The Book

Audio CD




Signings & Sportstalk



-article by Brett McMurphy
, Tampa Tribune

"If college football is the greatest sport - and it is - then ``Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys'' is one of the greatest books on the subject.

Written by Notre Dame professor Ted Mandell, ``Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys'' chronicles 100 of college football's greatest finishes between 1970-99. The 336 pages provide unforgettable anecdotes, quotes and insights into each game.

Among the famous finishes: Harvard and Yale's 29-29 tie, Notre Dame's 1979 Cotton Bowl win vs. Houston, Cal's 1982 ``The band is on the field!'' win vs. Stanford and Boston College's 1984 Hail Flutie to beat Miami....(more)

-article by Michael Canan, Scripps Howard News Service

"- Doug Flutie's 1984 Hail Mary, the infamous 1982 Stanford Band play and Kordell Stewart's 1994 game-winning pass to Michael Westbrook have become famous as some of the most dramatic finishes in college football.

But a 1985 shootout between Illinois Division III rivals Principia College and Illinois College also deserves recognition as one of the greatest college finishes, said Ted Mandell, author of recently released "Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys: 100 of the Greatest Football Finishes (1970-1999)."

The 1985 gem of a game between Principia and Illinois College included two Hail Marys and three touchdowns in the final 28 seconds. The 39-player Principia team, from the smallest school in NCAA football, pulled off the last second 26-22 win."...(more)


-article by Reggie Hayes
, Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel

"University of Notre Dame professor Ted Mandell's book on the greatest finishes in college football history is packed with 336 pages of anecdotes, photos and interviews.

Like everyone else, I went straight for the CD.

Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys, is a detailed look at both the most publicized last-second wins, such as California's kickoff return against Stanford and the Stanford band in 1992, and obscure classics, such as Williams' win over Amherst in 1997 where a freshman wide receiver kicked the game-winning field goal.

But the book's hook is the audio....(more)
-article by Rick Brown, The Ledger

"The dog days of summer are upon us. The heat is roasting. The rain is soaking. So, you know what that means -- college football season is right around the corner. To prepare for the season, there is something that all college football fans must add to their collections -- a book called "Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys, 100 of the Greatest Football Finishes (1970-1999)."...(more)

-article by Joe Doyle, South Bend Tribune

"Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys."

That's the title of Ted Mandell's book. It is not about medicine or about religion. It's all about college football, a passion of the Notre Dame associate professional specialist long before his days as a member of the university band in the mid-1980s..

Most fans know the "Hail Mary" nickname that has been applied to any last minute pass that is flung toward the end zone, hoping for a completion, a tipped ball or maybe even a defensive foul to extend the game...(more)

Five U-M games among college's fantastic finishes

-review by Jim Cnockaert,
Ann Arbor News

"Ted Mandell already was painfully familiar with his subject matter before he conceived of the idea of writing a book about some of college football's most astounding finishes.

As a Notre Dame alumnus, fan and a professor of film video production, Mandell knew all about the Fighting Irish's history of remarkable finishes and had personally experienced some of them......(more)



-review by Pete Fiutak
, college football

"Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys by Ted Mandell is an absolute must read for any real college football fan. Not only is it fun to look back at the background, the winning play and the aftermath of these classic games, but it comes with a CD with the radio calls of most of the winning plays. If nothing else, you must hear this CD for the call by Michigan play-by-play announcer Bob Ufer of Anthony Carter's winning TD catch against Indiana in 1979. You're not a college football fan if at least 5 of the 64 tracks don't give you chills. The book is obviously well researched (trust us when we tell you how much pain staking work goes into doing something like this) and sets up the winning plays perfectly. Hey Ted ... we'll be happy to work with you on the second version of this book!"

-review by Doug Cataldo, Sportsology.Net

"If you wake up on Saturday mornings in the Fall and Winter, tune into ABC and suffer through some poor excuses for cartoons until kickoff time, or if you check the TV Guide to see what teams are playing on the 10+ Cable PPV channels throughout the day, then odds are you are a College Football junkie. You'd be even more of a junkie if you actually paid attention to the cartoons or knew before hand all the teams playing and on what channel the games will be televised!

While this title will ultimately be an existing College Football fans instant favorite book, a non fan might pick it up and become an overnight genius, acquiring a superior amount of knowledge about the game, it's teams and 100 of the most spectacular finishes from the last 30+ years....(more)



-review by Mike Mitchell,

"As the 2001 college football season gets close to kicking off, you may want to take a break from reading all of the season preview magazines and spend some quality time getting lost in the past.

I have spent parts of this summer enjoying Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys, a book that focuses on 100 of the greatest college football finishes from 1970-1999.

This collection of fantastic finishes was assembled by Ted Mandell, a faculty member in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at Notre Dame. Mandell excels at recounting the events in a manner that allows you to feel as though you were there, putting you on the edge of your seat for the game-ending heroics."... (more)

-review by Mark Simon, D3

"As sportswriters and sportscasters, we don't cheer for particular teams at the events we cover - we root for the game itself.

We want the buzzer-beater, the dramatic finish, the last-second miracle. There were more than a few of them this season, one that climaxed with an amazing Stagg Bowl between Mount Union and St. John's. That was the type of game, and the type of ending that we could have written a book about.

Notre Dame University professor Ted Mandell has done that, so to speak, with his work "Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys - 100 of the Greatest College Football Finishes (1970-1999)" published recently by Diamond Communications. This book/CD offers summaries, interviews and audio clips of the games that in the author's introductory words, turn the fan's reaction "from nausea to nirvana."

Several Division III games made the list - the Hail-Mary filled Principia-Illinois College clash from 1985, Thomas More-Defiance from 1993, Carthage-Millikin from 1997, and Amherst-Williams from 1997 among others. Each contest gets its own three-to-four page chapter, featuring a comprehensive look at the events that unfolded and the aftermath. Mandell re-paints the picture very well, taking the reader back in time through text, photography, and 64 audio clips, including the Williams-Amherst and Thomas More-Defiance endings.

If you're looking for something to keep you occupied and enthused about college football during the rest of the offseason, this book is a good place to start.



-review by Scott Richards, WEZV, Myrtle Beach, SC

"For a big time college football fan, this book is nothing less than pure joy. There are 100 of the best finishes in college football included in this collection. You'll find everything from the most passionate and controversial, to the downright hilarious finishes in this book. Great comments from players and coaches make the stories come alive, especially with the "aftermath" highlighted on each unique story. The a CD included with the book, invites you to listen to the play by play calls and re-live the sometimes agonizing, sometimes thrilling finishes. With a forward by Doug Flutie, this is a must have for every serious College Football Fan. Plenty of material included for South Carolina and Clemson fans too. Here's a perfect way to fire up the College Football Season! (Go Irish...)."

[Heart Stoppers and Hail Marys: The Greatest College Football Finishes (since 1970)]