Sunday, February 4, 2018

For Super Bowl LII: 1949's "A Handy Illustrated Guide to Football"

I thought this would be an appropriate post for today. It's a vintage football guide that I received as a present this past Christmas. It's important, on a basic level, that folks at least know Tom Brady from Mike Brady (right). You never want to find yourself in a situation where your lack of football knowledge leads to you being mocked on national television by Alex Trebek. So even if you prefer the Kitten Bowl and/or you're just waiting for that fictional character to be killed by a slow cooker after the Super Bowl, here's a chance to brush up on a little football...

  • Title: A Handy Illustrated Guide to Football
  • Editor: Sam Nisenson
  • Illustrator: None credited, which is a shame, given that there are more than 300 illustrations.
  • Cover blurb: "Up-to-date, authoritative ... Strategy, position play, basic rules, records, referee's signals, etc. ... Invaluable for players, spectators, fans ... Simple, clear, and PACKED WITH PICTURES."
  • Publisher: Permabooks, New York
  • Year: 1949
  • Price: 35 cents (39 cents in Canada)
  • Pages: 192
  • Format: Hardcover, in the size of a paperback. Here's the description on the back cover: "PERMABOOKS combine the virtues of handiness for the pocket and durability for the library shelf. They are selected with care to provide reliable books for education and recreation. Each has been printed from new plates and bound in boards with a special wear-resistant finish."
  • First sentences: Historians disagree on the origins of football. Some claim the Romans and Greeks played games called "harpiston" and "follis" that resembled football, but these games never appeared on the Olympic programs nor do any rule books exists that define them.
  • Last sentence: Wingback — Back stationed about 1 yard behind his own end, either inside or outside.
  • Random football advice #1: Your chances of completing a pass diminish with each succeeding down, so it is best to pass on first and second downs.
  • Random football advice #2: Don't leave your feet for the tackle but hit the ball carrier and keep driving him back.
  • Random football advice #3: You will often be called upon to block down field.
  • Random football advice #4: Football has helped mold today's American citizen. ... We would like to encourage every boy to play the game.
  • Some players and coaches featured: Charley Trippi (who, as of this writing, is still alive at age 96), Benny Friedman, Don Hutson, George Franck, Red Grange, Bill Daly, Cliff Battles, Ken Strong, Lou Little, Earl Blaik, Jim Thorpe, Orban "Spec" Sanders, Otto Graham, Buddy Young and Charley Bednarik.

Other football-themed posts

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