Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DWG Book Review: Gophers Illustrated

This, simply put, is an amazing book.  Now, it's not the kind of book you are going to spend hours reading at a time and isn't exactly Joycian in it's prose, but that's isn't it's purpose.  What it is, is the kind of book you will get hours of entertainment out of simply by leaving it out on a coffee table and picking it up whenever you have the urge - and any guests will enjoy it as well.

A simply astonishing amount of entries, page after page of detailed sketches and information about players, coaches, rivalries, games, and anything else you could possibly looking for as a Gopher Football fan.  Starting with John William Adams, the inventor of the expression Ski-U-Mah and the team's center starting in 1881 all the way through Matt Spaeth and Tim Brewster, author (and illustrator) Al Papas Jr. gives every significant player and event just enough verbiage so you remember, learn, or recall the entry, and the black-and-white illustrations are outstandingly done.

Seriously, eveybody is here.  You know Tyrone Carter, Darrell Thompson, Bruce Smith, Tony Dungy, and Bronko Nagurski are going to have entries, but what about some lesser-remembered favorites?  Rickey Foggie?  Yep.  Tutu Atwell?  Yep.  Tellis Redman?  Check.  Marquel Fleetwood?  You know it.  Even Preston Gruening gets a page.    

Events?  Want to see drive charts from the U's 1999 win over #2 Penn State or the 2002 Music City Bowl win?  They're here, along with the 1908 win over Pop Warner, Jim Thorpe, and Carlisle College and a 1904 win over Grinnell by the score of 146-0.

Throw in hundreds of interesting little statistical facts (The Gophers beat Michigan in their first ever meeting - it's the only time they've led the series), a listing of every award any Gopher has ever won by year, all the way down to all-conference, and the schedules and results of every game from every season in Gopher football history, and this book will keep you entertained.  I don't like phrases like "must have", but if you are a Gopher football fanatic, you absolutely must own this book.

As an added bonus, Papas will be doing a book signing this Friday at the University of Minnesota Book Store in Coffman Union this Friday at 4pm.  So go get the book, go get it signed, and then come back the next day to watch the Gophers beat whoever it is that they are playing.  Seriously.


Anonymous said...

ryan rindels?

Anonymous said...

mark losli?

WWWWWW said...

Negative on both.