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The Undefeated " Signed "

Dent, Jim

ISBN 10: 0312266561 / ISBN 13: 9780312266561
Published by Thomas Dunne Books, 2001
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From RazorBooks (Springdale, AR, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

2001. Hardback. Fine first edition first print in fine dust jacket protected with Mylar cover. Signed by author on title page. Bookseller Inventory # 137

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Undefeated " Signed "

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Hardback

About this title

Synopsis:

For three perfect seasons (1954-1956), the Oklahoma Sooners won every football game they played - home or away - and over the course of five years they won 47 straight games. This awesome record was the product of a genius and masterful coach named Bud Wilkinson and the spirited young men he led. The Undefeated will detail all the thrilling action on the field during this record winning streak, but it will also reveal all the behind-the-scenes tumult and pressure swirling around it. Dent presents an absorbing character study of the brilliant, complex coach who engineered it all - Bud Wilkinson, the on-field genius whoses starched-shirt public persona hid a man of many secrets and an in-depth look at a state and its people still suffering from a Depression hangover and an identity crisis, who took up the Sooners football banner almost as a religious cause. Through it all, the young men who accomplished this amazing feat shine in vivid life.

Review:

In The Undefeated: The Oklahoma Sooners and the Greatest Winning Streak in College Football, The Junction Boys author Jim Dent chronicles how Charles "Bud" Wilkinson helped the dust-bowl-depressed state of Oklahoma regain self-respect by building a program that became one of the most dominant in college sports history. From 1948 to 1957, an era when players played both sides of the ball--170-pounders played tackle, and some players smoked three packs a day--the Oklahoma Sooners dominated college football in incredible fashion: they tied twice and lost four times, and amid their 94 wins they compiled winning streaks of 31 and 47 games.

Dent has an eye for detail, and the book is equally the story of coach Wilkinson and his eccentricities, with halftime speeches and an innovative coaching style that implemented schemes not found in the NFL for decades. Also of interest are the plight of Prentice Gautt, the first black OU player during a time of racial intolerance; the hardscrabble backgrounds of the tough-as-nails players; and how preparation for big games included espionage and decoy playbooks. Most of all, Dent retells game highlights in dramatic fashion, including how an opposing receiver, after potentially ending one of OU's streaks by scoring in the final seconds, confessed he had trapped, not caught, the ball. The refs discussed the matter, and "[w]hile the man in the gray flannel suit waited, watched and paced, a crowd of 50,878 held its collective breath, and prayed."

As the wins accumulated, it became increasingly difficult for Wilkinson to motivate players and fend off all comers. In like fashion, Dent loses steam, but not before making the heartfelt case that Wilkinson's Sooners fielded some of the greatest teams in history. --Michael Ferch

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