27

October

Fabulous New Book From Sports Illustrated: Football’s Greatest

Sports Illustrated - Football's Greatest

Click on Image to Buy

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a review copy of  a new book titled “Football’s Greatest” from Sports Illustrated. This massive (10′ x 13′, 288 pages) hard cover book is one of those books any serious football fan must have sitting on their bookshelf.

The book is a group effort by seven Sports illustrated senior writers and editors who cover the NFL. They’ve taken on the painstaking job of ranking the NFL’s historical best of the best in over 20 categories. Best quarterbacks, best linebackers, best stadiums, best franchises, etc.

Whether you’re a Packers fan or a fan of any of the “Other 31,” it’s easy for me to say you’ll love this book.

If you are a Packers fan, I can tell you that your team is very well represented, with 22 selections in 17 categories, including three #1 rankings and 14 in the top five. I can tell you that naturally, Vince Lombardi was selected as the greatest coach in NFL History, and there is one Packers player omitted that really rankles me. I don’t want to be a spoiler, so you’ll have to read the book to find out who the other Packers selections are.

To pick up a copy of the book, click on the image above. Also, look for our Packers prediction contest before the Packers – Jaguars game. The person with the most accurate game prediction will win a copy of the book.

For some more details about the book, here is the official press release from SIBooks:

Who Are Football’s Greatest?

Sports Illustrated’s team of experts answers the questions pro football fans have been debating since the pigskin started flying

New book sets the All-Time Top 10 in every category—from positions to teams to coaches and rivalries—with best football movies, stadiums, and uniforms mixed in as well

NEW YORK—As the NFL approaches the midpoint of the 2013 season, Sports Illustrated’s pro football experts have created the ultimate book to help settle, and probably continue, the debate for the gridiron’s best ever. FOOTBALL’S GREATEST, on sale today, names the Top 10 in more than 20 categories not just by position player, but also the best stadiums, rivalries, coaches and even trades. The book also looks at the most underrated players in the history of the NFL and includes hundreds of classic images and the storytelling that only the writers of Sports Illustrated can provide.

19

June

The Complete History of Green Bay Packers in Professional Wrestling: Chapter 1 — The Football and Wrestling Connection

That's Packers great Reggie White wrestling Steve McMichael in WCW.

This is chapter 1 in a series examining the history of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers and professional wrestling. The introduction to the series can be read here.

In 1986, Vince McMahon, Jr. was in the middle of transforming the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from a regional promotion in the northeast to a national powerhouse that would eventually wipe out every other wrestling territory in the United States. McMahon used his deep pockets to lure away top wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper from rival promotions. He also used his marketing and promotional skills to develop many of his wrestlers into larger than life characters with mainstream appeal.

But McMahon was not satisfied with running a successful wrestling promotion. He wanted to create an entertainment empire that happened to involve wrestling. He wanted the WWF to be viewed on the same level as a major movie studio that produced blockbuster films, or a record label with bands that released No. 1 hits.

To achieve this, McMahon knew he needed more than top-level wrestling talent. He needed something that could make wrestling “cool,” something that would appeal to a younger generation and people who normally did not pay attention to wrestling.

The Rock ‘n Wrestling connection was born.

Wrestling Becomes Cool
McMahon partnered with MTV in the mid-80s to reach the younger and hipper audience he was targeting. He also brought in rock singers and celebrities like Cyndi Lauper to broaden the WWF’s brand beyond the scope of traditional professional wrestling.

To be fair, McMahon was not the first promoter to incorporate celebrities and musical acts into the wrestling world. To sell tickets for larger-scale events, wrestling promoters occasionally brought in musicians to perform after matches or local celebrities to make some sort of appearance. But nobody did it like McMahon.

McMahon used celebrities to build the WWF for the long term. In addition to selling tickets, McMahon wanted the celebrities he used to establish the WWF as mainstream entertainment. He had a vision of where he wanted to take the WWF, and he recognized that celebrities could help get him there.

The WWF’s flirtation with celebrities came to a head at the first Wrestlemania, held at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 31, 1985. Celebrities like Lauper, Mr. T, Liberace, Muhammad Ali and Billy Martin helped Wrestlemania reach over a million people through closed-circuit television and establish the WWF as “hip” and “cool.”