By Jeff Labrecque
May 16, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Best Game Ever

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  • Book

In The Best Game Ever, Mark Bowden dives into the trenches of the 1958 NFL Championship game, where New York and Baltimore waged an overtime battle that wowed TV audiences and ensured the future of pro football. He astutely contrasts Frank Gifford’s glamorous Giants with the blue-collar Colts of Johnny Unitas, who moonlighted at a local steel factory, and Raymond Berry, the training-obsessed wide receiver. The mistake-laden title game was hardly the ”best,” but it ushered in an era of riches: While Unitas earned $17,500 in 1958, rookie Joe Namath signed for $200,000 just five years later. A-

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