“I devoured this book. When The Lions Roared is brisk, often funny and always smart,  an unexpurgated deep dive on one of the underrated great teams in college football history. Contz is a superb tour guide and historian, sharing with readers the jokes, insights, insults and anecdotes — I’m thinking in particular of the receiver who got hurt riding a mechanical bull a few days before a bowl game — that only an ex-player can.  Thirty-plus years writing about football has taught me this: to find out what really happened out there, talk to an offensive linemen. They’re excellent observers, and often the brightest guys on the field. The ’82 Nittany Lions had great talent, but better chemistry. A natural storyteller, Contz explores and explains that chemistry, those bonds, as only an offensive lineman could.” – Austin Murphy, senior writer, Sports Illustrated


When the Lions Roared is must-read for Nittany Lions’ faithful, but all football fans will enjoy it. I loved the book. The analysis section near the end is interesting and eye opening I have fond memories of the ’82 champs but Bill Contz provides rich detail and inside stories, including one involving Blackledge that you will not believe! I tore through it in one sitting. Where do the ’82 champs rank historically? Contz’ detailed research makes a strong case and will spark spirited debate from rivals’ fans.”  – Chris Fowler, ESPN.


“I fell in love with college football in large part because of that 1982 Penn State team, so it’s no surprise that Bill Contz’s book, a quirky blend of memoir and reportage and statistical case-making, brought back those warm and nostalgic feelings all over again.” — Michael Weinreb, author of Season of Saturdays: A History of College Football in 14 Games.