On Christmas night, 1939, two vastly different teams from Garfield, New Jersey, and Miami, Florida, collided in the historic Orange Bowl to decide the National Sports Foundation’s national championship. Garfield’s Boilermakers were children of immigrants drawn to the industrial city’s churning factories. Miami’s Stingarees were from families from all over the country settling in one of America’s most promising and thriving cities.
In City of Champions, Hank Gola, a veteran and award-winning football writer, unveils this long-forgotten game. Gola mines stories of the towns and the lives of the players and coaches—detailing the grit (and wild strokes of fortune) that led up to a Garfield victory, stunning the football world. Gola also describes how this game mirrored America, revealing some of the most pressing cultural, economic and sociopolitical issues of the day.