Passing Game: Benny Friedman and the Transformation of by Murray Greenberg

By Murray Greenberg

Benny Friedman, the son of operating type immigrants in Cleveland’s Jewish ghetto, arrived on the college of Michigan and reworked the sport of soccer perpetually. on the time, within the Nineteen Twenties, soccer was once a lifeless, grinding working video game, and the ahead move used to be a desperation degree. Benny could swap all of that. In Ann Arbor, the rookie quarterback’s passing talents so eclipsed these of alternative gamers that mythical trainer Fielding Yost got here again from retirement to teach him. the opposite collage groups had no solution for Friedman’s passing assault. He then went pro—an unpopular selection at a time whilst the NFL was once the bad stepchild to varsity football—and used to be both sensational, ultimately signing with the hot York Giants for an unparalleled $10,000, bringing fanatics and a spotlight to the fledgling NFL. Passing online game rediscovers this little-known activities hero and tells the tale of Friedman’s evolution from upstart to American famous person, in a bright narrative that might satisfaction and enlighten soccer fanatics of every age.

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Additional info for Passing Game: Benny Friedman and the Transformation of Football

Example text

Yost’s teams over the next seventeen seasons leading up to Benny Friedman’s arrival in Ann Arbor did not dominate at that level, but they did keep on winning. The Wolverines compiled a record of 88–26–9 over that span, during which they had but one losing season, a 3–4 campaign in 1919. How did Yost do it? He wasn’t thought of as a master football tactician or a pioneering innovator in the mold of Rockne or Zuppke or Stagg or other contemporaries, though he knew the game as well as or better than all of those superb coaches.

He’d think about being at Dartmouth or just about anywhere else where he’d have a chance to play. He probably didn’t notice the coin toss and its result: Michigan won the toss and elected to kick off. Herb Steger strode to the forty-yard line with the privilege of kicking off perhaps the most eagerly awaited game in college football history. In his entire career, first at high-school powerhouse Oak Park (where Bob Zuppke once coached) and then in his more than three years at Michigan, this fine player had never lost a game.

He reached the end zone just ahead of the futile lunge of Michigan’s Tod Rockwell. Earl Britton’s extra-point kick made the score 7–0. It’s hard to imagine that a team as strong as Michigan, a team that for weeks had done barely anything beyond gird itself to stop Grange, could have been victimized by him so summarily and so quickly. But like the boxer whose elaborate pre-bout plan evaporates the moment his opponent hits him with a telling blow, it took just seconds for the Wolverines to tumble into disorientation.

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