When Saturday Mattered Most by Mark Beech
The Last Golden Season of Army Football

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When Saturday Mattered Most is the stirring story of the 1958 undefeated Army football team and the controversial coach who inspired Vince Lombardi

It was the end of an era, the last season before the surge of professional football began to lure the nation's best young student-athletes away from the military academies. That fall, the Black Knights of Army were the class of the nation. Mark Beech, a second-generation West Pointer, recounts this memorable and never-to-be-repeated season with:Pete Dawkins, the Heisman Trophy winner who rose to the rank of Brigadier General The long-reclusive Bill Carpenter, the fabled "lonesome end" who earned the Distinguished Service Cross for saving his company in Vietnam Red Blaik, who led Army back to glory after the cribbing scandal and had the field at Michie Stadium named in his honor

Combining the triumph of The Junction Boys with the heroics of The Long Gray Line, Beech captures a unique period in the history of football, the military, and mid-twentieth-century America.


About Mark Beech

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MARK BEECH has been a reporter, writer and editor at Sports Illustrated since 1997, and has covered a wide range of subjects, including NCAA football, horse racing and NASCAR. An army brat and second-generation West Point graduate, he lives with his wife, Allison, and their two children in Westchester County, New York.
Published September 18, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books. 285 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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The author also deals with the great crisis of Blaik’s life—the 1951 academic cheating scandal that involved his own son, who was dismissed from the academy along with scores of others—and profiles a number of players, including Heisman-winning halfback Pete Dawkins, the talented runner Bob Ander...

Jun 12 2012 | Read Full Review of When Saturday Mattered Most: ...

Publishers Weekly

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In a grand homage to the hard-nosed tradition of Army football, Beech, an editor at Sports Illustrated, recounts a brilliant gridiron season in 1958 when the scandal-ridden Black Knights of Army proved as talented and resilient as any college varsity squad ever.

May 14 2012 | Read Full Review of When Saturday Mattered Most: ...

The Wall Street Journal

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The glorious tradition of football and service at West Point.

Sep 14 2012 | Read Full Review of When Saturday Mattered Most: ...

Huntington News

Author Mark Beech, a second-generation graduate of West Point and a writer and editor at Sports Illustrated, does an outstanding job of taking the reader behind the scenes and the inner sanctum of one of America’s greatest football coaches.

Feb 05 2013 | Read Full Review of When Saturday Mattered Most: ...

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