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They Call Me “Sweet Lou” : The Life and Times of a Football Official

They Call Me “Sweet Lou” : The Life and Times of a Football Official

Think you know football? Not until you ride along with “Sweet Lou” Hammond as he pursues his dream of officiating in the National Football League—a dream he discovers comes at a steep price.


More than a sports journal, Lou’s story is a hilarious and heroic journey from the hardscrabble lot at Baltimore’s Radecke Park to the manicured lawn at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. His whistle-stops to success include every level of the game from sandlot to professional. Go behind the scenes and learn about the third team that plays every down. See the game between the white lines and from the press box. Meet the players, owners, and fans who created today’s football juggernaut.

As “Sweet Lou” says: “It’s the best seat in the house, but you have to stand.”

Pages: 310
Pub Date: 08-31-2024
Softcover: 19.95 979-8-88824-424-1
Hardcover: 26.95 979-8-88824-426-5


Lou Hammond has officiated football games for over fifty years in sandlot, high school, college, flag, semipro, arena, the Canadian Football League, and the National Football League. During his career, he served on the board of directors for various leagues and conferences. He currently works game-day functions in the booth for the NCAA and NFL. In addition to his many awards, he was elected to the Minor League Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

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Paul Travers, a prior Marine Corps officer, park ranger, security analyst, and ballpark tour guide, has written numerous books, including the bestseller Eyewitness to Infamy: An Oral History of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. In 2009, he through-hiked the Appalachian Trail as a fundraiser for veterans with Alzheimer’s disease. His most recent book, Dancing with the Mountains: Alzheimer’s, Angels, and the Appalachian Trail, chronicles that adventure.

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