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Original Issue

Monster Of The Midway

by Jim Dent
Thomas Dunne Books, $24.95

In sports lore Bronko Nagurski is the Bunyanesque character whose
superior strength and athleticism rescued a struggling young NFL.
Between the league's debut in 1920 and Nagurski's 10 years later,
nearly two thirds of the games ended in grinding shutouts. At
fullback for George Halas's Chicago Bears, Nagurski used his
rock-hard 6'2", 225-pound frame--huge for his day--to thunder
over, under, around and through opponents, breaking bones and
records while making the game more appealing to the fans.

Observers considered him even better defensively, a star tackle
in the days of 60-minute men. And the author, who wrote the
best-selling The Junction Boys about Bear Bryant's tenure at
Texas A&M, gets bowled over by Nagurski as well. Cliches, non
sequiturs, weird metaphors and jumbled narration detract from the
colorful saga, and compared with full-blooded portraits of the
supporting cast--Halas, halfback Red Grange, center George
Trafton and even Al Capone--the taciturn Nagurski comes off as a
stick figure.