By: The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
Publisher: Sports Illustrated
Publication Date: August 2014
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 31, 2014
We all know that in football a touchdown is four points. No, not so. How about five? No, not so. It’s now six points, but it wasn’t always. Over the years there have been lots of changes in the rules, starting in 1878 when that touchdown went up to five points. Over the decades, right up to the Tuck Rule in 2013, football has seen all kinds of changes and not just in the rule department. Everything from the very ball players have used to the stadiums they play in have undergone some form of change. Way back in 1892, William (Pudge) Heffelfinger made a whole $500 for playing football. Do you know what your favorite player makes? Not chump change like Pudge made.
There are plenty of betcha-didn’t-know facts in this book. For example, if you take a look at an NFL football you’ll see the signature of the NFL commissioner on the ball. On the other side is “THE DUKE.” Hmmmm, now that is an odd one, but if you are an NFL history buff, you’d know that it’s in “honor of New York Giants owner Wellington (Duke) Mara.” This book is so full of fun facts and trivia anyone reading it will be surprised at what they don’t know. A lot of players had nicknames as well. White Shoes, Ickey, Whizzer, and A.D. are just a few of them. Recognize any of these players?
Starting with the “Basics,” this book starts from day one of football and runs, passes, and snaps its way to the present-day game. Just imagine a bunch of guys sitting around a table with Walter Camp making up the rules. Fast forward to fantasy football and you’ll realize just how big and popular the game really is. In between there are the players, the equipment, those rules (again), technology, records, positions, and soooo much more! Oh, yes, forgot those coaches and their styles. There are the “master motivators,” the masterminds, and the taskmaster. If you’re a football fanatic, let’s just say you might like this book. Well, maybe love it.
This book pops in more ways than one. The layout breathes life into the game and makes it come alive for the young reader. Even the most reluctant readers will be drawn to the eye-popping, action-packed photographs and all those fantastic football facts. There are four basic chapters that cover the basics of the game, the players, strategies, and take a look at how fans enjoy the game. There are photographs galore, line drawings, illustrated timelines, and captions that add some very interesting information to the book. The book is a lot of fun, but most certainly a learning experience that everyone from the football fanatic to the ordinary fan will get a kick out of!
Quill says: This is one book that kids from nine to ninety just won’t be able to put down!