In the middle part of the 20th century in the United States of America, many men tried to make a living in sales going from one residence to another. Among the cavalcade of products being peddled were encyclopedia sets. A myriad of sales pitches were employed to that end, among them the narrative of having a set of encyclopedias at their disposal would help a potential consumer’s children “get ahead.”
To what degree that narrative was factual is hard to examine but it has been kept alive by different products and programs to the present day. The new episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel entitled “Changing Face of Football” reveals how the narrative has popped up in a perhaps unlikely place: American football at the high school level.