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|| News Item: Posted 1999-09-27

Best Shots; The Greatest NFL Photography of the Century
(DK Publishing, $30.00)

By Brad Mangin

Photo by
The folks at DK publishing and NFL Properties had a daunting task in front of them recently: Pull together a collection of the greatest photographs ever made at an NFL game during the last century and put them together in a beautiful coffee table book in time for Christmas 1999.

The result of this project, "Best Shots, The Greatest NFL Photography of the Century" (a link to this book at can be found at the bottom of this page) is a fabulous volume that contains 160 pages of the finest NFL pictures you will ever see between two covers. Of course, we could all argue for many days and nights about which pictures are really the greatest, and we could fill many more volumes of books under the same title that anyone would be proud to own. Yet, the pictures that they have chosen really stand out and should motivate all of us when we head out to cover the NFL once again this season.

Most of the great work in the book comes from the talented shooters that cover the NFL for NFL Properties each and every week. Other fabulous pictures were chosen from various award winners in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame contest.

Photo by Mickey Pfleger

Photo by Mickey Pfleger
The book contains a forward by Joe Namath and a nice introduction focusing on four of the all-time greats who still cover the league each and every Sunday: Al Messerschmidt, Peter Read Miller, Michael Zagaris and Tony Tomsic.

A lot of our favorites are contained in the book, including Robert Riger's classic shot of Johnny Unitas in the 1958 NFL Championship game, Kevin Terrell's painful look at Raider QB Jay Schroeder having his helmet ripped off his head, Mickey Pfleger's gorgeous shot of Ronnie Lott soaring into the end zone after returning a pick for a 58 yard TD, Morris Berman's legendary picture of Y.A. Tittle battered and beaten in defeat in 1964 and Michael Zagaris' classic blur shot of Lynn Swann hauling in a TD catch in Super Bowl XIV.

Photo by Thearon Henderson

Photo by Thearon Henderson
One of the highlights for me in leafing through the pages of "Best Shots" was getting a chance to see many of these pictures for the first time. Included in the batch of pictures that I had never seen before were many of the NINE pictures that were shot by the great Tony Tomsic. Tony has been shooting for a long time and has a classic black and white shot from 1958 of the Cleveland Browns' defensive backs warming themselves with a coal fire in a bucket near their bench. The great thing about Tony is he will still kick your ass each and every Sunday at an NFL stadium near you!

There are too many more great shots to mention here or else this review would go on forever. I suggest you run out to your nearest bookstore and find a copy now before they are all gone, or look for it online at where it is only $21.00 (link below).

(Brad Mangin is a freelance photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.)

Related Links:
Best Shots, The Greatest NFL Photography of the Century

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