Picks and Pans Review: The Nfl Experience

updated 11/14/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/14/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

by David Boss and Bill McGrane

What the heck, guys, if we're going to indulge ourselves in hours of pro football viewing, let's find something to do during commercials. Strother (Viking, $19.95) provides a foolproof argument starter with a list of the best 40 pro games, picked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee. They begin with the Allegheny Athletic Association's 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Athletic Club in 1892 (Pudge Heffelfinger scored a touchdown, which was worth four points then). The most recent game is the 1987 AFC championship, in which Denver beat Cleveland. In between, the book includes most of the predictable games: the Bears' 73-0 win over Washington in the 1940 championship, the Colts' sudden death 23-17 victory for the 1958 title, Miami's double-overtime defeat of Kansas City in the 1971 AFC final. Among the noteworthy games left out: the 1963 Bears-Giants title game, for one, and the 1982 game in which the Bengals and Chargers rolled up 883 passing yards. Boss, an NFL Properties executive, and McGrane, a Bears official, include an anecdotal text that is of diminished interest because the players, coaches, executives and trainers discussed aren't identified. They have, though, collected an impressive batch of photographs by various photographers, all from the '84 season. The locker-room pictures, such as one of the 49ers waiting nervously to be called onto the field at Candlestick Park, are most striking. (Courage, $9.98)

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