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The First Star: Red Grange and the Barnstorming Tour That Launched the NFL
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The First Star: Red Grange and the Barnstorming Tour That Launched the NFL

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  33 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In The First Star, acclaimed sports writer Lars Anderson recounts the thrilling story of Harold "Red" Grange, the Galloping Ghost of the gridiron, and the wild barnstorming tour that earned professional football a place in the American sporting firmament.

Red Grange's on-field exploits at the University of Illinois, so vividly depicted in print by the likes of Grantland Ric
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 29th 2009 by Random House (first published December 1st 2009)
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Cheryl Gatling
It's hard to imagine today, but there was a time when the American public simply was not interested in professional football. Football was a college game. Working men, who loved baseball and boxing, thought football was for hoity-toity rich kids, not a real man's sport. Those who did follow the college game thought it wholesome and noble, and wanted it kept pure from the dirty, corrupt influence of professionalism. There were only a few professional football teams, and all of them were going bro ...more
Feb 13, 2013 J.C. rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
3 1/2 stars. An entertaining story about Harold "Red" Grange and the tour that transformed professional football (the NFL) from an obscure, illegitimate and shady organization into the most popular sport in America. Without Red Grange, the National Football League would have collapsed in financial ruin and we'd all be sitting around watching figure skating on Sunday afternoons.

The writing style of this book was very easy and entertaining. There was a lot of information that I knew little or noth
Dec 30, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
As a big Illinois and Bears fan, I am a completely biased reviewer. Having said that, I really enjoyed this book and the story of launching the NFL. The book is written in a typical sports writer fashion and a little long winded at times. However, the subject matter is very interesting. The author also did a great job intertwining the stories of Grange, Halas, and Pyle. I recommend this book to any NFL, Bears, or Illini fan.
Nov 09, 2013 John rated it really liked it
I remember when my son found a book at the library about Bigfoot, and was so fascinated that he would share his Bigfoot knowledge with anyone who would listen. I found myself reacting the same way to this book. Before I started, I knew very little about Red Grange: he was an early star of the Chicago Bears, who had also played at the University of Illinois. But did you know that Illinois used to be GOOD? An Red Grange once scored six touchdowns against Michigan? And George Halas played one baseb ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Spectator4 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put this book down...absolutely devoured it. Would have loved to have seen Grange play in his prime...can't believe they had to play 10 games in 18 a time when players played both offense and defense. The NFL owes its current success to Grange and George Halas.
First half of this book had a nice flow, but the second half felt like a laundry list of Grange's infamous barnstorming tour, and less a biography of the first true star of the sport of football. Overall, I did learn some new stuff however.
Michael Mckenna
Dec 29, 2013 Michael Mckenna rated it it was ok
I was underwhelmed. Had read an excerpt in Sports Illustrated which was great, but the rest of the book was just okay.
Apr 07, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
There are tons of book's on baseball's history, but not so many on football. The history of the game remains much more untold, and this is a tremendous story of it's first star. Well written period piece.
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