Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review of "Touchdown Trouble," by Fred Bowen

Review of

Touchdown Trouble, by Fred Bowen ISBN 9781561454976

Four out of five stars

Great example of true sportsmanship

Sam Danza is a star player on the offensive side of his youth football team called the Cowboys. They are a very good team and are contending for the championship. The stars are confident without being arrogant and they play as a team with no swelled heads or demanding of special treatment. They regularly meet for pizza and soda and to watch and study the film of their last game.

 When watching the film of their last key victory against their main rivals, the Giants, they discover that the referees made an error and gave them a fifth down on their game-winning drive. The issue then becomes, “What do we do about this?” There is significant debate among the teammates whether they will report the error to league officials or not.

 This situation has appeared at least twice in the historical records of NCAA football. In 1940, Cornell had the most powerful football team in the nation, and they were playing Dartmouth in their second-to-last game of the season. As a consequence of an error by the officials, Cornell was given a fifth down on their drive that supposedly won the game. When the error was discovered, the Cornell players voted nearly unanimously to give Dartmouth the victory. This action of pure sportsmanship cost Cornell the national title. The second case was a game between Colorado and Missouri where Colorado was given a fifth down on their game-winning drive. In that case, Colorado elected to keep their victory on the books.

 This is a good sports book made even better when the conundrum is presented to the Cowboys and the explanation that the situation has in fact happened. Sports stories based on actual events are some of the best.

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