The Best Game Ever

  • by Mark Bowden
  • Narrated by Phil Gigante
  • 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On December 28, 1958, the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts met under the lights of Yankee Stadium for that season's NFL Championship game. Football, growing in popularity amid America's post-war economic boom, was still greatly over-shadowed by the country's favored pastime - baseball - but the 1958 championship proved to be the turning point for pro football.On the field and roaming the sidelines were 17 future Hall of Famers, including Colts stars Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, and Gino Marchetti, and Giants greats Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, and assistant coaches Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry.Played on a freezing Sunday evening in front of 64,000 fans and an estimated 45 million television viewers around the country - at that time the largest crowd to have ever watched a football game - the championship would become the first sudden-death contest in NFL history. With two minutes left in regulation, Baltimore had possession deep in its own territory, and the ball in the hands of the still unproven quarterback Johnny Unitas.The Best Game Ever is a brilliant portrait of how a single game changed the history of American sports. Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the championship, it is destined to be a sports classic.


What the Critics Say

"Bowden (Black Hawk Down, Guests of the Ayatollah) succeeds in making a contest from a half-century ago seem fresh, in part because he has a keen sense for the anecdotal. Mr. Bowden's best trick, though, is that he gets out of the way of a great story and a great game." (The Wall Street Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Find

This is a great book even if you know nothing about football or outright hate the game. The author does a wonderful job of telling the story of a history-making contest. He liberally sprinkles the story with tidbits that surprise the listener -- little things that stay with you. I never heard of Raymond Barry before but the fact that he only had one fumble in 13 years of pro-play is extraordinary. I didn't realize Landry and Lombardi were coaches for the same team! Who knew? Two legendary men working for the same team --- and they LOST ?!?!? In a sudden death overtime??? And the TV broadcast almost lost the last play??? What are the odds?
I hope the Mr. Bowden has more sports stories to tell.
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- Kathy

Great story -- well told

If this title sounds remotely interesting to you, you're gonna love the book. Bowden has a great story to tell and does a terrific job, with lots of background information that adds considerably to the experience. Just one complaint keeps me from giving the audiobook 5 stars: the narrator, who otherwise does a good job, mispronounces many of the key participants' names, over and over and over again! How hard would it have been to get them right -- one call to the NFL office? Hey, he did get Jim Brown and Tom Landry right, and if you're young enough you'll never know the difference. Still and all, Bowden has you right there with some of the game's greatest in a truly historic and dramatic game. This is a treat not to be missed by real football fans.
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- R. Barry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-24-2008
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio