Ice Bowl ’67 – Chuck Carlson

Ice

According to the short biography of the author that’s included on the book jacket, Chuck Carlson was a sportswriter who spent 11 years covering the Packers and this is his tenth book on the team.  That being the case, my guess on how this book came about is that his publisher called him up and said, “Chuck, the fiftieth anniversary of the Ice Bowl is coming up, can you write a book about it and get it to us by this weekend?”  That would at least explain the quality of the writing, the preponderance of typos (some of which were laughable – it read in parts like a high school term paper written by a guy who didn’t have time to have his girlfriend proofread it), and that the entire book seemed derivative.

The bummer about it is that the topic is enormously interesting.  You mention the Ice Bowl to any football fan (even after fifty years) and he’ll know what you’re talking about.  It was an incredible game played in extraordinary conditions and makes for a great subject.  This book should’ve/could’ve been much better.  Alas, however, it’s a botched job and not worth the read.  If you want a good account of the game, read When Pride Still Mattered by David Maraniss.  It’s a biography of Vince Lombardi that gives a fascinating blow-by-blow of the game (and of everything else about Lombardi’s life).  As for this book, don’t reward Chuck for his half-baked effort.  Leave it on the shelf and send a message that grammar and research aren’t optional.

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