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A consumer’s guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it’s in play here.

What: “The Gridiron Game: An Anthology of Football Writings.” Edited by Dick Wimmer.

Master’s Press

(www.masterspress.com).

Price: Paperback $15,

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hardcover $24.95.

There is a picture of Y.A. Title’s last game. He’s kneeling, with mud and rain dripping from his uniform, his slicker, his hood. It’s not in this book.

Neither is a picture of Lynn Swann’s floating Super Bowl catch against the Cowboys.

In fact, there are no pictures in Dick Wimmer’s collection of football stories, “The Gridiron Game: An Anthology of Football Writings.”

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There is no need for them.

Some of the 25 short features are clearly dated, but that merely adds to the charm of this book. Although it’s not an anthology in the academic sense, it is definitely a good survey and worthy of any football fan’s collection.

Some of the writing is naturally better than the rest and some writers will be more familiar to some readers than others because of region and generation. But if the reader suppresses his natural urge to read only about familiar players, or stories by familiar authors, some gems will be uncovered.

Jimmy Breslin, Red Smith, Ira Berkow, George Plimpton and 20 more of the country’s most respected writers--including a few from The Times’ staff--make up the author list.

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It’s a nice book, and small enough for the reader to take anywhere. And it will take the reader many places as well.


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