We have an unusual Ballpark Digest Chat this week: we gathered Rick Gosselin, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Tom Shanahan to chat about their August Publications football books.
We gathered the three esteemed authors to discuss their books, why they decided to cover football and its impact on culture, and how they saw their books make an impact in the football world. The news hook: two of the three titles (Goodfellows and The Football Thesaurus) are now available for presale upon the release of new editions.
Goodfellows: The Champions of St. Ambrose by Rick Gosselin showcases a true football glory story of guts and heart spanning nearly a decade. Through faith, fight, and perhaps fate, the Giant Killers of little St. Ambrose High School rise as titans of their terrain and end up leaving a legacy millions of young boys and coaches aspire to but very few attain.
St. Ambrose High, one of the most storied programs in high-school-football history, didn’t even have it’s own football field. But success pulsated from the three-story building in Detroit between 1957 and 1967, when tiny St. Ambrose produced five football All-Americas, 12 all-state performers, and future NFL players and Super Bowl champs. They were products of this legendary place where old-fashioned values reigned, where teamwork triumphed over individual glory, and where football was the glue of this community.
The third edition of Goodfellows features a foreword from Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy and a new introduction from Detroit native, Michigan State University All-America and Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure.
It’s a world filled with armchair quarterbacks, designer blitzes, the Hogs, and Purple People Eaters. The colorful language of America’s Game—football—is the subject of The Football Thesaurus from broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, now out in a second edition.
Field generals throw back-shoulder passes to vertical threats, working off the bump and run. Penalties were originally signaled by horns, not flags. Tailbacks follow the big uglies to paydirt for a touchdown.
Football is a sport with its own lingo and jargon—a colorful patois that’s developed over the years and millions of games, college and pro, with today’s broadcasters developing their own descriptions of America’s Game. In The Football Thesaurus, a fascinating compendium of football terms, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler—broadcaster, storyteller, talker, voice—explains what football terms mean and how they came to be.
When Jimmy Raye enrolled at Michigan State University in 1964, he did more than just enroll in a university hundreds of miles from his native Fayetteville, N.C.: he was part of a groundbreaking movement that changed college football forever.
His story, as well as his Spartan teammates and coach Duffy Daugherty, is told by Tom Shanahan in Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, The Integration of College Football, and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. History has not accorded Daugherty, Raye, and the Spartans proper credit for their roles in the integration of college football. Too many view Daugherty as recruiting a couple of All-American players from the South, winning a bunch of games with his 1965-66 teams and then having it all come to an end.
All three football books are from August Publications.
Next week we return to our regular format, with Mick Gillispie joining Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Kevin Reichard to discuss the 2021 baseball season.