The Big Scrum by John J. Miller

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John J. Miller delivers the intriguing, never-before-told story of how Theodore Roosevelt saved American Football—a game that would become the nation’s most popular sport. Miller’s sweeping, novelistic retelling captures the violent, nearly lawless days of late 19th century football and the public outcry that would have ended the great game but for a crucial Presidential intervention. Teddy Roosevelt’s championing of football led to the creation of the NCAA, the innovation of the forward pass, a vital collaboration between Walter Camp, Charles W. Eliot, John Heisman and others, and, ultimately, the creation of a new American pastime. Perfect for readers of Douglas Brinkley’s Wilderness Warrior, Michael Lewis’s The Blind Side, and Conn and Hal Iggulden’s The Dangerous Book for Boys, Miller’s The Big Scrum reclaims from the shadows of obscurity a remarkable story of one defining moment in our nation’s history.


About John J. Miller

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John J. Miller is national correspondent of National Review, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and the author of four books, including the novel The First Assassin and Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France.
Published April 12, 2011 by HarperCollins e-books. 285 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Big Scrum

Kirkus Reviews

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The unlikely--and perhaps slightly overblown--tale of how Teddy Roosevelt flexed presidential muscle to save the fledgling game of football.

Mar 29 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Scrum

Publishers Weekly

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Though it is now an autumn distraction for millions every weekend, football was on the verge of extinction in the early 20th century. Its participants, who did not benefit from padding or helmets, fre

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Scrum

The New York Times

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This history of football’s early years examines how, over a century ago, the sport’s opponents wanted it banned; then Theodore Roosevelt stepped into the huddle.

Aug 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Scrum

The Wall Street Journal

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Weeks before he convened a football summit at the White House in 1905, he told a Harvard alumni dinner: "I believe in outdoor games, and I do not mind in the least that they are rough games, or that those who take part in them are occasionally injured."

Sep 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Scrum

Book Reporter

From junior football to the National Football League, the epidemic of concussions is causing concern to players, owners, families and anyone involved in the game.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Scrum

National Review Online


Apr 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Big Scrum

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