The game of football is full of controversy and even on the inside, there is plenty of issues going on. It has been part of the game for years. Author Jack Gilden shares his research into the relationship between Don Shula and Johnny Unitas. They came across to the world as cohesive but in real life it was far from it.
This book titled, “Collision of Wills: Johnny Unitas, Don Shula, and the Rise of the Modern NFL,” is an eye-opening and sometimes jaw-dropping account of their on and off the field relationship. This was an outstanding team that won many football games and yet they were a non-functional team in many ways.
In five years, this team with Unitas at quarterback and Shula on the sidelines coaching won 55 games and lost 12. They beat teams regularly and with authority. What caused this rift in their relationship comes from their background on how the game should be played.
Johnny Unitas was d school and expected to run the show with his own plays and full control of the huddle. Coach Shula, on the other hand, saw himself as the in charge guy and wanted it done his way. Shula was a screamer and Johnny Unitas didn’t like that. They butted heads many times.
The book is worth the read to find all of the conflicts that came between these two football lifers. It started at a young time in their life and fate puts them together later in their careers. They won lots of football games but they never won a championship. Many stories have come out about the Baltimore Colts losing to the Cleveland Browns in 1964. Every sports fan should have this on their bookshelf.
About the Author
Jack Gilden is a past winner of the Simon Rockower journalism award. His work has appeared in Orioles Magazine, the Baltimore Sun and Evening Sun, and the Baltimore Jewish Times. He also consults businesses about their messaging and teaches writing at the college level.
I would like to thank the University of Nebraska Press for sending this copy to me for a fair and honest book review.
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Press;
First Edition edition (October 1, 2018)
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