The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football

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9780061744501: The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football

In its infancy in the late 19th century, the game of football was still a work in progress that only remotely resembled the sport millions follow today. There was no common agreement about many of the game's basic rules, and it was incredibly violent and extremely dangerous. An Americanized version of rugby, this new game's popularity grew even as the number of casualties rose. Numerous young men were badly injured, and dozens-the cream of the crop of America's prep schools and colleges-died playing it in highly publicized incidents. Objecting to the sport's brutality, a movement of proto - Progressives, led by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and the editors of The Nation, tried to abolish it. President Roosevelt, a vocal advocate of the strenuous life and proponent of risk, acknowledged football's dangers but admired it's potential for building character. A longtime fan of the game who purposely recruited men with college-football experience for his Rough Riders, Roosevelt fought to preserve the game's manly essence, even as he understood the need for reform. In 1905, he summoned the coaches of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to the White House and urged them to act. The result was the establishment of the NCAA, as well as a series of rule changes - including the advent of the forward pass-which ultimately saved football and transformed it into the quintessential American game. "The Big Scrum" reveals the fascinating details of this little-known story for the first time.

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Review:

"[Miller] is on target with a necessarily selective biography highlighting Roosevelt's lifelong affinity for sports and physical activity, thereby providing context for understanding why a president would devote valuable time to what was then a minor sport. [An] enjoyable history of a seldom-explored turning point in American sports history." --Booklist

About the Author:

John J. Miller is national correspondent of National Review, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and the author of four books, including the novel The First Assassin and Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France.

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Book Description Harper, 2011. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: John J. Miller delivers the intriguing, never-before-told story of how Theodore Roosevelt saved American Footballa game that would become the nation's most popular sport. Miller's sweeping, novelistic retelling captures the violent, nearly lawless days of late 19th century football and the public outcry that would have ended the great game but for a crucial Presidential intervention. Teddy Roosevelt's championing of football led to the creation of the NCAA, the innovation of the forward pass, a vital collaboration between Walter Camp, Charles W. Eliot, John Heisman and others, and, ultimately, the creation of a new American pastime. Perfect for readers of Douglas Brinkley's Wilderness Warrior, Michael Lewis's The Blind Side, and Conn and Hal Iggulden's The Dangerous Book for Boys, Miller's The Big Scrum reclaims from the shadows of obscurity a remarkable story of one defining moment in our nation's history. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0061744506

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