands from the Kennedy administration to desegregate his lily-white team. When further pressured to desegregate by the press, Marshall remained defiant, declaring that no one, including the White House, could tell him how to run his business. In Showdown, sports historian Thomas G. Smith captures this striking moment, one that held sweeping implications not only for one team’s racist policy but also for a sharply segregated city and for the nation as a whole. Part sports history, part civil rights story, this compelling and untold narrative serves as a powerful lens onto racism in sport, illustrating how, in microcosm, the fight to desegregate the Redskins was part of a wider struggle against racial injustice in America. From the Hardcover edition.

The Cleveland Rams

Author: James C. Sulecki
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 1476626456
Size: 67.86 MB
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In 2016 the Rams left St. Louis for Los Angeles—having departed L.A. for St. Louis in 1995—and caused much heartbreak among fans. NFL teams are notorious for decamping to more profitable markets and the Rams’ history of opportunistic moves goes back to 1946, when they left Cleveland, their original hometown, where fans had cheered them to a championship a month earlier. The move to L.A. from Cleveland shocked the NFL and shook up its power structure. It also jolted the all-white league into reintegration, prepared the way for the Browns, and made the Rams the only NFL champs ever to have spent the following season in a different city. This is the story of how the Rams went from a home-grown Ohio team funded by local businessmen to the first major-league franchise on the West Coast, and how their departure jumpstarted a chain of events in Cleveland that continues to this day.

The Sports Hall Of Fame Encyclopedia

Author: Dave Blevins
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 1461673704
Size: 62.42 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In 1936, the Baseball Hall of Fame was established to honor the legends of the sport. The first inductees were some of the greatest names of the dugout, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Less than ten years later, in 1945, the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted its first members. The Soccer Hall of Fame was established in 1950, followed by the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959, and the Football Hall of Fame in 1963. In all, more than 1,400 inductees—players, teams, and behind the scenes personnel—have been enshrined in these five halls of fame. The Sports Hall of Fame Encyclopedia is a comprehensive listing of each inductee elected into one or more of these major sports halls of fame. From Hank Aaron to Fred Zollner, this book contains biographical information, sport and position(s) played, and career statistics (when applicable) of each of the more than 1,400 honorees. The book also includes specific appendixes for each shrine, in which inductees are listed alphabetically and by year of induction. Also included are appendixes briefly describing the history of each hall of fame.

Thursday Night Lights

Author: Michael Hurd
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 1477314857
Size: 70.11 MB
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At a time when "Friday night lights" shone only on white high school football games, African American teams across Texas burned up the gridiron on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The segregated high schools in the Prairie View Interscholastic League (the African American counterpart of the University Interscholastic League, which excluded black schools from membership until 1967) created an exciting brand of football that produced hundreds of outstanding players, many of whom became college All-Americans, All-Pros, and Pro Football Hall of Famers, including NFL greats such as "Mean" Joe Green (Temple Dunbar), Otis Taylor (Houston Worthing), Dick "Night Train" Lane (Austin Anderson), Ken Houston (Lufkin Dunbar), and Bubba Smith (Beaumont Charlton-Pollard). Thursday Night Lights tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of African American high school football in Texas. Drawing on interviews, newspaper stories, and memorabilia, Michael Hurd introduces the players, coaches, schools, and towns where African Americans built powerhouse football programs under the PVIL leadership. He covers fifty years (1920–1970) of high school football history, including championship seasons and legendary rivalries such as the annual Turkey Day Classic game between Houston schools Jack Yates and Phillis Wheatley, which drew standing-room-only crowds of up to 40,000, making it the largest prep sports event in postwar America. In telling this story, Hurd explains why the PVIL was necessary, traces its development, and shows how football offered a potent source of pride and ambition in the black community, helping black kids succeed both athletically and educationally in a racist society.

How To Speak Football

Author: Sally Cook
Publisher: Flatiron Books
ISBN: 125007200X
Size: 22.50 MB
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From "ankle breaker” to “zebra,” How to Speak Football includes over 125 football terms paired with amusing illustrations that decode the words and phrases that fly around the field. The “Sidelines” sections sprinkled throughout the book will teach you fun trivia about the history of the sport, the stories behind football players’ nicknames, the most famous touchdown celebrations, and much more! The terms included in the book range from the well-known, like “blitz” and “punt,” to the more uncommon such as: -Alligator arms: A term coaches, players, and television commentators frequently use to describe—and disparage—a receiver who keeps his arms protectively tucked in close to his ribs, instead of stretched out to catch the ball. -Chain gang: The officials on the sideline who hold the yardage and down markers. -Pancake: A forceful block, usually by an offensive lineman, tight end, or fullback, that sets an opposing lineman completely on his back, taking him out of play. A fantastic blend of funny anecdotes and entertaining bits of history and trivia, this is the perfect gift book for all the football lovers in your life, fantasy football fanatics, or any of the growing number of fans who are gravitating toward this exciting sport!

Breaking The Color Barrier

Author: Frank Foster
Publisher: BookCaps Study Guides
ISBN: 1629173517
Size: 48.90 MB
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The history of sports and race is messy. In baseball Jackie Robinson is universally touted as the first black major league player, which conveniently forgets Moses Fleetwood Walker and other players of color who appeared on 19th century diamonds. Football deals with the messiness a different way. The sport employs the term "modern era" instead. So Kenny Washington is the first black player of the "modern era." James Harris was the first black quarterback to start an NFL game in the "modern era." Art Shell was the first black head coach of the "modern era." The reason football has to append the qualifier to its historical racial milestones is because there was a man who was doing all those things back when the National Football League began. His name was Fritz Pollard, and this is his story.

Fight For Old Dc

Author: Andrew O'Toole
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 080329946X
Size: 24.27 MB
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In 1932 laundry-store tycoon George Preston Marshall became part owner of the Boston Braves franchise in the National Football League. To separate his franchise from the baseball team, he renamed it the Redskins in 1933 and then in 1937 moved his team to Washington DC, where the team won two NFL championships over the next decade. But it was off the field that Marshall made his lasting impact. An innovator, he achieved many "firsts" in professional football. His team was the first to telecast all its games, have its own fight song and a halftime show, and assemble its own marching band and cheerleading squad. He viewed football as an entertainment business and accordingly made changes to increase scoring and improve the fan experience. But along with innovation, there was controversy. Marshall was a proud son of the South, and as the fifties came to a close, his team remained the only franchise in the three major league sports to not have a single black player. Marshall came under pressure from Congress and the NFL and its president, Pete Rozelle, as league expansion and new television contract possibilities forced the issue on the reluctant owner. Outside forces finally pushed Marshall to trade for Bobby Mitchell, the team's first black player, in 1962. With the story of Marshall's holdout as the backdrop, Fight for Old DC chronicles these pivotal years when the NFL began its ascent to the top of the nation's sporting interest.

The Pro Football Historical Abstract

Author: Sean Lahman
Publisher: Lyons Press
ISBN: 9781592289400
Size: 18.82 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Using metrics of his own design, the author ranks the best professional football players of all time by position, along with providing rankings for the greatest coaches of all time.