Stan Fischler's Amazing Trivia from the World of Football
Nicholas Pashley was a bookseller and a freelance writer and editor in Toronto.
Do you know how many National Football League players fought in World War II? If not (and if you care), then this is the book for you. Having brought us amazing trivia from the worlds of hockey and baseball, Stan Fischler (with help from Shirley Fischler, who is credited on the title page but nowhere else) has now turned to football, amassing some 350 “fascinating inside stories” from both the CFL and the NFL.
There is no apparent organization to this book, no index and no table of contents, making it impossible to find any particular sort of fact at the drop of a helmet. On the other hand, it is a fairly ideal bathroom book, one the fan can pick up and find out how the Hamilton Tiger-Cats got their name or learn about the 1912 Grey Cup game that almost didn’t happen because they couldn’t find the ball. (Eventually they found a ball and, typically, the Argos lost.)
The book begins with Peter Lougheed (Edmonton, 1949) and ends with the Argo Bounce. Along the way, Fischler sheds light on the mystery of whether or not Buddy Tinsley nearly drowned in the 1950 Grey Cup (“The Mud Bowl”), tells of the memorable 1962 Grey Cup (“The Fog Bowl”), and describes the poor behaviour of the University of Toronto Blues who won the Grey Cup from 1909 to 1911 and refused to give the trophy back until 1914.
Fischler’s facts (some of them amazing, more of them merely surprising, yet others quite commonplace) are presented in a casual fashion. The reader will have to search to find out which players were nicknamed Zipperhead and Chubby Chicken, not to mention who the Monsters of the Midway were. In short, this is an inexpensive trinket for the fans. Oh, and 638 NFL players fought in World War II. Are you amazed?