Best of AOT: Mark Bowden Recounts 1958 NFL Championship Game
Orange and yellow leaves, grandma’s pumpkin pie, hay rides, going back to school, and the return of NFL football are all autumn traditions in the United States. Not so many years ago, though, pro football was not the all-encompassing, church-skipping, prime time activity that it is today.
As Mark Bowden details in his book The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL, the 1958 NFL Championship Game was a definitive turning point in this country’s love affair with the game of pro football. In this Best of AOT podcast, Bowden explains that on this late December day in 1958 the stands at Yankee Stadium were not even full (can you image that at a Super Bowl today?). Due to the game’s sudden death overtime (the first in NFL history), however, the end of the game bumped NBC’s prime time programming, and an estimate 45-50 million viewers saw Johnny Unitas’ Baltimore Colts defeat the New York Giants 23-17.
Listen in as Bowden delivers a brilliant narrative on the game itself, the story behind the key players in that game, and the effect the contest had on the modern game of football and today’s NFL.
If you enjoyed this Best of Authors On Tour podcast, please listen to the entire Mark Bowden podcast.
This podcast was originally recorded on June 3, 2008.