• Ten-Gallon War

  • The NFL's Cowboys, The AFL's Texans, and The Feud for Dallas' Pro Football Future
  • By: John Eisenberg
  • Narrated by: Jim Vann
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

In the 1960s, on the heels of the “Greatest Game Ever Played”, professional football began to flourish across the country - except in Texas, where college football was still the only game in town. But in an unlikely series of events, two young oil tycoons started their own professional football franchises in Dallas the very same year: the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and, as part of a new upstart league designed to thwart the NFL’s hold on the game, the Dallas Texans of the AFL. Almost overnight, a bitter feud was born.

The team owners, Lamar Hunt and Clint Murchison, became Mad Men of the gridiron, locked in a battle for the hearts and minds of the Texas pigskin faithful. Their teams took each other to court, fought over players, undermined each other’s promotions, and rooted like hell for the other guys to fail. A true visionary, Hunt of the Texans focused on the fans, putting together a team of local legends and hiring attractive women to drive around town in red convertibles selling tickets. Meanwhile, Murchison and his Cowboys focused on the game, hiring a young star, Tom Landry, in what would be his first-ever year as a head coach, and concentrating on holding their own against the more established teams in the NFL. Ultimately, both teams won the battle, but only one got to stay in Dallas and go on to become one of sports’ most quintessential franchises - “America's Team”.

In this highly entertaining narrative, rich in colorful characters and unforgettable stunts, Eisenberg recounts the story of the birth of pro football in Dallas - back when the game began to be part of this country’s DNA.

©2012 John Eisenberg (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Ten-Gallon War

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Magnamonious?

First of all, if you’re going to narrate a book about sports, please, please, please get the names pronounced correctly. Gino Marchetti’s surname is pronounced as though it was spelled Marketti.

Near the end of the book, the narrator pronounces magnanimous as though it was spelled magnamonius. Pretty pathetic.

All in all, this book is really disappointing when you compare it to Eisenberg’s book on the early history of the NFL.

I did find the behind-the-scenes information about the fourth Super Bowl interesting.

Beyond that, bitterly disappointed.

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Fascinating Fight for the Lone Star Heart

I recommend reading Eisenberg's other book 'The League' before taking on this one as you'll understand a bit more of the background leading up to this sports fight than is covered here. For some reason, going in, I kind of thought this occurred early enough in the NFL's success cycle it was closer to the organization's birth than it was.

The book paints a great back and forth between the 2nd iteration of the Dallas Texans of the AFL (the first folded in less than 1 year & moved to Baltimore to become the Colts) and the fledgling Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. Having watched new franchises form in the NFL a few times now in my life (Panthers, Jaguars, Browns) it's interesting to see such storied franchises undergo different methods of forming similar to those I mentioned. The Texans kinda followed the Panthers model of grabbing as many youtful stars out from underneath the NFL teams to the point of creating bidding wars for young talent, supplementing that with some veterans they could find. The Cowboys started more like the Jaguars in that they mostly had older vets to use until their drafts began to take fruit years into the building so Landry really focused long term as opposed to short.

How the Cowboys became the only team in town, I'll leave that to the readers, but it's interesting to read the fight from a time where the city didn't really care about them, being moreso immersed in Texans fandom.

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great football history

All great non fiction books are deeply personal. This book is no exception. The title is apt two men with the same vision fraught each other for the hearts and minds of football fans in Dallas. .
This book tells that story brilliantly. While the battle between the two was never settled on the field it is a classic.
Why, because like all battles it was one of opposites. Name the line it fits. From old vs new to stale vs fresh ..
I am younger then the era this story tells about but I do have a n appreciation for football history as long as the story is told well.
I learned a lot of new things I won't tell here. This is a book that truly was worth reading and buying.

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Great listen!

Really enjoyed this reading. I'm a big football fan but not a supporter of either the Cowboys or the Chiefs but I found it quite engaging nonetheless. The narrator was excellent and brought a richness to it with his own Texan drawl that really made it feel authentic. Anyone who is fascinated by the history of pro football should really enjoy this book.