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"A sharp look at the 1958 National Football League championship game . . . [Bowden] wisely focuses on a few individuals--Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, Weeb Ewbank, Art Donovan of the Colts; Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, Vince Lombardi, and Tom Landry of the Giants--to explain the game's singular link to the NFL's past and future. The author deftly examines the larger historical context shaping this coming-of-age moment, which propelled professional football to its current position as America's favorite sport. . . . A delight for anyone interested in the history of the NFL." --Kirkus Reviews
"Bowden, a skilled journalist . . . has written The Best Game Ever as a labor of love . . . His explanations of shifts in the teams' offensive and defensive strategies are lucid, and he knows enough about the extreme physical and mental demands the game exacts to convey a strong sense of the players' exhaustion and determination as the contest ground toward its conclusion . . . The Best Game Ever is sure to become an instant Sacred Text."
--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
"In his scrupulously researched account of the 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants, Mark Bowden makes a compelling case for both his title, 'The Best Game Ever, ' and subtitle: 'The Birth of the Modern NFL.' . . . Mr. Bowden succeeds in making a contest from a half-century ago seem fresh, in part because he has a keen sense for the anecdotal . . . [his] best trick, though, is that he gets out of the way of a great story and a great game." --Steve Wulf, Wall Street Journal
"Tight and tidy . . . As we become more familiar with the participants in this drama, there is a shock of recognition on seemingly every page. It is remarkable learning what these men who all played in one game went on to do with their lives, both on and off the football field . . . Reading through Mr. Bowden's reconstruction of the game, one does get the sense that this game was, if not the best ever, at least one of the most intriguing."
--Peter Hausler, Wall Street Journal
"With the same precision he used to dissect a firefight in Mogadishu, Bowden anatomizes the 1958 NFL Championship between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants, which featured a death-defying comeback by the Colts and was also one of America's first 'truly communal live national events.'" --Time
"Bowden dives into the trenches of the 1958 NFL Championship game, where New York and Baltimore waged an overtime battle that wowed TV audiences and ensured the future of pro football . . . He astutely contrasts Frank Gifford's glamorous Giants with the blue-collar Colts of Johnny Unitas." --Entertainment Weekly
"Befitting a skilled reporter, Bowden uncovers new material to enliven his retelling. His interviews with several of the Colts and Giants players, as well as with Colts' then-assistant coach Charley Winner, yield new insights. In particular, receive Raymond Berry's detailed game notes from the day itself are invaluable, as are excerpts from the transcript of the NBC radio broadcast by Joe Boland . . . this book is a fine account of one of the most significant games in sports history." --Library Journal
"Bowden handles [the story] deftly, using a spare writing style to illuminate the historic tussle." --Newsday