Best Game Ever by Mark Bowden

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The Best Game Ever, by Mark Bowden, was a great book that talks about the 1958 NFL Championship game that helped transform the NFL into what it is today. It has exceeded all my expectations of the book and truly shows the impact this game had on the NFL. This was the first ever football game that was a national event, this was the first ever professional football teams viewed by millions. It would also be the first sudden death overtime game ever played in the NFL, Making the game that much more exciting. In 1958 Johnny Unitas, the Colt’s star quarterback and league’s Most Valuable Player award winner, was making $17,500 for the year, five years later Joe Namath would be earning $427,000 for the year, and this stat truly shows the impact this game had on the NFL. The game even had an impact on the author, he and every other kid in the world wanted Johnny Unitas’ high top cleats growing up, everyone wanted to be him. This was the beginning of athletes becoming celebrities in society. I was surprised to see that football wasn’t very popular back then, before this game football was a joke compared to our country’s pastime, baseball. Football is now easily the country’s most popular sport, organizations would grow to be more lucrative and be worth more than many small countries. I did expect the book to talk more about the actual game though, most of the book just talks about the teams and all the players on the team’s lives and what happened leading up to the game. Very little of the book is the actual game, there is also a good amount of the book talking about what happened to the players after the game, unfortunately, half of the players from that great 1958 Colt’s team are no longer around today. The players who are fortunate enough to still be alive today talk very fondly of the team and say it was the time of their lives. The author wrote the book to show others the transformation of the league and how it affected the nation, including himself. The

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