This is the true story of the Duluth Eskimos, from their early years to their infamous season led by the legendary back Ernie Nevers The hard luck squad of future hall of famers inspired a movie starring George Clooney and Renee Zellweger This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book Rated 4.25 of 5If you pick up this book because it was the inspiration for the George Clooney movie, Leatherheads, you might be disappointed depending, I suppose, on how much you liked the movie But if you choose to pick up this book because you are interested in history, or football, or even the sociology of entertainment sports through history, then this is a must read for you.I first became interested in this after visiting the This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book Rated 4.25 of 5If you pick up this book because it was the inspiration for the George Clooney movie, Leatherheads, you might be disappointed depending, I suppose, on how much you liked the movie But if you choose to pick up this book because you are interested in history, or football, or even the sociology of entertainment sports through history, then this is a must read for you.I first became interested in this after visiting the Football Hall of Fame and seeing the display for the Duluth Eskimos I wasn t aware, at the time, that there had been such a team, and with a strong connection to Duluth immediate family having lived and currently living there , I was instantly intrigued and looking forinformation about the team Fortunately, I came across this book.Professional football has not always been the high priced, high visibility entertainment that is it today When the Duluth Eskimos were a professional football team, during the 1920 s, football was a diversion for some and the players not only weren t always paid, depending on the gate receipts, they sometimes paid their own way to out of town games There also wasn t the organization, or the oversight, that there is today Not all teams had similar schedules In 1922,The Canton Bulldogs won the league championshipfinishing undefeated with ten wins and two ties The Bears finished second with nine wins and three losses The Packers were eighth with four wins, three losses, and three ties Wisconsin s other team, the Milwaukee Badgers, were in eleventh place with two wins, four losses, and three ties And Minnesota s team, the Minneapolis Marines, finished thirteenth with one win and three losses.Four games Nine games Twelve games It was no wonder that at least once two different teams both claimed to be the league champions this was LONG before the Super Bowl.Just the amount of football history that is packed in this little book is amazing, but the detail of the Duluth Eskimos and their star, Ernie Nevers, is tremendous Much of the information comes down through stories told by team members, many years after the fact, and sometimes as told by descendants of the original players, so one has to take the stories with a little bit of a grain of salt, but even so, we are talking about an era when rugged men played football with leather helmets and ran into one another like long horned rams.Although the perspective may be a bit skewed, it was fascinating to read about how Ernie Nevers and the Duluth Eskimos may have saved the National Football League, and how the Eskimos, being so far north had a hard time getting other teams to travel to play them and how they spent nearly an entire season playing on the road Played 13 regular season games and 16 non league games in 4 months but played at home only once The Eskimos were the first team to hold a pre season training camp, and to feature a team logo on their uniforms In today s era, it s hard to fathom that either of these were not regularly done I really enjoyed this book, mostly from a history point of view, but getting a sense of football when it wasn t played for the money or even, necessarily for the fame was also quite enjoyable.Looking for a good book History, Minnesota History, sports history, or football fans will appreciate this well researched and thoughtful look back at a professional football team that most have never known about, but sent three members of its squad to the Hall of Fame and possibly kept the sport of football alive during some tumultuous years The George Clooney movie Leatherheads was based on this true story of the nascent days of pro football I m as much a football historian as I am a fan, so I love stories like this It s hard to look at the billion dollar industry the NFL has become and imagine that it once existed as a minor diversion in small Midwestern cities places like Green Bay were once the rule, not the exception while most people looked at it scornfully and didn t even consider it a real sport College ball was The George Clooney movie Leatherheads was based on this true story of the nascent days of pro football I m as much a football historian as I am a fan, so I love stories like this It s hard to look at the billion dollar industry the NFL has become and imagine that it once existed as a minor diversion in small Midwestern cities places like Green Bay were once the rule, not the exception while most people looked at it scornfully and didn t even consider it a real sport College ball was king in those days Teams struggled to scrape up enough ticket revenue to even pay the players back then If it weren t for hotshot former college players like Ernie Nevers and Red Grange, and Johnny Blood coming along to give pro ball some credibility, the NFL may never have survived That s the premise of this book, and it s a convincing story, even if the narration is kind of bland, relying on a recitation of the facts and figures from each seasonthan on colorful anecdotes about the fascinating characters who played ball in those days That s the only failing of this book, but it s still a compelling peek into the pioneering era of pro football in America This is one of those books that I really didn t think I would like when I first picked it up After all, how interesting can football in the 1920s really get Oh was I wrong While the football game summaries get a bit confusing the game was played dramatically different then , there is a lot of intrigue into the life of Ole Haugsrud, a man who deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ernie Nevers and the rest of this vagabond team If you are interested in the early days of the NFL, t This is one of those books that I really didn t think I would like when I first picked it up After all, how interesting can football in the 1920s really get Oh was I wrong While the football game summaries get a bit confusing the game was played dramatically different then , there is a lot of intrigue into the life of Ole Haugsrud, a man who deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ernie Nevers and the rest of this vagabond team If you are interested in the early days of the NFL, this is a good starting place