Walter Camp made the development of football—indeed, its very creation—his lifelong mission. From his days as a college athlete, Camp's love of the game and dedication to its future put it on the course that would allow it to seize the passions of the nation.
Roger R. Tamte tells the engrossing but forgotten life story of Walter Camp, the man contemporaries called "the father of American football." He charts Camp's leadership as American players moved away from rugby and for the first time tells the story behind the remarkably inventive rule change that, in Camp's own words, was "more important than all the rest of the legislation combined." Trials also emerged, as when disputes over forward passing, the ten-yard first down, and other rules became so public that President Theodore Roosevelt took sides. The resulting political process produced losses for Camp as well as successes, but soon a consensus grew that football needed no new major changes. American football was on its way, but as time passed, Camp's name and defining influence became lost to history.
Entertaining and exhaustively researched, Walter Camp and the Creation of American Football weaves the life story of an important sports pioneer with a long-overdue history of the dramatic events that produced the nation's most popular game.