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"Terry Frei has told an amazing, riveting story of how a group of basketball coaches started
a loosely organized tournament that Oregon won that first year. Of course, it eventually would grow into an even that captures
the nation's attention each March. As a young NCAA administrator, I was the tournament director in the 1960s -- and I have
to say this taught me a lot I didn't know."
Neinas, president, Neinas Sports Services; former executive director, College Football Association; and former commissioner
of Big Eight and Big 12 Conferences
"From humble beginnings, Oregon's ‘Tall Firs’ became the best basketball team in
the country, helping to break the New York monopoly on an increasingly national game, and the NCAA tournament became an unstoppable
financial juggernaut. Once again, Terry Frei has vividly captured a pivotal moment in history, for the world of college basketball
and for a world about to go to war. The exploits on the court are enthralling not only for their drama, but held up for comparison
against what the tournament has become today—as well as the danger lurking only a few years away."
-- Luke DeCock, sports columnist, Raleigh News & Observer
"Few writers are able to put sports into real-world context like Terry Frei. Reading March
1939 is like crossing ESPN with the History Channel. Frei brings the '39 Oregon Webfoots to life and takes us inside
their victory in the first NCAA basketball tournament -- played as Germany and Japan marched the world (including a hesitant
United States) to the brink of war."
-- Steve Luhm, Salt
"Carefully crafted, fast-moving, and refreshing, Frei's study ... is quite memorable."
-- Publishers Weekly
"It's 4:45 am and I'm still up reading it. Exceptional. Borderline brilliant."
"Give a talented journalist an engrossing storyline
– especially a sports writer accustomed to the drama of games – and he will keep you mesmerized by the who, what,
where, when and why of the unfolding adventure. And so it is with Terry Frei’s Olympic Affair. Set against
the 1936 Berlin Olympics – remembered primarily for Jesse Owens’ four gold-medal performance and Adolf Hitler’s
disdain for him – Frei focuses on the decathlon champion, America’s Glenn Morris, and his affair with the renowned
German actress and Olympic film director, Leni Riefenstahl. It is, then, a compelling look at an historic sporting event and
a love/sex scandal cloaked in intrigue and danger. Frei’s style is reporter/novelist, cleanly balanced between event
and character, offering a panorama of human triumph saddened by failure. Of the books I’ve read in the past four or
five years, this one is near the top of the list." --Terry Kay, novelist and screenwriter, Townsend Prize and Southern Emmy
winner, author of To Dance with the White Dog and The Book of Marie
"How does a wide-eyed, college
kid from rural Colorado wind up becoming a player in the rise of Nazi Germany before World War II? Simple. All Glenn Morris
had to do was set a world record in the decathlon, go to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and, on his way to winning a gold medal,
fall in love with a beautiful genius of a woman in Hitler's inner circle. We know all this to have actually happened, but
Morris's affair with Leni Riefenstahl left many questions still unresolved more than three-quarters of a century later. Terry
Frei not only poses credible answers in his novel Olympic Affair, he writes about them into a marvelous, chronologically told
story that weaves lives and paths in a way that has the reader eager to see how they will unfold day after day, page after
page. It is that rare volume that mixes history, politics, sport, racism, religion and romance in a didactic way that entertains
rather than lectures. If Frei's book is made into a screenplay, the movie stardom that Riefenstahl promised Morris might finally
become a reality."
"I have tremendous admiration
for Terry Frei's new book, which traces the unlikely and complicated relationship between Colorado sports legend Glenn Morris
and Hitler's favorite filmmaker, Leni Riefenstahl. Historical fiction is a dangerous game: where does history leave off and
fiction begin? How to draw the line between what happened and what might/should have happened? Frei takes these challenges
head-on and succeeds brilliantly. His research is impeccable and names are not changed to protect the guilty. I found particularly
moving the account of Morris' ruined later life, which could serve as a warning to many present-day sports heroes. This is
history as historians seldom write it and should be required reading for everyone. Highly recommended."
-- David Milofsky, professor of English, Colorado State University, novelist
and author of Playing From Memory and A Friend of Kissinger
most intriguing sports book I've read in the last 12 months . . . Frei has an incredible knack for writing compelling books
about a subject nobody thought previously about writing. His Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming was a terrific example
of that but Olympic Affair is even better. . . What makes the book special it's that it's actually a novel, with
Frei's exhaustive research filling in the blanks of the love story and what has been largely an untold tale. The book is written
with care and sensitivity and works on several levels -- not only as straight entertainment but as a history refresher on
what the world was like during that explosive time. And hey, any book featuring sex, sports and Nazis is bound to be pretty
good, right? Obviously, this is an adult book but one I recommend highly. Frei's Glenn Morris is a fascinatingly tragic hero
that you will not soon forget."
"Olympic sports, an international
romance, and world politics on the eve of World War II collide in the electrifying Olympic Affair. Author Terry Frei
recounts the romance between an American Olympic decathlon gold medalist and a highly-connected German film director during
the 1936 Berlin Olympics, when neither realized the traumatic impact that their friendship, his sudden fame, her unchecked
ambition, and the approaching Second World War would forever have upon their lives. This meticulously researched and historically
accurate novel is illuminated with plausible fictional dialog, using the same readable approach as Alex Haley's Roots
and Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. Frei has crafted a book which confronts the reader with ethical questions and the
consequences of life decisions. Olympic Affair is simultaneously fun, informative, and thought-provoking."
-- Dr. Richard C. Haney, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, author of When Is Daddy Coming Home?: An American Family
During World War II
"The hard part about historical fiction is taking the truth and providing a background story that is plausible
and believable, and Terry Frei does exactly that in Olympic Affair. The story of Glenn Morris and Leni Riefenstahl
flows from the start, painting the landscape of the world around them and how it ultimately affected the outcome of the couple,
and eventually, the individuals involved. As it all unfolds, it becomes clear Frei let his research lead him to all the right
conclusions. When reading historical fiction, one wants to be able to believe the story really could have played out in such
a manner, and in Olympic Affair, Frei takes his readers down that very path."
-- Mike Brohard, sports editor, Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald
"Terry Frei’s unique writing style, taking the facts he has researched and filling in
the blanks based on what we do know about Glenn Morris, Leni Riefenstahl and those around them during the 1936 Olympics in
Berlin, bring to life an incredible story about one of the most unique sports figures ever to come out of Colorado. While
winning an Olympic gold medal in the decathlon, Morris, a farm boy from Simla, Colo., also was having an affair with the Olympic
filmmaker who had glorified Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in earlier documentaries. Frei connects the dots in a way that is
both believable and entertaining. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, Olympic Affair: A Novel of Hitler’s
Siren and America’s Hero is a great read."
"...an unusual yet riveting read of historical fiction and romance, much recommended."
-- Midwest Book Review
"Olympic Affair captures the Glenn Morris story like a Hollywood Movie ... It turns a story of history into
the kind of story only Hollywood could dream up for their next Charlize Theron blockbuster."
history with fiction, Olympic Affair takes a reader on an exciting and informative journey through one of the seminal
events in modern sports: the Berlin Olympic Games of 1936. This is no simple look at Hitler’s
showcase, however. We see this epic struggle of good and evil through the eyes of the famous (or infamous) film
director Leni Riefenstahl and her lover, the naïve but determined and obscure American decathlon champ, Glenn Morris.
The two launch a love affair that rivals the intensity of the Berlin scene itself, and the cast of surrounding characters
– Hitler, Goebbels, athletes, boosters, and the FBI – support the drama. Along the way, the author
introduces us to the intricacies of athletics and training, filmmaking, and Nazi power. In a sad but revealing
tale of history, heartbreak, and hometown heroes, Terry Frei has captured an era through a searing tale that leaves convinced
that the fiction surrounding a story that actually happened is really true. It is movingly written; you won’t
put this one down!”
Thomas W. Zeiler, Professor, History and International Affairs, and Director, Global Studies Academic Program, University of Colorado-Boulder,
author of Annihilation: A Global Military History of World War II
"Using his initial information ... and a combination of deduction and artistic license, Frei
fills in the blanks left by history and tells his own version of the story. The combination of the diligent research techniques
he used to write his widely acclaimed non-fiction books ... and creativity makes Olympic Affair a success as both
a stand-alone novel and historical fiction. While simultaneously recalling the athletic triumphs of participating nations,
Frei builds a tension-filled love affair that steals the show from the most controversial Olympic Games in history. Combining
inference and invented dialogue, he forces the reader to invest deeply in even the most outlying of characters, some of which
he pulls from history and personalizes through fiction (swimmer/actress Eleanor Holm Jarrett, heavyweight champion/restaurateur
Jack Dempsey and even chancellor/psycho Adolf Hitler). Through the developing plot, the details of the Olympics and the skewed
historical perspective of men and women living in a pre-WWII environment, Frei has (maybe unintentionally) created a new sort
of story regarding the US-Nazi saga ... Olympic Affair offers a chronicle that proves why athletic drama often goes
well beyond the field (or track) of competition. An athletic controversy, a triumph against adversity or a love affair can
bring together the fanatics, the casual followers and those who just happen to appreciate a good yarn, no matter the origin.
And who better to tell a story of that kind than an acclaimed sportswriter and non-fiction author turned novelist?"
"This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read
in a long time...I said to the author when he appeared on our radio program, 'this book would make a tremendous movie.' I'm
hoping that some filmmaker decides to do so."
JIMMY HAYDE'S REVIEW
Terry Frei gives a remarkable
account of the improbable and little known story of America's greatest athlete and his torrid, politically charged love affair
with Nazi Germany's most famous woman in a war ready Germany in Olympic Affair: A Novel of Hitler's Siren and America's
Olympic Affair rediscovers the legend of Glenn Morris,
America's long forgotten hero from a tiny farming town in Colorado who won Olympic gold in the Decathlon at the 1936 Berlin
Games, and brings his conflicted life back into the consciousness of America. Mr. Frei recounts how Morris, in the days around
his ascending to the title of "The Greatest Athlete in the World", won something even more unexpected, the heart
and passion of Leni Riefenstahl, Germany's renowned actress and producer who gained infamy as "Hitler's Film Maker"
for her 1935 Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will.
Morris and Riefenstahl, at great personal and professional risk, plot to avoid the watchful
eyes of the omnipresent Gestapo and the casual observations of ordinary citizens to conduct their clandestine affair amidst
the backdrop of a flourishing and edgy Berlin. The drums of war can be faintly heard in the background before and during the
Games as Mr. Frei weaves a story that leaves one wondering; Is Riefenstahl a star struck lover, a ruthlessly ambitious filmmaker,
or a manipulative Nazi?
Leni Riefenstahl, using her celebrity and singular force of will, maneuvers
the political quagmire of the Nazi propaganda machine, led by the vulgar Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, in order
to make her greatest film without the meddling of the Gestapo and German Olympic officials. She, with myopic vision, drives
her Olympic Games documentary, Olympia, by pitting fear of the Fuehrer against anyone meddling in her aspirations.
Glenn Morris, with his simple country values, helps to unite a racially divided Olympic team while trying to remain focused
on his goal of Olympic gold and a future away from the farm. While Leni tries to open his eyes to a new world and unimagined
future, Glenn struggles between the seductive pleasures of the present versus the moral expectations of his past. Mr. Frei
details the racial, political and petty sexual machinations of America Olympic officials and sets them against the grander,
evil maneuvering of the Nazi Party, who orchestrate the Games as a tool to deceive the world into believing that Germany is
a peaceful and tolerant nation. Racism, anti-Semitism and back door political dealings all coalesce in a shocking appeasement
of Hitler to save embarrassment to the Nazi party.
Terry Frei revives an age when humility
was an American trait, when a world class athlete hoped for a few crumbs from a benefactors' table, when faithfulness to the
girl next door was as American as a Rockwell painting. His Olympic Affair is a well crafted tale of triumph, love
and deceit as two giants of their times weave between love and expediency. He evokes a pre-war time when bureaucrats appeased
a dictator and common citizens and athletes from around the world lived with hope, trepidation and suspicion. Interspersed
with the stories of Jesse Owens and the forsaken Jewish sprinter, Marty Glickman, Olympic Affair roils with personal
and political intrigue and love stretched to its boundaries. It is a story not to be missed.
superb blending of sports, history, and politics."
-- Si Dunn, Dallas Morning News
"one of the better - and most readable — books of
social history published in recent years."
-- Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer Paul Greenberg, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"The game and its cultural
contexts have been beautifully chronicled by Terry Frei in his book Horns, Hogs and Nixon Coming."
"Everyone knows that football today is a far cry from what it was in the days of leather helmets and
dropkicks, but it takes a book like Terry Frei's 'Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming' to show how much the game has changed in
just the last three decades. Frei does so by chronicling what might have been the final game of the God-Family-Football era,
before shoe companies, superagents and TV networks turned the muddy old gridiron into a multigazillion-dollar business."
-- Charles Hirshberg, Sports Illustrated
of us codgers on the scene thought we knew all facets of The Great Shootout. But now, 33 years after that climatic Arkansas-Texas
game, comes a most intriguing account on whys and wherefores and backgrounds and personality quirks, warts and all, and political
implications (Vietnam protests) and whatever. (That climatic week just happened to be the time when Bill Clinton got his ROTC
draft deferment from an UofArkansas official, whose daughter was dating a Razorback player, etc.) Title is 'Horns, Hogs and
Nixon Coming' and it's by Terry Frei, who must have worn out a dozen tape recorders in the process."
Blackie Sherrod, Dallas Morning News
"It was a bit like stumbling upon a family history as written by a distant cousin . . . But
much to the dismay of our most cherished prejudice, an outsider, a furriner, a Coloradan for gosh sakes, has seen things we
couldn't. Like a Tocquevillian sportswriter in a new world, Terry Frei does the unexpected, if not the impossible: He makes
'thatdamngame'--and all the cultural, political, and social issues swirling around it like so much red-and-white confetti--seem
new again, relevant again."
--Kane Webb in a lead editorial, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"The great sports books eventually aren't about the game or the scoreboard result, but about
the characters involved -- on the field, in the stands, outside the stadium, around the country -- and the times, (and) appeal
to more than just the sports fan. Frei's account of an important moment of Arkansas and Texas sports history is great because
of that and can mean something to the average readers off in Oregon or Connecticut."
--Jim Harris, Arkansas
Times, Little Rock
"Frei's often humorous telling is much more than a rehash of the game. .
. (It) also serves as a larger history of the social and political climate surrounding the competition. (The book) is a delightful,
well-researched chronicle of a turbulent era."
-- Larry Little, Library Journal
"A great story, well-told, with more delicious details than a linebacker could handle."
--David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News
"In some spots, a
reader may laugh out loud. There also may be some tears, especially in regard to courageous Texas defensive back Freddie Steinmark,
who six days after playing in the Big Shootout had his left leg amputated because of a cancerous bone tumor and died in 1971.
"Frei does a masterful job of weaving in the historical significance of the turbulent times, including Vietnam
protests, the military draft lottery and the civil rights movement that were so much a part of campus life in that era. It's
political football at its best."
-- Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Frei went to Wheat Ridge
High School, which produced not only (Freddie) Steinmark, but also Texas guard Bobby Mitchell, whose brother was killed in
Vietnam. In part because his father then was the head football coach at the University of Oregon, Frei possesses the football
expertise, an uncanny ability to buttonhook diverse personal anecdotes together and appreciation for history to best tell
this remarkable tale."
--John Moore, theater critic, The Denver Post
Frei set out to learn more about his father. He wound up bringing to life a team, a cause and an era. Likewise, all that the
young men of the 1942 Wisconsin Badgers set out to be was college students and football players. But circumstances called
most of them to do something greater: Save the world. Impressively researched and reported and powerfully written, Third Down
and a War To Go will put you in the huddle, in the front lines and in a state of profound gratitude
-- not only to the Badgers and the hundreds of thousands of men like them, but to Terry Frei.”
Detroit News and author of Gil Thorp
"Mythology is nice. Truth is better. The '42 Badgers were boys being boys. Good for
them. Good for Terry Frei, who chose to write their story truly in his book, Third Down and a War to Go: The All-American
1942 Wisconsin Badgers.What a powerful piece of work the book is, a telling detail in the great
portrait of America at war, young men and women who saw their duty and did it no matter how much it scared them."
-- Dave Kindred, The Sporting News and author of Sound
“Many times you hear athletes called
heroes, their deeds and accomplishments on the field or court are characterized as courageous. After reading Third Down and
a War to Go, I am embarrassed to have ever been thought of as brave or courageous. Enjoy this adventure in history, life,
and in courage and take it from a so-called ‘tough guy’...keep the hanky close by.”
Hall of Fame quarterback and ABC-TV sportscaster
“Terry Frei has captured the spirit of a different
time in this country, a time of faith in school and in country, a time of intense loyalty to teammate and fellow soldier.
Third Down and a War to Go tells the story of one University of Wisconsin football team during World War II. But to limit
the tale to that is like saying Angela’s Ashes is about Ireland. This book brings to life, in shades of black and blue
and blood red, the idea that certain things are worth fighting for.”
--Rick Morrissey, Chicago Tribune
“Tirelessly researched and relentlessly touching. The true allegory of football and war, minus
--Jay Greenberg, New York Post
that not only makes you keep reading, but makes you care...The last chapter in Frei's book, 'Lives and Deaths,' details what
happened to everyone from that squad, and by the time you get there, you really want to know about them. It's that kind of
book, relatively modest in intent but rich in fabric and execution."
--Dwight Chapin, San Francisco
"The drama, heroism and pathos of this book would make a great movie that would
star two Grant County men -- Lancaster's Dave Schreiner and Mark Hoskins."
--Jon Angeli, Grant
"Here’s a book written with love and passion . . . What began
as a sports book comes to resemble something akin to 'Band of Brothers,' by the late Stephen Ambrose (who played for the Badgers
more than a decade later). . . This is an inspiring book, full of fun and pathos and heroism."
past vice-president of the National Book Critics Circle and former book review editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"Of all the traits of the World War II generation, perhaps the most impressive some 60 years later is
the ability to make do, no matter the circumstances, and with little ceremony at that. That theme echoes throughout author
Terry Frei's thoroughly researched and ardently objective book 'Third Down and a War to Go,' a chronicle of the 1942 Badgers'
rapid transition from carefree college clashes against Notre Dame and Minnesota to battling Nazi Germany and imperial Japan.
. . The first half of the book establishes the principal characters and the 'swell' atmosphere of the day, to borrow some
period terminology, while detailing an 8-1-1 season in which the Badgers were deemed mythical national champions by the Helms
Foundation. With the war heightening, the majority of the players were sent overseas to fight on the front lines, and Frei
follows them relentlessly in the book's second half, focusing mainly on (Dave) Schreiner and (Mark) Hoskins. It's a logical
choice, given their long friendship, their disparate assignments and Schreiner's status as an All-American . . . Either
half of the book would have stood alone, but together they do supreme justice to a group all too soon gone, all too easily
-- Adam Mertz, The Capital Times, Madison
Down and a War to Go' by Terry Frei is required reading for anyone with an interest in football or the Second World War. If
you have an interest in both, then this book is a must."
Iconoclast, Ourlads.com Scouting Service
its members serving on all fronts, the 1942 Wisconsin Badgers become a microcosm of the American war effort, representatives
of a remarkable generation of self-sacrificing Americans. . . . Through Hoskins and Schreiner, the cocaptains of the 1942
team, the author makes his most important point. Frei portrays the young men who played football at the University of Wisconsin
in 1942 and later fought for their country as truly 'All-American' boys. Having embraced the opportunity to serve his
country and risk the ultimate sacrifice, Dave Schreiner -- as both a star athlete and all-American on the football field as
well as a man of impeccable character off it -- was the definitive symbol of this. Written with the passion of an inspired
student, Third Down and a War to Go is fulfilling and powerful. It adds athletic perspective
to our understanding of the 'Greatest Generation' as well as a window into their rural, midwestern lives and their roots as
athletes, students, and friends."
--Shane Butterfield, Michigan Historical Review
"David Nathan Schreiner was far more distinguished off the field, a reality brought to life in the
must-read book Third Down and a War to Go by Terry Frei."
-- Andy Baggot, Wisconsin State Journal
"This is a story of the highest degree, one that will leave the reader at various times
laughing, mournful, amazed, and inspired. 'Third Down And A War To Go' is much more than just a football story. It is much
more than just a war story. It is a story about us."
--Doug Warren, Badgernation.com
"While Schreiner's is among the most compelling, the stories of these young men and
their efforts and the battlefield recall a different era. . . These Badgers did their job as teammates on the gridiron, and
they headed off together to fight the Germans and Japanese, united in their purpose and with a grateful nation behind them."
--Scott Angus, editor, Janesville Gazette, son of team
manager Robert Angus
"Great job. So good that I was brought to tears. So good that I
almost need to visit the cemetery in Lancaster, Wis., and say 'thanks' to Dave Schreiner and Mark Hoskins."
--Randy Jesick, journalism
professor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
"I was in my second season with the Browns in '77, but as a Colorado
kid - and a long-time Broncos fan - I followed this Denver team and was both proud and envious when I attended both playoff
games in Mile High Stadium. Terry Frei has taken me back, reminding me of many things I had forgotten or telling me things
I didn't know, both about that team and my hometown's growing pains and identity crisis. I especially enjoyed his in-depth
looks at the '77 Broncos' interaction and relationships during that landmark season, and I found that especially fascinating
because I have gotten to know so many members of that team over the years. This is more than a football book: With all due
respect to those who lived in Denver prior to '77, this is about a birth of a city."
-- Dave Logan, former U. of Colorado All-American, NFL player, voice
of the Denver Broncos, and co-host of KOA Radio's The Ride Home
one knows more about Denver and its sports than Terry Frei does, and here in '77, he describes nothing less than the transformation
of a city with a special focus on Denver's most magical team. To know why and how the Mile High City exists as it does today,
this is essential history."
-- Sandy Clough, sports talk host, FM Sports Radio 104.3,
"The games, the politics and the culture with which Frei deals here unfolded 30 years ago, but they're
brought to life again in this book with a clarity and a luster that makes the story of Denver and the Broncos seem as fresh
as the upcoming football season. It's a rite-of-passage tale for a city and a team as they reach and pass the cusp of the
'Big Time' in tandem. Would one have happened without the other? Maybe. But Denver and its football team grew up hand-in-hand
during this extraordinary season, making this history a must-read for fans of the NFL, of the 1970s and of the American West.
You didn't have to live through it in Denver to appreciate this account of the flowering of a franchise and its love affair
with a town, but this book takes those of us who did straight back to those thrilling days of yesteryear in unforgettable
fashion. Frei has written Denver's version of `Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx is Burning.'"
Michael Knisley, Senior Deputy Editor, ESPN.com
"Frei is an
engaging writer, and even though I generally don't care whether the Broncos win, lose, or tie, the book kept my interest all
the way through."
-- Ed Quillen, Colorado Living Magazine
the memories. And they all happened right here in the forgotten time zone. Those magical moments came back with a rush last
week reading '77: Denver, The Broncos, and a Coming of Age. What a fantastic read...'77 is more than just a Bronco football
memoir. It was a time when our Centennial State exploded on the national scene...Thanks to Terry Frei's wonderful work, we
get to live that magical moment all over again."
-- Dick Maynard, Grand Junction Sentinel
“Events carry the story forward
swiftly, and that alone would make it a good read. But Frei has a larger point to make. It’s during times of upheaval,
when the very foundations of normalcy are being shaken, that personal courage, honor and the willingness to stand fast on
principle matter most. All of the central characters in Frei’s story will have to decide whether to make that stand,
and if so, how to make it. Frei has written three nonfiction books, most notably Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming. This book proves he can write fiction too.”—Ken Goe, Portland Oregonian
“For every story, there’s a story behind the story, and Frei’s book captures hundreds of them.
Frei provides never-before-read tales of legendary athletes, monumental events and games behind the games, as well as his
own opinion of newspaper sports journalism as a whole—and its future . . . A must-read for every sports fan.”
—Doug Ottewill, Mile High Sports Magazine