Reading and Thinking Football

Football, including books thereon and idiosyncratic thinking thereabout

Book Review: The Fifty-Year Seduction

with 6 comments

In my review of The Missing Ring by Keith Dunnavant, I said that it wouldn’t let it dissuade me from acquiring and reading the same author’s The Fifty-Year Seduction: How Television Manipulated College Football, from the Birth of the Modern NCAA to the Creation of the BCS. Well, I have now so acquired and read The Fifty-Year Seduction, and am pleased to say that I made the correct decision in not letting my opinion of The Missing Ring and its premise dissuade me. As I hoped, the subtitle is somewhat overwrought-what Dunnavant produced is instead an excellent journalistic history of college football’s relationship with television, from the earliest days of the medium through the book’s 2004 publication. I felt like I had a good idea of college football’s history from the mid-1980’s to the present, but after reading this book, that grasp really only extended back about 15 years. I learned a tremendous deal about the environment that led to the seminal Board of Regents v. NCAA court case, and it’s effect on television contracts, conferences, and athletic departments in general. If I wanted to (and I both do and don’t), I’d now write some extended commentary on the practical antitrust implications of Board of Regents, but I’ll spare you. Instead, I will simply recommend The Fifty-Year Seduction to anyone who thinks they might be interested in reading it.

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Written by Tom Gower

October 18, 2008 at 03:22

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. […] National Football League is the third book by Keith Dunnavant I’ve reviewed on here, after The Fifty-Year Seduction and The Missing […]

  2. […] issue. I, uh, didn’t get much out of this chapter other than Szymanski hasn’t read The Fifty-Year Seduction on the aftermath of the 1984 NCAA v. Board of Regents. There’s a great deal more college […]

  3. […] own television contract. That’s a very interesting issue, but one covered in more detail in Dunnavant’s Fifty-Year Seduction and feels out of place here since it didn’t really affect the game on the field at […]

  4. […] so years of college football history, focusing on the increasing influence of money. Oriard plumbs Dunnavant’s Fifty-Year Seduction well, much more than I did in my brief review, and it provides some of his best material, while […]

  5. […] stadium, recruiting, and upgrading the quality of the schedule. As chronicled in Dunnavant’s Fifty-Year Seduction, Penn was one of two schools the NCAA’s severe limitations on television broadcasts were […]

  6. […] supplementing it with both Michael Oriard’s Bowled Over and Keith Dunnavant’s The Fifty-Year Seduction. That limitation notwithstanding, I recommend College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy to […]


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