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The Canadian Football League: The Phoenix of Professional Sports Leagues (Revised Edition) [Paperback]

Steve O'Brien
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.32
Price: CDN$ 34.15 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 8 2011
North American football was born in Canada in the 1860s. For decades, though,the growth of Canadian football was slow to change from its rugby traditions. In recent decades, it has been in the shadow of its largest competitor, the National Football League. Although hockey is held up as Canada's number one sport, the CFL has enjoyed as rich and storied a tradition in Canadian sports history. This book is not the usual general history detailing on-field accomplishments, Grey Cup winners etc. Instead, it combines an historical look through 2003 with discussion of continuous themes which have shaped the League. These include the role of the Canadian player, competition from other pro sports, the media's role in creating an image of the CFL, Canadians' attitudes towards pro sports, and how the CFL continually struggles to survive - often in spite of itself.

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Review

Extremely well researched. Mr. O'Brien's book takes the passionate CFL fan to school for a fascinating history lesson on our great league. -- Dave Randorf, host of TSN's FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Great research, excellent insights, all captured by good writing make for a wonderful read about a national asset." -- Frank Cosentino, author of A PASSING GAME, ex-CFL quarterback

If you love the CFL, you'll love Steve O'Brien's fashion to bring you closer to the game. If you don't love this CFL, Steve will prove to you that you should! -- Rick Moffat, voice of the Montreal Alouettes, CJAD Radio, Montreal

Mr. O'Brien has hit the mark on what makes the CFL so special. This book is an informative, but fun chronicle ... a definite must for the CFL fan. -- Rod Pedersen, CKRM Radio, Voice of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Regina

There have not been enough books about the CFL - but this one is easily one of the best. The true strength is the diverse, extensive and thorough research. -- John Valentine, Chair, Physical Education Dept, Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton

From the Publisher

This edition has been replaced by a revised edition of the book. As a Print-On-Demand title, it will no longer be printed and as such, is no longer available from the main distributor. The revised edition bears a 2005 publication date and a new ISBN --- 1411658604. It is now available through all Amazons, including Amazon.ca. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic book Jan. 24 2006
Format:Paperback
There have not been enough books published about the CFL - but this one is easily one of the best. The author takes you through the very early years of the CFL right up to the present (where there is hardly any published material).
The true strength of the text is the diverse, extensive and thorough research including almost 300 interviews. O’Brien has left no stone unturned and has uncovered many obscure but valuable resources. In addition the historical part of the book is fantastic.
I recommend getting the original version with the endnotes if you are a true CFL fan because they add a lot to the book.
The author does a very good job demonstrating the abysmal state the league has been in, seemingly surviving in spite of itself, particularly during the previous two decades.
I like how he worked the CFL into an analysis of Canadian Culture in the second part of the book. O’Brien does a particularly good job exploring topics that previous works concerning Canadian Football have ignored. Apparently he is working on another book about the CFL - which should be just as good.
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1.0 out of 5 stars broken promises March 12 2010
Format:Paperback
I was searching for a book about the history of the Canadian football league and i received an analysis of it. The only reference i took for granted was the one by Frank Cosentino a well known historian of the league. The book even from 2004 looks like a work copy to be finished later. There are no pictures only texts written on 8 by 11 paper using a typewriter.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, Entertaining Study of the CFL May 12 2006
By Jack B. Bedell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mr. O'Brien's book is an excellent analysis of how the CFL has been able to sustain itself over the years. Ultimately, though, this is a book about how the league has been able to define itself as an indelible piece of Canadian culture.

I was already a fan of the CFL when I picked this book up, but I came away from my reading of it with a new depth of respect for and awareness of the league's complexities.

I definitely commend Mr. O'Brien for his painstaking research and can't wait for his next installment on the league's history.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't take it personally ... It's just business. July 13 2009
By Avery Copeland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book is designed to present a behind-the-scenes account
of the various peculiar business decisions made by the modern-era CFL ...
with particular attention given to the expansion experiment into the USA.

The CFL exists today
because of -- or in spite of --
these decisions.

If you're interested in delving into that sort of thing,
then this book is a very interesting read.

If you're looking for player stats and/or game highlights,
then this is probably not for you.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not That Good Aug. 26 2007
By C. Garland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The reading of this book was incredibly hard, I purchased it wanting a good history of the CFL (being interested as an American) but I did not want to read a "thesis" about the CFL. It is obvious the author has done his research on the subject but I would not recommed it to a casual fan wanting to know about this League. I also do not like its' cover with the grave markers beind that two of the leagues represented are technically still around (the AFL and AAFC).
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knowing the author, we met at the Grey Cup in Ottawa in '04, I know how hard he worked on this 'doctoral thesis' June 14 2006
By Rich The Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The very good painstaking research that
Mr. O'Brien did on this fine (but some-
what flawed) book, was done to get his
History degree at the University of
Maine. The low rating and critisms of
the character B. Maitland are uncalled
for. I for one think, as being an Amer-
ican Sports Writer, who attends the Grey
Cup every year (for 13 in-a-row!), that
the CFL's expansion into the US was the
greatest thing that ever happended to
Pro Football! I was a season tix holder
for the two-time Grey Cup Baltimore Stal-
lions. We were the only team THAT WILL
EVER win the Grey Cup and am very happy
to have supported the League during it's
1993-95 US expansion. We Amer-I-can fans
probably saved the League (along with our
Canadian CFL fans)! Mr. Maitland, who cares
what the cover is like. I also disagree with
your synopsis that the book is mostly about
the 'ill fated US expansion'. Baltimore lead
the League in attendence for two years in a
row! Sacramento, who lost to Balt. in the So.
Final in 1995, probably would have won the
Grey Cup if they had not lost to the Stallions
then. There was one other US team that broke
even and didn't lose money. I wished the best
Pro Football League on planet earth would come
back to the US! Long live the CFL! And can't
wait for Steve's next book...Oh, the mistakes
Steve has are minor but don't take away from
the contents or context of the book's thesis.
Steve, when he reads this will know what we
talked about back in Nov. '04 in Ottawa, Ont.
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book on the CFL Oct. 25 2010
By Lord Lockhart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, Mr O'Brien's book is truly informative about the last couple of decades of the CFL's long history. Thus, if you are familiar with the league's early years, the text supplies an excellent (though sometimes "heavy" in details) history of the venerable Canadian institution. Quite a few questions and hypotheses about the social and national elements associated with the sport are offered always in an intelligent and well documented manner. It is unfortunate a prequel book (especially for the years following WWII up to Mr O'Brien's study) does not exist although the author includes a condensed history of the sport in the first chapters.

However, it would have been nice if a number of pictures had been included in the book. I suspect marketing/price reasons must have prevented the author to do so.

I highly recommend the book and hope that much more titles regarding the CFL would be available.
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