College football is a cultural dynamo, the sport that like no other taps into Americans’ martial spirit and evokes the fervor of religious faith. Further, it has been a fulcrum of social change; its schemes date back to Hannibal; and some of its themes are drawn from military history and Shakespeare’s tragedies. In the great battles of history and contemporary times, great warriors make great coaches; weak and irresolute generals never win the battle of the gridiron. Author Brandt Ayers uses the occasion of the 2013 BCS National Championship game to explore these themes and to highlight the football legacies of the universities of Alabama and Notre Dame.
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