Sports Illustrated for Kids “From Then to Wow” (book review)

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Sports Illustrated for Kids has a recently released book available as the holiday shopping season approaches. “Football Then to WOW!” is reviewed by Cary Trojans Youth football star Henry Young; who will turn 10 this December.

But first a blurb detailing the publication:

· Football Then to WOW! (August 12, 2014, $19.95, Ages 8 and up) takes kids through how football basics, players, strategy and fan experiences have evolved over the last 110 years. In bookstores in time for the start of the 2014 NFL season, readers will see how football grew from beefy leatherheads to jaw-dropping athletes, offenses that rarely passed to high-scoring machines, and players working for peanuts to showmen earning millions.

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From Then to Wow

Book Report by Henry Young

I liked this book because it was entertaining in many ways. What I liked most were the helmets on pages 14-15.

What I least liked were pages 22-23, STATS, because it can get very confusing to some people. There are so many little captions that you don’t know what goes with what. I would recommend the book highly.

It’s very interesting in all different ways. It gives all kinds of information from old time QBs to present time kickers.

Here are some pages that I will talk about:

Page 8 The Rules

I liked that it gives pictures of the different types of things that they had back then, and now. The brief time line on page 8-9 shows all the rules that were added from 1876 -2013. The time line has lots of captions so you know what the pictures are about. But it’s good that they didn’t only have captions because you need to have the main text so you know what the whole page is about.

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Page 10 The Ball

The 1800s ball is mostly like a rugby ball. It was made out of pig skin. It also had rough skin like a pig skin. In the early 1900s the forward pass was legalized. So the ball was made longer so it was easier to throw down field. By the 1930s, the 1940s more teams put in passing in there plays so they made the ball longer, the size we see today. In the early 1950s Wilson made the ball white with black stripes on the end. That ball was used for night games only. From 1941-1969 NFL footballs were made with THE DUKE on it in honor of Wellington (Duke) Mara. After he died they put (THE DUKE) back on.

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Page 14 Helmets

The first helmet was made mostly made for protecting the ears. It was made out of leather, and it had two long strips on the top. The only problem was that players had trouble hearing in games. In the 1910s they developed a soft leather padding that provided more protection to the crown. Hard leather helmets protected the head through the 1930s. In 1943 the NFL made a rule that every player had to wear a helmet.

Plastic helmets were common in 1949 they added more padding and added a single face mask bar. By the mid-1960s every player wore a face mask. They pumped air into the helmets to soften the blow. Later they added chin straps. By the mid-1980s the polycarbonate plastic helmets were introduced. They were stronger and lighter than ever. Modern day helmets cover the player’s full head.

Page 44 Showmen

Billy Johnson originated the touchdown dance. After a touchdown, he would break into the Funky Chicken. The Redskins made a touchdown celebration with having their tight ends and wide receivers jump up and do a group high five. Rookie running back Elbert (Ickey ) Woods would do the Ickey Shuffle, hopping on one leg, then the other while switching the ball in his hands.

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Deion Sanders was known for holding the ball in one hand and high stepping his way into the End Zone after an interception. Terrell Owens took touchdown celebrations to another level in the early 2000s. He danced with a cheerleader’s pom-poms and signed the ball with a sharpie hidden in his sock.

Joe Horn showed plenty of creativity when he hid a cell phone in the padding of the goal post. After a touchdown, he then pretended to make a call.

Largely due to Owens’ and Horn’s antics, the NFL began cracking down on excessive celebrations. But Victor Cruz kept the spirit alive by salsa dancing after touchdowns.

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Congratulations, Mr. Young. You made history by becoming the youngest contributor in the history of The Sports Bank.

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and very often writes The Sports Bank.net ,which is partners with Fox Sports. Read his features stories in the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Listen to him on 1620 The Zone. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks). His work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including The Washington Post and ESPN 2

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