As author Lew Freedman tells it, 1963 was a year that saw the good, the bad, and the ugly in professional football. In fact, some might say the good (an exhilarating championship game between the Bears and Giants, the opening of the Pro Football Hall of Fame) was overshadowed by the bad and the ugly, which included star players banned for gambling, the mysterious death of beloved player Big Daddy Lipscomb, and of course the assassination of JFK. Drawing on source material and interviews with players, veteran sportswriter Lew Freedman delves deep into the background of each story from this remarkable year, while Noah Michael Levine's smooth, rich voice is well suited to the dramatic, detailed tales he offers up.
A season that the NFL would never forget.The pro football season of 1963 was dominated by the unexpected. In April, months prior to the beginning of play, it was revealed that two All-Star players, Paul Hornung and Alex Karras, were gambling on the sport and would be suspended from play for at least a year. Even worse, in May, one of the league’s bigger-than-life personalities, Big Daddy Lipscomb, was found dead, with police saying he perished from a heroin overdose, something those who knew him best still dispute.
As play began in September, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened its doors in Canton, Ohio, the same town where the National Football League was founded in 1921 and inducted its first class. Also, the war for players and prestige raged with the upstart American Football League trying to obtain equal footing in the public eye.
On the field, it was to be the year the Chicago Bears, and their aging owner-coach George Halas knew glory once more, fighting off the latest dynasty of Green Bay Packers led by Vince Lombardi in a season-long chase for the Western Division title. Yet even that was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While the nation mourned and other sports leagues suspended activity, the NFL played on with its regular season that sad weekend - a choice commissioner Pete Rozelle later called the worst mistake of his tenure.
Clouds over the Goalpost is filled with controversy not only on the field, but off it as well. From the various suspensions to an exciting championship game between the Bears and Giants, 1963 was a year that the NFL would never forget - for both the good and the bad.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I would love to recommend this book but the narrators inability to property pronounce a majority of the main character's names is insulting to the audience. For anyone who is even remotely familiar with sports or the NFL this should never be an issue. The author/publisher must have found one of the few people who cannot properly pronounce Paul Hornung's name. It is so distracting from the storyline that it is nearly impossible to enjoy the content of the book. I understand audiobooks are a newer technology but it is insanity how not one person caught this throughout what I'm guessing is multiple steps in the audio process before this is release.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Clouds over the Goalpost?
The narrators inability to properly pronounce multiple names.
What didn’t you like about Noah Michael Levine’s performance?
He has clearly never followed, researched, inquired, prepared for his job in pronouncing names of relatively famous athletes. For someone who's job it is to properly read/pronounce names/places/things this should be the first thing Noah should prepare for. Also, a terrible job by any editor to not stop Noah and give him the proper pronunciation of multiple names.
Could you see Clouds over the Goalpost being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
Any additional comments?
If someone is going to produce/narrate a sports book; please get one person who has an ounce of sports background. It is insulting to the readers who have an interest in these items.
The reader used a few unusual name pronunciations. The story was really enjoyable and informative, providing much insight into the pro-football mind.
What would have made Clouds over the Goalpost better?
A different narrator who had ever watched a football game
Would you ever listen to anything by Lew Freedman again?
Probably not - redundant and badly in need of editing.
Would you be willing to try another one of Noah Michael Levine’s performances?
NEVER - The absolute worst - Even I could do far better
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
An interesting topic
Any additional comments?