John J. Miller delivers the intriguing, never-before-told story of how Theodore Roosevelt saved American Football—a 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.
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"Football enthusiasts and Theodore Roosevelt admirers will both enjoy and learn from these little-known but important historic events that preserved from extinction one of America's favorite sports."
--Tweed Roosevelt, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Association
"In Miller's hands, the story of Theodore Roosevelt's love for, and defense of, 'the great game' has as much vigor and passion as Roosevelt himself. It's a fascinating, thoroughly American tale."
--Candice Millard, author of The River of Doubt
"The Big Scrum tells the fascinating story of why Teddy Roosevelt thought football was so relevant to American life, and how and why the game he essentially fathered became one of this country's most important cultural institutions. At a time when a coalition of suburban soccer moms and misguided caretakers of American athletics are hell-bent on watering down the game of football, you should take the time to read this book."
--Sal Paolantonio, national correspondent, ESPN
John J. Miller is director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College, national correspondent for National Review, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and the author of five books, including the novel The First Assassin.
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