In the long annals of sports and crime, no story compares to the one that engulfed the Luckman family in 1935. As 18-year-old Sid Luckman made headlines across New York City for his high school football exploits at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, his father, Meyer Luckman, was making headlines in the same papers for a very different reason: the gangland murder of his own brother-in-law. Amazingly, when Sid became a star at Columbia and a Hall of Fame NFL quarterback in Chicago, all of it while Meyer Luckman served 20-years-to-life in Sing Sing Prison, the connection between sports celebrity son and mobster father was studiously ignored by the press and ultimately overlooked for eight decades.Tough Luck traces two simultaneous historical developments through a single immigrant family in Depression-era New York: the rise of the National Football League led by the dynastic Chicago Bears, whose famed owner George Halas convinced Sid Luckman to help him turn the sluggish game of pro football into America's favorite pastime; and the demise--triggered by Meyer Luckman's crime and initial coverup--of the Brooklyn labor rackets and Louis Lepke's infamous organization Murder, Inc. Filled with colorful characters--from ambitious district attorney-turned-governor Thomas Dewey and legendary columnist Walter Winchell, to Sid Luckman's rival quarterback "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh and pro football's unsung intellectual genius Clark Shaughnessy; from the lethal Lepke and hitmen like "Tick Tock" Tannenbaum, to Sid's powerful post-career friends Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio--Tough Luck memorably evokes an era of vicious Brooklyn mobsters and undefeated Monsters of the Midway, a time when the media kept their mouths shut and the soft-spoken son of a murderer could become a beloved legend with a hidden past.
|This book combines two of my favorite subject’s football and mafia stories. One begins with Sid Luckman who goes from a Brooklyn kid to Columbia University and then is drafted by the Bears. Halas wanted him for the new T formation offense that was going to be put in place. The author takes you through his childhood and the time of him becoming a Bear and really changing football and quarterbacks from the ’40s and forward. He also weaves in the story of Sid Luckman’s dad who was convicted of murder and sentenced to Sing-Sing. While also showing ties with Louis Buchalter who was also part of Murder Inc. He would become the only mob boss to be executed. The author brings you the reader to the fields of football and the trouble Luckman was having at times getting used to the play calling. Then it will take you to the story of the Jewish mob and the troubles that they were causing in New York. Sid Luckman and for the most part the reporters from Chicago would never mention it and whether it was because of Halas or just because the Bears were winning it would never come up. For me someone who likes both I never read anything about those stories about Luckman’s father. I ever read about was the games he played in and who he changed football. He also was the quarterback the day the Bears beat the Redskins 73-0 in the championship game still the largest defeat, though a couple of years later the Redskins would defeat them in the Championship when throughout the year the Bears were the most dominant team. Think of the Patriots now and you get an idea of the Bears from 39 -49 both offense and defense they would lead the league. Being a football fan they had some players who could play in any era Bulldog Turner, George McAfee, Bill Osmanski, Joe Stydahar, I also think Bronko Nagurski could as well but that is just me. I found this book to be a very good read and full of history and football facts that were great. A good book for a Bear fan or just a football fan. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com|