Weaklings need not apply

make the team in football

Make the Team in Football

My knowledge of football is limited to the fact that the Detroit Lions are unlikely to see a Superbowl in my lifetime.  I cannot comment on if the rules of play have significantly changed in the nearly 50 years since this was published, but I do know it hasn’t circulated much and that the cover is probably not going to be something kids would find attractive.  Sports folk: please tell me if the information would be outdated.  I would hate to base weeding on just circulation alone in topics like this.





  1. Like the comment about “He kept up his academic standing and good citizenship…” Because when I think of football players, I think of academics and good citizenship!!

  2. Given the research they’re now doing into long-term effects of concussions, I don’t think we want to suggest that the boys need to “bang heads” to make the team.

  3. “academic standing” reminds me of Felder’s comment: “…and I can assure this accreditation board that the power forward who averaged 27 points a game last year is first a scholar, then an athlete. Grades don’t mean everything, you know, and don’t forget he was acquitted.”

  4. Good one, Lurker.

    It says football teaches character and “group unity.” All I can think of is when teams get to acting up as a group, although, of course, we don’t hear about the times they behave themselves.

  5. I know there are health and safety issues that weren’t thought of as much then–head and neck injuries, heat stroke. Also, a current book on this might address steroids, too.

  6. I second Brian and Lurker’s comments… rules and equipment aside, it’s definitely anachronistic to praise the “character, strength, leadership, and group unity” of high school football players. It’s sad, but true, that in many cases “academic standing and good citizenship” are NOT the first priority for athletic programs, coaches, or the students themselves. :-

  7. I would say the buckets are water buckets (from pre-Gatorade days), but I don’t think I’d want to drink any water from them.

  8. There are also rare occasions these days when a girl plays…I’ve only heard of it once or twice, but it happens. Where I went, we had an annual girls game, though granted it was flag football.

    About the academics, there probably aren’t nearly enough schools that enforce good grades 🙁 I remember atheletes having bimonthly report cards to ensure they were keeping their grades up, but it’s not hard to imagine there’s still trouble out there.

  9. PS I think the current books are even going to need updating, due to the stuff about the effects of concussions and the injury problems that’s still coming out.

  10. Um yeah, football has changed a tad since 1961 – watched an Oregon game lately?

    I’m wondering if the iron cross symbol on the cover is a sly joke on the part of the artist, implying that near-suicidal commitment is actually required to get on the team – perhaps the artist was once dismissed as a “weak-sister”?

  11. I agree: there are a lot of health issues that are hot topics right now, with heat-related illnesses, concussions, and supplements / PEDs at the top of the list. A more recent volume should also discuss proper conditioning, nutrition, hydration, and recovery, too, which I’m going to guess this book might be light on, if not outdated. And I’m not sure “football movies” are still considered the best thing for an aspiring player to watch; when they say they “watch tapes,” players nowadays are referring to watching actual games, including ones in which they’ve played, not Hollywood versions thereof.
    Given some of his recent comments on returning to the way it used to be, Joe Paterno might find this book more than adequate, though…

  12. The link to Felder didn’t paste. It is this: www4 . ncsu . edu /unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Lies.html

    Or if that doesn’t paste, just search for the first sentence of his quote. It’ll be the first or second result.

    @a: I think the bizzare Maltese cross is the “X” that marks the spot you kick it so it flies in the direction shown.

  13. alice – it looked to me like the cross on the cover football was supposed to be an “x marks the spot”, for where that flying foot should land at the end of it’s dotted line.

  14. If for some reason, all those dotted lines means he’s gonna kick that mother out of the stadium, forget it–he’s out of step, and the ball is going straight up.

  15. @ S – I still prefer my explanation ; – ) [seriously, it’s years since I attempted to punt a football, but isn’t the “sweet spot” a heckuva lot smaller than depicted here?]