Sunday, February 01, 2009

St. Petersburg Times: The Galloping Ghost

Dave Scheiber reviewed The Galloping Ghost in the St. Petersburg Times today, Super Bowl Sunday.

For the full article, click here. Excerpt of "'The Galloping Ghost' shares the 'Red' Grange story":

His name long ago faded into the mist of history, a legend of the game whose complex life story was largely lost amid the hype of his gridiron greatness.

But in The Galloping Ghost: Red Grange, An American Football Legend, author Gary Andrew Poole digs beneath the surface to present a compelling and fascinating look at the rise of an iconic figure from the Roaring '20s, his tragic undoing and — surprisingly — his profound influence on the sport today.

Through exhaustive research and interviewing, Poole does more than paint a vivid picture of a golden age of American culture. He illustrates how the accomplishments of Harold "Red" Grange permeate professional football today. And when Super Bowl XLIII kicks off at 6:28 p.m. today in Tampa, the most-watched event on the planet can trace a meaningful part of its genealogy — as Poole lays out with well-crafted prose — to gifted ballcarrier and lonely hero Grange...

The central aspect of Poole's book is the light it casts on the unusual business partnership between Grange and his manager, a wheeler-dealer entrepreneur named Charles "C.C." Pyle, who became, in his own way, America's first super sports agent. The author brings both men to life in rich historical detail and reveals how Pyle, a smooth-operating movie theater owner in Grange's hometown of Wheaton, Ill., saw the young star as a ticket to fame and fortune...

Still, the shadow cast today by the Galloping Ghost remains a formidable one — even if it's hard to see through the mist of time and the megahype of one more Super Bowl Sunday.


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