King Football: Sport and Spectacle in the Golden Age of Radio and Newsreels, Movies and Magazines, the Weekly & the Daily Press

By Michael Oriard | Go to book overview

4
Players’ or
Coaches’
Whose
Game Is It?

Among the sports heroes from the so-called Golden Age of Sport— Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Bill Tilden, Bobby Jones—two figures from the world of football stood out: Harold (Red) Grange and Knute Rockne. There had been celebrated football stars before Grange—Tillie Lamar, Pudge Heffelfinger, the Poes of Princeton, Jim Thorpe, Eddie Mahan, and dozens more—but Grange became football’s first true celebrity through the full resources of a media machine that only emerged in the 1920s. Grange actually performed the feats that dazzled football fans in the mid-1920s and drew the media to him, but the “Galloping Ghost” and “Wheaton Ice Man” were in turn creations of the media. Following his spectacular six-touchdown performance against Michigan on 18 October 1924, Grange received unprecedented wire-service and syndicated newspaper attention over the rest of his junior and senior seasons, including a serialized biography written by James Braden of the Chicago Daily News that ran in October and November 1925 in many papers. Henry Luce’s new Time magazine placed Grange on its 5 October 1925 cover, and every other magazine that featured sports documented his exploits. Grange’s signing with the Chicago Bears immediately following his final college game provoked newspaper commentary by seemingly every syndicated and local sports columnist; and his subsequent games with the Bears, including his exhibition tour throughout the South and West over the winter of 1925–26, were headline news wherever he appeared.

-126-

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King Football: Sport and Spectacle in the Golden Age of Radio and Newsreels, Movies and Magazines, the Weekly & the Daily Press
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • I - In the Kingdom of Football 21
  • 1 - Reading, Watching, & Listening to Football 23
  • 2 - Local Football 65
  • 3 - Who Cares about Reform? 101
  • 4 - Players’ or Coaches’ Whose Game Is It? 126
  • 5 - Gridiron, U.S.a 162
  • 6 - Sanctioning Savagery 199
  • II - What We Think about When We Think about Football 223
  • 7 - Class? 225
  • 8 - Ethnicity 255
  • 9 - Race 283
  • 10 - Masculinity 328
  • Epilogue- Into the Age of Television 364
  • Appendix A - Football Films, 1920–1960 371
  • Appendix B - Football Covers on the Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s, 1920–1960 374
  • Appendix C - Football Fiction in the Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s, 1920–1960 378
  • Notes 383
  • Bibliography 435
  • Index 471
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