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A HISTORY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN 14 GAMES

by Michael Weinreb

“A passionate defense of college football…entertaining and enlightening for both rabid fans
and newbies.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Season of Saturdays is simply an unforgettable read. It is a deeply moving portrait of
America’s greatest game, exquisitely written by Michael Weinreb. The reader is captured and
captivated from the first line and it holds all the way to the index at the end. I could go on but I
am thinking about starting Season of Saturdays again—I liked it that much.”
—Paul Finebaum, author of
My Conference Can Beat Your Conference




Scribner is pleased to announce the publication, on August 19, 2014, of Michael Weinreb’s
SEASON OF SATURDAYS: A History of College Football in 14 Games. Weinreb, also the
award-winning author of Game of Kings, has written extensively about college football for over
a decade for GQ, The New York Times, Grantland, Sports on Earth, and other print and online
publications. Now, he has put his in-depth knowledge and love of the game into a wide-ranging,
fun, and wildly readable chronicle of college football from its inception in 1869 and its nascent
days on elite Ivy League campuses to its most recent highlights and current challenges.

Contact: Kyle Radler
Scribner Publicity
212-698-2358
Kyle.Radler@simonandschuster.com



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PUBLICATION DATE: July 14, 2014

“Michael Weinreb journeys through the black-and-white
college football world of the nostalgia junkie and the
cynical critic and finds both of them wrong: college
football, like America, is a culture of troubling,
electrifying gray. This is our story.”
—Wright Thompson, senior writer, ESPN

“This book is really two books, interwoven into one. The
first is an entertaining history of America’s most
interesting game, described by someone who knows. The
second is the story of a man trying to work through his
deepest fears and insecurities by sitting on the couch and
watching TV (and—in all likelihood—caring too much
about what he sees). But the reason the first book matters
is because the second book explains most people who
love college football.”
—Chuck Klosterman, author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa
Puffs and I Wear the Black Hat


Featuring nearly every major college football program, and a fair share of the minor ones,
SEASON OF SATURDAYS delves into the key moments, unique personalities, and serious
scandals that have made college football such a popular and controversial sport. Each chapter
uses one of the great games of all time as its jumping off point, and from there expands into a
discussion of that game’s significance amid the larger debates and trends over the course of
college football history. Weinreb reflects on the stories of iconic coaches like Woody Hayes and
Steve Spurrier, and pauses on monumental plays, such as the finales of the 1982 Cal-Stanford
game and the 2013 Auburn-Alabama game.
Winningly and intelligently written, SEASON OF SATURDAYS illuminates the
American experience through the lens of college football. Weinreb unpacks his own complex
obsession with the game—one that combines a passion for the sport with a skepticism of the
inherently violent play and the corrupt institution. Through his self-analysis, he gets to the core
of the American fanaticism for college football, and uncovers why the game has a hold on fans
that is distinct from its professional counterpart, the NFL. Weinreb also colorfully presents what
he dubs as “The Argument,” i.e. college football’s ongoing struggle with naming a champion.
This coming season, the NCAA will usher in a new four-team College Football Playoff to crown
its national champion; but, as Weinreb reveals through his close study of the last century and a
half, that won’t solve anything.

About Michael Weinreb:
Michael Weinreb writes about college football for Sports on Earth, the online magazine owned
by USA Today and MLB Advanced Media. He has been a contributing writer for GQ, the New
York Times, ESPN, and Grantland. He has been a featured on NPR’s This American Life and
ESPN’s 30 for 30, and has appeared on CNN, ESPN, and ESPN Radio. His book Game of Kings
won the Quill Award for Best Sports Books of 2007. He lives in San Francisco, California.

More praise for SEASON OF SATURDAYS by Michael Weinreb:

"No sport explains America quite like college football, and no writer explains college football
with more passion and insight than Michael Weinreb. Season of Saturdays is both fun and
insightful, and belongs on the shelf of anybody who loves the sport."
—Michael Rosenberg, author of War As They Knew It: Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and
America in a Time of Unrest

“A discursive, informative, sardonic, and often hilarious account of a sport attended by 50
million colorfully dressed fans every year. The book is being published at a time when the
game is, as it often has been, in transition and under considerable scrutiny…questions of race,
corruption, amateurism, trickery, hypocrisy, and hyper-aggressiveness are integral components
of this absorbing book.”
—Booklist

SEASON OF SATURDAYS by Michael Weinreb
August 19, 2014
Hardcover 9781451627817; Ebook 9781451627848

ABOUT SCRIBNER
Scribner is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., part of the CBS Corporation. Simon & Schuster is a global leader
in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of
all ages, across all printed, electronic and multi-media formats. Its divisions include the Simon & Schuster Adult
Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital,
and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website
at www.simonandschuster.com.

Season of Saturdays
A History of College Football in 14 Games
By Michael Weinreb

An Annotated Table of Contents

A Preface about the author’s repeated attempts to justify the existence of a sport that often defies
rational sense.

Rutgers 6, Princeton 4 (November 6, 1869)
The origins of football on campus, the Ivy League, early protests against the game, and how
college football has always been a push-and-pull between progressivism and conservatism.

Notre Dame 35, Army 13 (November 1, 1913)
The Gipper, faith, superstition and the abiding mythology of college football.

Minnesota 21, UCLA 3 [Rose Bowl to which Ohio State declined invitation] (Jan. 1, 1962)
Woody Hayes, Ohio State, the iconography of the paranoid and dictatorial Cold War football
coach, and how that reflected the times.

Michigan State 10, Notre Dame 10 (November 11, 1966)
The iconic 1966 tie game between Notre Dame and Michigan State, and college football’s
dovetailing with the Civil Rights Era and the fraught politics of the era.

Texas 15, Arkansas 14 (December 6, 1969)
Texas versus Arkansas in 1969 and how college football became a reflection of Nixonian
political calculation.

Michigan 24, Ohio State 12 (November 22, 1969)
Bo Schembechler, Michigan, and why the Big Ten’s best days are probably behind it.

Alabama 14, Penn State 7 [Sugar Bowl] (January 1, 1979)
Penn State versus Alabama in 1978: the author’s first formative college football experience
meets the legacy of Bear Bryant (by the length of one’s tallywhacker).

Miami 31, Nebraska 30 [Orange Bowl] (January 2, 1984)
Tom Osborne goes for two and loses, but also wins.

Miami 58, Notre Dame 7 (November 30, 1985)
Miami, Southern Methodist University (SMU), and how the rule-breaking programs of the 1980s
were actually pushing progressive ideals within the sport.

Texas 41, USC 38 [Rose Bowl] (January 4, 2006)
The 2005 Rose Bowl and why college football is more interesting than the NFL.

Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 [Fiesta Bowl] (January 1, 2007)
The rise of Boise State and an exploration of why, in college football, the underdog has never
really caught on.

Texas Tech 39, Texas 33 (November 1, 2008)
The rise of the spread offense and the “trickster coach”—most notably Steve Spurrier, at Florida,
and Mike Leach, at Texas Tech.

Auburn 34, Alabama 28 [Iron Bowl] (November 30,2013)
Why this chapter seems like it should have been about a great Oregon/Alabama game, and the
ultimately untamable nature college football.

An Epilogue: Penn State 14, Miami 10 [Fiesta Bowl] (January 2, 1987)
The Penn State scandal, the rise and fall of the University of Chicago’s football program in the
early 20
th
century, and the reassertion of college football as a force that gives us meaning.