For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Inside, Arnold covers the very latest advances in both weight training and bodybuilding competition, with new sections on diet and nutrition, sports psychology, the treatment and prevention of injuries, and methods of training, each illustrated with detailed photos of some of bodybuilding's newest stars.
Plus, all the features that have made this book a classic are here:
Arnold's tried-and-true tips for sculpting, strengthening, and defining each and every muscle to create the ultimate buff physique
The most effective methods of strength training to stilt your needs, whether you're an amateur athlete or a pro bodybuilder preparing for a competition
Comprehensive information on health, nutrition, and dietary supplements to help you build muscle, lose fat, and maintain optimum energy
Expert advice on the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries
Strategies and tactics for competitive bodybuilders from selecting poses to handling publicity
The fascinating history and growth of' bodybuilding as a sport, with a photographic "Bodybuilding Hall of Fame"
And, of course, Arnold's individual brand of inspiration and motivation throughout
Covering every level of expertise and experience, The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding will help you achieve your personal best. With his unique perspective as a seven-time winner of the Mr. Olympia title and all international film star, Arnold shares his secrets to dedication, training, and commitment, and shows you how to take control of your body and realize your own potential for greatness.
The fearless, intimate, and inspiring story behind ESPN anchor Stuart Scott’s unrelenting fight against cancer, with a foreword by Robin Roberts.
Shortly before he passed away, on January 4, 2015, Stuart Scott completed work on this memoir. It was both a labor of love and a love letter to life itself. Not only did Stuart relate his personal story—his childhood in North Carolina, his supportive family, his athletic escapades, his on-the-job training as a fledgling sportscaster, his being hired and eventual triumphs at ESPN—he shared his intimate struggles to keep his story going. Struck by appendiceal cancer in 2007, Stuart battled this rare disease with an unimaginable tenacity and vigor. Countless surgeries, enervating chemotherapies, endless shuttling from home to hospital to office and back—Stuart continued defying fate, pushing himself through exercises and workout routines that kept him strong. He wanted to be there for his teenage daughters, Sydni and Taelor, not simply as their dad, but as an immutable example of determination and courage.
Every Day I Fight is a saga of love, an inspiration to us all.
From the Hardcover edition.
Like the original, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is really several books in one. The Game provides a century's worth of American baseball history, told one decade at a time, with energetic facts and figures about How, Where, and by Whom the game was played. In The Players, you'll find listings of the top 100 players at each position in the major leagues, along with James's signature stats-based ratings method called “Win Shares,” a way of quantifying individual performance and calculating the offensive and defensive contributions of catchers, pitchers, infielders, and outfielders. And there's more: the Reference section covers Win Shares for each season and each player, and even offers a Win Share team comparison. A must-have for baseball fans and historians alike, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract is as essential, entertaining, and enlightening as the sport itself.
In the spring of 1983, massive flooding along the length of the Colorado River confronted a team of engineers at the Glen Canyon Dam with an unprecedented emergency that may have resulted in the most catastrophic dam failure in history. In the midst of this crisis, the decision to launch a small wooden dory named “The Emerald Mile” at the head of the Grand Canyon, just fifteen miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, seemed not just odd, but downright suicidal.
The Emerald Mile, at one time slated to be destroyed, was rescued and brought back to life by Kenton Grua, the man at the oars, who intended to use this flood as a kind of hydraulic sling-shot. The goal was to nail the all-time record for the fastest boat ever propelled—by oar, by motor, or by the grace of God himself—down the entire length of the Colorado River from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead. Did he survive? Just barely. Now, this remarkable, epic feat unfolds here, in The Emerald Mile.
Only, it's not quite that simple. Spanish soccer expert and historian Sid Lowe covers 100 years of rivalry, athletic beauty, and excellence. Fear and Loathing in La Liga is a nuanced, revisionist, and brilliantly informed history that goes beyond sport. Lowe weaves together this story of the rivalry with the history and culture of Spain, emphasizing that it is “never about just the soccer.” With exclusive testimonies and astonishing anecdotes, he takes us inside this epic battle, including the wounds left by the Civil War, Madrid's golden age in the fifties when they won five European cups, Johan Cruyff's Barcelona Dream Team, the doomed Galáctico experiment, and Luís Figo's “betrayal.”
By exploring the history, politics, culture, economics, and language—while never forgetting the drama on the field—Lowe demonstrates the relationship between these two soccer giants and reveals the true story behind their explosive rivalry.
Spanning three continents and defying the odds, their collective quest captivated the world and stole headlines from the Korean War, the atomic race, and such legendary figures as Edmund Hillary, Willie Mays, Native Dancer, and Ben Hogan. In the tradition of Seabiscuit and Chariots of Fire, Neal Bascomb delivers a breathtaking story of unlikely heroes and leaves us with a lasting portrait of the twilight years of the golden age of sport.
This is the 20th anniversary of the explosive bestseller that changed the way the world viewed one of the greatest athletes in history, revealing for the first time Michael Jordan's relentless drive to win anything and everything, at any cost. NBA Hall of Fame columnist Sam Smith had unlimited access to the team and its players during their championship 1991-92 season, which he details in the new introduction, along with candid revelations about his sources, and the reaction from Michael, his teammates, the media, and the fans when the book blasted onto the bestseller lists in 1992 (where it stayed for three months). With more than a million copies in print, and just published for the first time in eBook format, The Jordan Rules remains the ultimate inside look at one of the most legendary teams in sports history.
Joe Posnanski’s biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach’s personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno’s life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno’s legendary career.
Joe Posnanski, who in 2012 was named the Best Sportswriter in America by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, was with Paterno and his family as a horrific national scandal unfolded and Paterno was fired. Within three months, Paterno died of lung cancer, a tragic end to a life that was epic, influential, and operatic.
Paterno is the fullest description we will ever have of the man’s character and career. In this honest and surprising portrait, Joe Posnanski brings new insight and understanding to one of the most controversial figures in America.
At fourteen years old, Dominique Moceanu was the youngest member of the 1996 US Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team, the first and only American women’s team to take gold at the Olympics. Her pixyish appearance and ferocious competitive drive quickly earned her the status of media darling. But behind the fame, the flawless floor routines, and the million-dollar smile, her life was a series of challenges and hardships.
Off Balance vividly delineates each of the dominating characters who contributed to Moceanu’s rise to the top, from her stubborn father and long-suffering mother to her mercurial coach, Bela Karolyi. Here, Moceanu finally shares the haunting stories of competition, her years of hiding injuries and pain out of fear of retribution from her coaches, and how she hit rock bottom after a public battle with her parents.
But medals, murder plots, drugs, and daring escapes aside (all of which figure into Moceanu’s incredible journey), the most unique aspect of her life is the family secret that Moceanu discovers, opening a new and unexpected chapter in her adult life. A mysterious letter from a stranger reveals that she has a second sister—born with a physical disability and given away at birth—who has nonetheless followed in Moceanu’s footsteps in an astonishing way.
A multilayered memoir that transcends the world of sports, Off Balance will touch anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better life.
In Sundays Will Never Be the Same, former NASCAR champion and current FOX Sports racing analyst Darrell Waltrip provides an intimate account of one of the most dramatic and tragic days in the history of NASCAR: the 2001 Daytona 500—the day that racing legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. died.
The sudden death of Earnhardt on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 was a traumatic loss for the entire NASCAR family, and few were affected more deeply than Darrell Waltrip. During the course of their tumultuous thirty-year association, Dale and Darrell had been friends, then “frenemies,” and finally friends again. Darrell takes us through the fascinating history of racing in Daytona, offering glimpses of some of the sport’s most colorful characters. He recounts the highs and lows of his relationship with Earnhardt through the twin arcs of their overlapping careers, and concludes with a heart-wrenching insider account of that pivotal weekend in Daytona.
Coaches have a tremendous platform, says Joe Ehrmann, a former Syracuse University All-American and NFL star. Perhaps second only to parents, coaches can impact young people as no one else can. But most coaches fail to do the teaching, mentoring, even life-saving intervention that their platform provides. Too many are transactional coaches; they focus solely on winning and meeting their personal needs. Some coaches, however, use their platform. They teach the Xs and Os, but also teach the Ys of life. They help young people grow into responsible adults; they leave a lasting legacy. These are the transformational coaches. These coaches change lives, and they also change society by helping to develop healthy men and women.
InSideOut Coaching explains how to become a transformational coach. Coaches first have to “go inside” and articulate their reasons for coaching. Only those who have taken the InSideOut journey can become transformational. Joe Ehrmann provides examples of coaches in his life who took this journey and taught him how to find something bigger than himself in sports.He describes his own InSideOut experience, starting with the death of his beloved brother, which helped him understand how sports could transcend the playing field. He gives coaches the information and the tools they need to become transformational.
Joe Ehrmann has taken his message about the extraordinary power of sports all over the country. It has been warmly endorsed by NFL head coaches, athletic directors at major universities, high school head coaches, even business groups and community organizations. Now any parent-coach or school or community coach can read Ehrmann’s message and learn how to make sports a life-changing experience.
Classic New Yorker sportswriter Roger Angell calls 1972 to 1976 “the most important half-decade in the history of the game.” The early to mid-1970s brought unprecedented changes to America’s ancient pastime: astounding performances by Nolan Ryan and Hank Aaron; the intensity of the “best-ever” 1975 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox; the changes growing from bitter and extended labor strikes and lockouts; and the vast new influence of network television on the game. Angell, always a fan as well as a writer, casts a knowing but noncynical eye on these events, offering a fresh perspective to baseball’s continuing appeal during this brilliant and transformative era.
In The Mountain, veteran world-class climber and bestselling author Ed Viesturs—the only American to have climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks—trains his sights on Mount Everest in richly detailed accounts of expeditions that are by turns personal, harrowing, deadly, and inspiring.
The highest mountain on earth, Everest remains the ultimate goal for serious high-altitude climbers. Viesturs has gone on eleven expeditions to Everest, spending more than two years of his life on the mountain and reaching the summit seven times. No climber today is better poised to survey Everest’s various ascents—both personal and historic. Viesturs sheds light on the fate of Mallory and Irvine, whose 1924 disappearance just 800 feet from the summit remains one of mountaineering’s greatest mysteries, as well as the multiply tragic last days of Rob Hall and Scott Fischer in 1996, the stuff of which Into Thin Air was made.
Informed by the experience of one who has truly been there, The Mountain affords a rare glimpse into that place on earth where Heraclitus’s maxim—“Character is destiny”—is proved time and again.
When Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France in 1999, the sports world had found a charismatic new idol. Journalist David Walsh was among a small group covering the tour who suspected Armstrong’s win wasn’t the feel-good story it seemed to be. From that first moment of doubt, the next thirteen years of Walsh’s life would be focused on seeking the answers to a series of hard questions about Armstrong’s astonishing success.
As Walsh delved ever deeper into the shadow world of performance-enhancing drugs in professional athletics, he accumulated a mounting pile of evidence that led a furious Armstrong to take legal action against him. But he could not make Walsh—or the story—go away, and in the autumn of 2012, Walsh was vindicated when the cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
With this remarkable book, Walsh has produced both the definitive account of the Armstrong scandal, and a testament to the importance of journalists who are willing to report a difficult truth over a popular fantasy.
The experiment was dreamed up by two fathers, one white, one black. What
would happen, they wondered, if they mixed white players from an elite Seattle
private school - famous for alums such as Microsoft's Bill Gates - and black
kids from the inner city on a basketball team? Wouldn't exposure to privilege
give the black kids a chance at better opportunities? Wouldn't it open the eyes
of the white kids to a different side of life?
The 1986 season would be the laboratory. Out in the real world, hip-hop was
going mainstream, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson ruled the NBA, and Ronald Reagan
was president. In Seattle, the team's season unfolded like a perfectly
scripted sports movie: the ragtag group of boys became friends and gelled
together to win the league championship. The experiment was deemed a
But was it? How did crossing lines of class, race, and wealth affect the
lives of these ten boys? Two decades later, Doug Merlino, who played on the
team, returned to find his teammates. His search ranges from a prison cell to a
hedge fund office, street corners to a shack in rural Oregon, a Pentecostal
church to the records of a brutal murder. The result is a complex, gripping,
and, at times, unsettling story.
Apted's Up series, The Hustle tells the stories of ten teammates
set before a background of sweeping social and economic change, capturing the
ways race, money, and opportunity shape our lives. A tale both personal and
public, The Hustle is the story a disparate group of men finding - or not
finding - a place in America
Ty Murray was born to be a rodeo star -- in fact, his first words were "I'm a bull rider." Before he was even out of diapers, he was climbing atop his mother's Singer sewing machine case, which just so happened to be the perfect mechanical bull for a 13-month-old. Before long, Ty was winning peewee events by the hatful, and his special talent was obvious...obvious even to a man called Larry Mahan. At the time the greatest living rodeo legend, six-time champion Mahan invited a teenaged Ty Murray to spend a summer on his ranch learning not just rodeoing but also some life lessons. Those lessons prepared Ty for a career that eventually surpassed even Mahan's own -- Ty's seven All-Around Championships.
In King of the Cowboys, Ty Murray invites us into the daredevil world of rodeo and the life of the cowboy. Along the way, he details a life spent constantly on the road, heading to the next event; the tragic death of his friend and fellow rodeo star Lane Frost; and the years of debilitating injuries that led some to say Ty Murray was finished.
He wasn't. In fact, Ty Murray has brought the world of rodeo into the twenty-first century, through his unparalleled achievements in the ring, through advancing the case for the sport as a television color-commentator, and through the Professional Bull Riders, an organization he helped to build.
In the end, though, Ty Murray is first and foremost a cowboy, and now that he's retired from competition, he takes this chance to reflect on his remarkable life and career. In King of the Cowboys, Ty Murray opens up his world as never before.
This is the book the Hall of Fame deserves. Along with the story of the institution comes a smart, irreverent discussion of some of the great barstool questions of all time (Why did Jim Bunning make the Hall but not Mickey Lolich? How much is it worth to a player's autograph-signing career to get in? Did Ty Cobb really kill somebody?) and a fresh look at some of the Hall's most and least admirable characters. Taken in all, it amounts to a shadow history of America's Game, shown through the prism of its most sacred spot. Written with a deep love of the game and a hardened skeptic's eye, this is a book to incite both passionate conversation and a fresh appreciation of baseball as a mirror and catalyst for our nation's culture.
Caleb Daniloff never set out to be a marathoner. Then again, he never set out to be a drunk, either. But after years of sobriety, he puts on a pair of running shoes and starts down a path that will lead him to compete in marathons across the world on a journey of self-discovery.
As he runs from Boston to Vermont to Moscow, Daniloff draws lessons from the road and confronts the most destructive period in his life, completing races in each of the cities where he once lived and wreaked havoc. With each step, Daniloff is forced to face his issues rather than maneuver around them. And as he moves forward, he connects with others who have also taken up running on their path to recovery.
At once a memoir of addiction, healing, and pushing past your limitations, Running Ransom Road is ultimately the poignant story of one man’s trek to a better life, one mile at a time—and “his captivating narrative describes a journey of personal redemption that, fortunately for us, he is willing to share” (Frank Shorter, Olympic marathon gold medalist).
“Running Ransom Road is Caleb Daniloff’s unblinking, ultimately triumphant account of his journey from mean, hopeless drunk back to humanity and himself—through distance running. It’s a searing tale of spiritual redemption—one marathon, one mile, one brave, difficult step at a time.” —Steve Friedman, coauthor of New York Times bestseller Eat & Run and author of the memoir Lost on Treasure Island
As a young Scottish expat living in Hong Kong with his father after his parents’ divorce, Millar showed early promise with mountain biking and BMX. Two wise local cyclists took him under their wings, encouraging him to concentrate on road racing. Millar proved a ready convert. Racing Through the Dark offers the winning account of his climb through the ranks—first as an amateur and then as a pro, riding for the French team Cofidis. Among his early triumphs were several stage wins in the Tour de France.
From the moment Millar turned pro, he began to see hints of the unethical measures that many— maybe most—of the other pros were taking in order to race at the very tops of their games . . . and beyond. At first, he felt that he was immune to temptation, that he could win clean. But the ugly pervasiveness of performance-enhancing drugs and the seemingly universal attitude that condoned it began to corrode his willpower. Racing Through the Dark details his eventual capitulation, his subsequent arrest and two-year ban from cycling, and his remarkable comeback as a clean cyclist who is now doing his utmost to keep performance-enhancing drugs out of the sport he so loves.
Filled with thrilling descriptions of the world’s most spectacular courses, Racing Through the Dark captures the pure joy of cycling and includes some of the most vivid accounts of racing ever written by a true insider.
-- ERNEST HEMINGWAY
In the winter of 1933, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Pauline set out on a two-month safari in the big-game country of East Africa, camping out on the great Serengeti Plain at the foot of magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro. "I had quite a trip," the author told his friend Philip Percival, with characteristic understatement.
Green Hills of Africa is Hemingway's account of that expedition, of what it taught him about Africa and himself. Richly evocative of the region's natural beauty, tremendously alive to its character, culture, and customs, and pregnant with a hard-won wisdom gained from the extraordinary situations it describes, it is widely held to be one of the twentieth century's classic travelogues.
When Lalit Modi--an Indian businessman with a criminal record, a history of failed business ventures, and a reputation for audacious deal making--created a Twenty20 cricket league in India in 2008, the odds were stacked against him. International cricket was still controlled from London, where they played the long, slow game of Test cricket by the old rules. Indians had traditionally underperformed in the sport but the game remained a national passion. Adopting the highly commercial American model of sporting tournaments, and throwing scantily clad western cheerleaders into the mix, Modi gave himself three months to succeed. And succeed he did--dazzlingly--before he and his league crashed to earth amid astonishing scandal and corruption.
The emergence of the IPL is a remarkable tale. Cricket is at the heart of the miracle that is modern India. As a business, it represents everything that is most dynamic and entrepreneurial about the country's economic boom, including the industrious and aspiring middle-class consumers who are driving it. The IPL also reveals, perhaps to an unprecedented degree, the corrupt, back-scratching, and nepotistic way in which India is run.
A truly original work by a brilliant journalist, The Great Tamasha* makes the complexity of modern India--its aspiration and optimism straining against tradition and corruption--accessible like no other book has.
*Tamasha: a Hindi world meaning "a spectacle."
In a famous essay on the subject written more than twenty years ago, Roberts judged climbing to be "worth the risk." He continues to climb to this day, and several of his challenging routes in Alaska have never been climbed since. But in reassessing the emotional costs to himself and to loved ones, he reaches a different conclusion, one that is sure to cause controversy not only in climbing circles, but among adventurers of all kinds. Candid and unflinching, On the Ridge Between Life and Death is a compelling examination of the risks we take in order to feel more alive.
Five years after the Dodgers and Giants fled New York for California, the city’s National League fans were offered salvation in the shape of the New York Mets: an expansion team who, in the spring of 1962, attempted to play something resembling the sport of baseball. Helmed by the sagacious Casey Stengel and staffed by the league’s detritus, the new Mets played 162 games and lost 120 of them, making them statistically the worst team in the sport’s modern history. It’s possible they were even worse than that. Starring such legends as Marvin Throneberry—a first baseman so inept that his nickname had to be “Marvelous”—the Mets lost with swashbuckling panache. In an era when the fun seemed to have gone out of sports, the Mets came to life in a blaze of delightful, awe-inspiring ineptitude. They may have been losers, but a team this awful deserves to be remembered as legends. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Jimmy Breslin including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Before Georgetown physics professor Francis Slakey decided to climb the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean, he had shut himself off from other people. His lectures were mechanical; his relationships were little more than ways to fill the evenings. But as his journey veered dangerously off course, everything about him began to change.
A gripping adventure of the body and mind, To the Last Breath depicts the quest that leads Slakey around the globe, almost takes his life, challenges his fiercely held beliefs, and opens his heart. The scientist in Slakey explores the history of Robert Falcon Scott’s doomed Antarctica expedition, the technology of climbing, and the geophysics of waves. But it is the challenges he endures and the people he encounters—a Lama who gives him a mysterious amulet, a life-or-death choice atop Everest, an ambush at gunpoint in Indonesia, a head-on collision in the high desert—that culminate in a moving lesson about what it means to be human.
Roger Angell once again journeys through five seasons of America’s national pastime—chronicling the larger-than-life narratives and on-field intricacies of baseball from 1982 to 1987. Angell’s collected New Yorker essays, written in his unique voice as a fan and baseball aficionado, cover the development of the game both on the diamond and off. While diving into subjects such as Sparky Anderson’s ’84 Detroit Tigers, the legendary 1986 World Series and the Curse of the Bambino, and the increasingly pervasive issue of player drug use, Angell reveals the craft and technique of the game, and the unforgettable stories of those who played it.
"An irresistible look back on Fenway Park's first season, not just for Sox fans . . . a great choice for anyone who enjoys a dip into baseball history at its best."—Huffington Post
Even people who aren’t fans of baseball know Fenway Park. More than just a ballpark, it is a part of American culture, and has been for nearly one hundred years. In Fenway 1912, Glenn Stout tells the remarkable story of Fenway’s first year, from the long winter when locals poured concrete and built the park to the ragtag Red Sox team that embarked on a journey to the World Series while the paint was still drying and the grass still coming in. Stout tells the stories behind the park’s notorious quirks like the Green Monster, and of the designers, builders, managers, and players who made Fenway’s first year unforgettable.
For all that has been written in tribute to the great Fenway Park, no one has ever really told the behind-the-scenes true story. Drawing on extensive new research, the esteemed baseball historian Glenn Stout delivers an extraordinary tale of innovation, desperation, and perspiration—capturing Fenway as never before.
"Fenway 1912 reads like a novel, detailing the trials and tribulations of the quaint ballpark and the team itself … Stout has made a great story out of history.”—Baseball America
"Stout's vivid writing and extraordinary research make the journey worthwhile in so many ways . . . you will likely feel as if you were in the creaky grandstand yourself."—Boston Globe
America loved Dan Patch, who, though kind and gentle, seemed to understand that he was a superstar: he acknowledged applause from the grandstands with a nod or two of his majestic head and stopped as if to pose when he saw a camera. He became the first celebrity sports endorser; his name appeared on breakfast cereals, washing machines, cigars, razors, and sleds. At a time when the highest-paid baseball player, Ty Cobb, was making $12,000 a year, Dan Patch was earning over a million dollars.
But even then horse racing attracted hustlers, cheats, and touts. Drivers and owners bet heavily on races, which were often fixed; horses were drugged with whiskey or cocaine, or switched off with "ringers." Although Dan never lost a race, some of his races were rigged so that large sums of money could change hands. Dan's original owner was intimidated into selling him, and America's favorite horse spent the second half of his career touring the country in a plush private railroad car and putting on speed shows for crowds that sometimes exceeded 100,000 people. But the automobile cooled America's romance with the horse, and by the time he died in 1916, Dan was all but forgotten. His last owner, a Minnesota entrepreneur gone bankrupt, buried him in an unmarked grave. His achievements have faded, but throughout the years, a faithful few kept alive the legend of Dan Patch, and in Crazy Good, Charles Leerhsen travels through their world to bring back to life this fascinating story of triumph and treachery in small-town America and big-city racetracks.
It was 4:35 P.M. on Wednesday, April 5, 2006. The program's darkest hour had arrived in an unexpected and explosive announcement.
Pressler, a three-time ACC Coach of the Year, informed his team that its season was canceled and he had "resigned," effective immediately. While his words reverberated off the walls, hysteria erupted. Players cried, confused over a course of events that had spun wildly out of control. What began as an off-campus team party with two hired strippers had accelerated into a rape investigation -- one that exposed prosecutorial misconduct, shoddy police work, an administration's rush to judgment, and the media's disregard for the facts -- dividing both a prestigious university and the city of Durham.
Wiping away tears, Pressler demonstrated the steely resolve that helped him win more than two hundred games. For the next thirty minutes, Pressler put his personal situation aside and encouraged his players to stick together. He also made a bold promise: "One day, we will get a chance to tell the world the truth. One day."
This is that day.
Pressler, who has not done an interview since the saga began, has handed his private diary from those three weeks to New York Times bestselling author Don Yaeger, exposing vivid details, including the day Pressler was fired, when the coach asked Athletic Director Joe Alleva why the school "wasn't willing to wait for the truth" to come out. "It's not about the truth anymore," Alleva said to the coach in a signature moment that said it all. In addition to Pressler, Yaeger interviewed more than seventy-five key figures intimately involved in the case. The result is a tale that defies logic.
"It is tough to be one of fifty people who believed a story when fifty million people believed something else," Pressler said. "This wasn't about the truth to many of the others involved. My story is all about the truth."
In the 1960s, on the heels of the “Greatest Game Ever Played,” professional football began to flourish across the country—except in Texas, where college football was still the only game in town. But in an unlikely series of events, two young oil tycoons started their own professional football franchises in Dallas the very same year: the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and, as part of a new upstart league designed to thwart the NFL’s hold on the game, the Dallas Texans of the AFL. Almost overnight, a bitter feud was born.
The team owners, Lamar Hunt and Clint Murchison, became Mad Men of the gridiron, locked in a battle for the hearts and minds of the Texas pigskin faithful. Their teams took each other to court, fought over players, undermined each other’s promotions, and rooted like hell for the other guys to fail. A true visionary, Hunt of the Texans focused on the fans, putting together a team of local legends and hiring attractive women to drive around town in red convertibles selling tickets. Meanwhile, Murchison and his Cowboys focused on the game, hiring a young star, Tom Landry, in what would be his first-ever year as a head coach, and concentrating on holding their own against the more established teams in the NFL. Ultimately, both teams won the battle, but only one got to stay in Dallas and go on to become one of sports’ most quintessential franchises—”America’s Team.”
In this highly entertaining narrative, rich in colorful characters and unforgettable stunts, Eisenberg recounts the story of the birth of pro-football in Dallas—back when the game began to be part of this country’s DNA.
As They See 'Em is an insider's look at the largely unknown world of professional umpires, the small group of men (and the very occasional woman) who make sure America's favorite pastime is conducted in a manner that is clean, crisp, and true. Bruce Weber, a New York Times reporter, not only interviewed dozens of professional umpires but entered their world, trained to become an umpire, and then spent a season working games from Little League to big league spring training.
As They See 'Em is Weber's entertaining account of this experience as well as a lively exploration of what amounts to an eccentric secret society, with its own customs, its own rituals, its own colorful vocabulary. (Know what a "whacker" is? A "pole bender"? "Rat cheese"? Think you could "strap it on" or "take the stick"?) He explains the arcane set of rules by which umps work and details the exasperating, tortuous path that allows only a select few to graduate from the minor leagues to the majors. He describes what it's like to work in a ballpark where not only the fans but the players, the managers and coaches, the announcers, the team owners, and even the league presidents, resent them -- and vice versa. And he asks, quite sensibly, why anyone would do a job that offers the chance to earn only blame and never credit.
Weber reveals how umps are tutored to work behind the plate, what they learn to watch for on the bases, and how proper positioning for every imaginable situation on the field is drilled into them. He describes how they're counseled to respond -- or not -- to managers who are screaming at them from inches away with purposeful inanity, and tells us exactly which "magic" words result in an automatic ejection. Writing with deep knowledge of and affection for baseball, he delves into such questions as: Why isn't every strike created equal? Is the ump part of the game or outside of it? Why doesn't a tie go to the runner? And what do umps and managers say to each other during an argument, really?
In addition to professional umpires, Weber spoke to current and former players including Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Tom Glavine, Barry Zito, Paul Lo Duca, Kenny Lofton, Ron Darling, and Robin Yount, as well as former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent, Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, and many others in the professional game. He attended the 2006 and 2007 World Series, interviewing the umpire crews who called those games and who spoke candidly about the pressure of being scrutinized by millions -- maybe billions! -- of fans around the world, all of them armed with television's slo-mo, hi-def instant replay. As fans know, in 2008, a rash of miscalled home run balls led baseball, for the first time, to use replay to help big league umps make their decisions.Weber discusses these events and the umpires' surprising reaction to them.
Packed with fascinating reportage that reveals the game as never before and answers the kinds of questions that fans, exasperated by the clichés of conventional sports commentary, pose to themselves around the television set, Bruce Weber's As They See 'Em is a towering grand slam.
But for Tito Ortiz, life very nearly took a different path. Growing up in Huntington Beach, California, Ortiz spent part of his childhood living in motels and in the backs of other people's houses, as his heroin-addicted parents were forced to leave one apartment after another. By the time he was in sixth grade, he had dabbled in almost every drug available, and his early youth involved time in juvenile detention centers, a string of petty crimes, and a stint in a local gang. Then, in high school, Tito discovered wrestling -- the perfect match for this tough, streetwise, ambitious kid.
Tito made his mixed martial arts debut at UFC 13 in 1997, winning his first fight in twenty-two seconds. In 2000, he was chosen as a light heavyweight contender in UFC 25 and took the belt, successfully defending it five times in the following three years.
Tito Ortiz pulls no punches as he recounts his journey from Huntington Beach Bad Boy to UFC superstardom -- his difficult upbringing, his first marriage and struggles with fidelity, his battles with the UFC, his career highs and lows, and his current happy relationship with former porn star Jenna Jameson. An inspirational story of beating the odds, and an incredible glimpse into just what it takes to win in the world's most brutal arena, This Is Gonna Hurt is raw, frank, funny, and as fearless as its subject.
Here are profiles of more than 70 fringe, far-fetched, and frightening sports, all featured in up-close-and-personal photos. With everything from wayward warfare (Japanese mudflinging, team snowball fighting, professional shin kicking) to displaced races (swamp soccer, outhouse racing, underwater cycling, or elephant polo), to toe- and finger-wrestling, chess boxing, extreme mountain unicycling, spitting and hurling contests, city-wide brawls, and recess games gone grown-up, there's something here to tickle any competitor's freaky streak.
In the late 1880s, Frank Lenz of Pittsburgh, a renowned high-wheel racer and long-distance tourist, dreamed of cycling around the world. He finally got his chance by recasting himself as a champion of the downsized “safety-bicycle” with inflatable tires, the forerunner of the modern road bike that was about to become wildly popular. In the spring of 1892 he quit his accounting job and gamely set out west to cover twenty thousand miles over three continents as a correspondent for Outing magazine. Two years later, after having survived countless near disasters and unimaginable hardships, he approached Europe for the final leg.
Lenz never made it. His mysterious disappearance in eastern Turkey sparked an international outcry and compelled Outing to send William Sachtleben, another larger-than-life cyclist, on Lenz’s trail. Bringing to light a wealth of information, David Herlihy’s gripping narrative captures the soaring joys and constant dangers accompanying the bicycle adventurer in the days before paved roads and automobiles. This untold story culminates with Sachtleben’s heroic effort to bring Lenz’s accused murderers to justice, even as troubled Turkey teetered on the edge of collapse.
Golf’s wholesome reputation is not what it used to be, thanks to Tiger Woods. But Woods’s bad boy scorecard doesn’t even compare to that of the sport’s original player: John Daly. Sherrie Daly should know. She was married to him for nine years.
It’s no secret that John, one of the PGA tour’s most popular stars, is known for his erratic behavior and on-the-edge lifestyle as much as for his powerful, grip-it-and-rip-it style on the green. But the never-ending carousel of free-flowing cash, booze, and women seduces many of the sport’s big-time swingers. In this juicy tell-all, Sherrie takes readers into the clubhouse to expose the seedy side of the gentleman’s game.
She dishes on John’s out-of-control antics throughout their marriage, many of which she helped cover up to protect his career, and his self-destructive addictions to whiskey, sex, and gambling, which led him to lose one of his biggest purses ever—nearly one million dollars—in an hour. She writes candidly about the physical and emotional abuse she endured and why she continued to play the role of golf wife despite the trashed hotel rooms, wrecked homes, and demolished cars. Then she turns the tables on herself, sharing the truth behind her catfights with his girlfriends, her legal troubles, and especially the night John alleged she attacked him with a steak knife.
Behind the polite clapping, collared shirts, and hushed voices, golf is just like any other professional sport, with groupies, party-crazed athletes, and blatant infidelity. After years in the exclusive players’ wives club, Sherrie Daly is Teed Off and ready to rip the game’s well-groomed façade to shreds.
Some of the stories are celebrated—from Ruth's called shot to Dimaggio's streak to Mays's catch. Some of the men are titans of the game—Mantle, Williams, Koufax. But alongside those stories passed from generation to generation, Daniel Okrent and Steve Wulf have assembled tales both hard-to-believe and a pleasure to read. From the Black Sox scandal to Bill Veeck's bizarre promotions, from its icons and iconoclasts, from the humble origins of the game to the landmark moments that made it the national pastime, Baseball Anecdotes reveals the enthralling (and often amusing) game that goes on both on the field and behind the scenes of baseball.
P. G. Johnson was a blue-collar wizard, a hardscrabble tough guy who had come east from Chicago, determined to make his mark on New York. And he did. He became leading trainer at all three New York tracks -- Saratoga, Belmont, and Aqueduct -- as well as at Florida's Tropical Park. And he did it without ever winning a Triple Crown or Breeders' Cup event, or having "the big horse."
"I never knew how to kiss rich people's asses, and I got too old to learn. If no owner was going to give me a big horse, I figured I'd have to find one myself," he said. He did that, in his seventies, buying a mare for $8,000, breeding her to a $20,000 stallion, and in 1998 producing Volponi, the horse that would change his life.
In October 2002, weakened by surgery and radiation treatment for cancer, P. G. watched Volponi -- the longest shot in the field at 43 to 1 -- bring home more than $2 million by winning the Breeders' Cup Classic, the richest race in America.
The following summer at Saratoga, McGinniss -- journalist, investigative reporter, and horse racing obsessive -- began showing up, more Tuesdays with Morrie than Guys and Dolls, at P. G.'s barn in the predawn hours to listen to the inside racing stories and lore P. G. had gathered. McGinniss came to appreciate that Johnson was not only a stellar horseman but an American original whose wit and wisdom carried far beyond the confines of the racetrack.
As for Volponi, the big horse had given P. G. the perfect Disney ending with the Breeders' Cup victory, and, indeed, Disney soon bought film rights to P. G.'s life story. "He'll be even better next year," P. G. had said, but by the time McGinniss got to Saratoga, Volponi had not won a race in nine months. His faith undiminished, P. G. continued to race Volponi against the best, at Saratoga and beyond, until in the end it came down to the 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic in Santa Anita, a race only one horse in history had ever won twice. As fires burned in the Southern California hills, Volponi -- with Funny Cide's jockey, Jose Santos, in the saddle -- ran the last race of his life.
This book is about what happened that day, about what came after, and about much of what had come before. It's the most exciting, rewarding, and heartwarming story about the world of horse racing that you'll ever read, by one of America's finest writers, at the top of his form.
Since then he has taken on a new role: whistle-blowing, truth-telling reformer. And in telling his own story, Luchs pulls back the curtain on the real economy of college football: how agents win players legally and otherwise, the staggering sums colleges make from an unpaid workforce, the shortfalls of supposed full-ride scholarships, and the myth of a college education given to scholarship jocks. Including new information about major players and scandalized programs such as USC, Auburn, and Ohio State, this book pulls no punches. It's a stunning and necessary read for anyone who loves the game, and the first step toward fixing a broken system.
Praise for Josh Luchs' Sports Illustrated story:
"There are no innocents in all this-including Luchs. The difference now is Luchs isn't claiming to be innocent." -John Feinstein, Washington Post
"[Luchs pulls] the inner workings of an oily business out of the shadows."-Pat Forde, ESPN
"A must-read."-New York Times
Blending witty travelogue with action on the field—and shady dealings in back rooms—George Vecsey offers an eye-opening, globe-trotting account of the last eight World Cups. He immerses himself in the great national leagues, historic clubs, and devoted fans and provides his up-close impressions of charismatic stars like Sócrates, Maradona, Baggio, and Zidane, while also chronicling the rise of the U.S. men's and women's teams.
Vecsey shows how each host nation has made the World Cup its own, from the all-night street parties in Spain in 1982 to the roar of vuvuzelas in South Africa in 2010, as the game in the stadium is backed up by the game in the street. But the joy is sometimes undermined by those who style themselves the game's protectors.
With his characteristic sharp reporting and eye for detail, Vecsey brings this global event to vivid life and has written a perfect companion for the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Von der Ahe picked up the team for one reason—to sell more beer. Then he helped gather a group of ragtag professional clubs together to create a maverick new league that would fight the haughty National League, reinventing big-league baseball to attract Americans of all classes. Sneered at as “The Beer and Whiskey Circuit” because it was backed by brewers, distillers, and saloon owners, their American Association brought Americans back to enjoying baseball by offering Sunday games, beer at the ballpark, and a dirt-cheap ticket price of 25 cents.
The womanizing, egocentric, wildly generous Von der Ahe and his fellow owners filled their teams' rosters with drunks and renegades, and drew huge crowds of rowdy spectators who screamed at umpires and cheered like mad as the Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns fought to the bitter end for the 1883 pennant.
In The Summer of Beer and Whiskey, Edward Achorn re-creates this wondrous and hilarious world of cunning, competition, and boozing, set amidst a rapidly transforming America. It is a classic American story of people with big dreams, no shortage of chutzpah, and love for a brilliant game that they refused to let die.
Amped is the first comprehensive account of the history, culture, and business of action sports-skateboarding, snowboarding, BMX, and freestyle motocross. Journalist David Browne interviews more than 100 athletes, pioneers, industry executives, manufacturers, and the adolescent amateurs at the heart of this movement. On his journey, he unravels the eye-opening tale of a flourishing culture that continues to reject old-fashioned stick-and-ball sports in favor of individualistic forms of expression, and that culture's struggle to hold on to its integrity despite the demands of corporate sponsors.
David Browne is the music critic for Entertainment Weekly and author of Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley, which was a finalist for the Ralph J. Gleason Award. A former reporter for the New York Daily News, he has also written for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, and New York, among other publications. He lives in Manhattan.
"A rapid, thrillingly written look at the industry's evolution, one that fully appreciates the dizzying heights as well as the devastating lows that extreme sports have witnessed over the last four decades."-Spin
"A must buy!"-Maxim
"Whether he's hanging out with the pros on the tour bus, checking in with participants at a skate camp or meeting with ESPN executives to discuss the launch of the X Games, the candor Browne elicits from his interview subjects is impressive."-Publishers Weekly
"Well researched and nicely presented, Amped is an engaging look at the history and increasing popularity of action sports."-San Francisco Chronicle
Also available: HC 1-58234-317-9 $24.95
In Unplayable, veteran journalist Robert Lusetich offers an in-depth look at the world’s most recognizable yet least known athlete, Tiger Woods. Lusetich, who first interviewed Woods in the late 1990s and has written about him since 1996, was the only writer to cover every PGA Tour event the world’s number one golfer played in 2009.
Unplayable tells of the unfolding of Tiger’s most pivotal season on the golf course— with his first ever hiatuses from professional play—and provides extensive reporting and the backstory to show who the most elusive man in all of sports really is. Lusetich peels away the layers of the Woods persona to create a portrait that is neither unsympathetic nor hesitant to shed light on Tiger’s shortcomings. This rich, insightful account reveals: what actually makes Woods the game’s dominant player; how his upbringing influenced who he is today and how he has changed over time; and the nature of his relationships with his family, former and current friends, celebrity athletes, peers, coaches, sports agents, sponsors, and the media and public itself.
Based on one-of-a-kind access, Unplayable is a gripping look at the man who changed golf and inspired more fans around the world than anyone else in the history of the sport.
In the tradition of Seabiscuit and The Summer of ’49, a gripping sports narrative that brilliantly tells the amazing individual stories of the unforgettable athletes who gathered in Mexico City in a year of dramatic upheaval.
The 1968 Mexico City Olympics reflected the spirit of their revolutionary times. Richard Hoffer’s Something in the Air captures the turbulence and offbeat heroism of that historic Olympiad, which was as rich in inspiring moments as it was drenched in political and racial tensions.
Although the basketball star Lew Alcindor decided to boycott, heavyweight boxer George Foreman not only competed, but waved miniature American flags over his fallen opponents. The sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos became as famous for their raised-fist gestures of protest as their speed on the track. No one was prepared for Bob Beamon’s long jump, which broke the world’s record by a staggering twenty-two inches. And then there was Dick Fosbury, the goofball high jumper whose backwards, upside down approach to the bar (the "Fosbury Flop") baffled his coaches while breaking records. Though Fosbury was his own man, he was apolitical and easygoing. He didn’t defy authority; he defied gravity.
Witty, insightful, and filled with human drama, Something in the Air mixes Shakespearean complexity with Hollywood sentimentality, sociopolitical significance, and the exhilarating spectacle of youthful, physical prowess. It is a powerful, unforgettable tale that will resonate with sports fans and readers of social history alike.
Navy’s team was ranked number two, Army’s number one and on the verge of becoming national champions. Everywhere, the war stopped as soldiers listened to the broadcast. Randy Roberts has interviewed the surviving players and coaches, bringing their stories to life. For three years, military upperclassmen graduated and joined the fight. For three hours, their alma mater gave them back one unforgettable performance.
“The story of Army’s celebrated 1944 national championship team is a fascinating one, and its victory over Navy that year is remembered as one of college football’s greatest games. But Randy Roberts’s A Team for America tells an even greater story. It is a story of our country. Of a time when college football — and this remarkable Army team — helped rekindle hope and confidence throughout the land.” — Brigadier General Peter M. Dawkins, U.S. Army (Ret.), 1958 Heisman Trophy winner, West Point
"Roberts brings a historian’s thoroughness to the subject . . . A fascinating time in American collegiate sports history." — Kirkus Reviews
How did this happen? Where did Wilpon go wrong, and why does a fraud victim suddenly owe money? The truth about these questions has been largely hidden, but in this short book, the whole story is fully revealed. In this tight narrative, Howard Megdal tells the dramatic financial tale and proves a surprising truth: Wilpon's thirty-year reign as owner of the Mets is about to end.
Perhaps the most public victim of the Madoff scandal, Wilpon now faces a long road, and likely a difficult offseason. Here Megdal articulates both Wilpon's position and those against him. Like Michael Lewis' The Big Short, this book unravels the world of a major investment scandal through an entertaining and recognizable story.
Through extensive interviews and covering the Mavericks as a passionate journalist, Sturm illuminates what exactly brought the Mavericks together as a team. THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT covers all the important details of the Dallas Mavericks' 2011 championship season, including: The transformation of the Dallas Mavericks franchise from perennial loser to NBA powerhouse. Dirk Nowitzki's career-long battle to cement his dynasty with an NBA championship, including a bitter loss in the 2006 Finals to Dwyane Wade's Miami Heat. Tracing the ups and downs of the 2011 campaign, as the Mavs soared to the top of the standings, only to suffer critical injuries mid-season and a string of losses which threatened their playoff hopes. A game-by-game recap of the Mavericks' 2011 playoff run, as they battled through the quarter-, semi-, and Western Conference Finals for a chance to compete for the NBA championship. The epic story of the 2011 NBA Finals, as Nowitzki and the Mavs took on Miami's "Big Three," in a rematch of Dallas' heartbreaking loss in the 2006 Finals, and how the Mavericks overcame all odds to win their first NBA Championship.
“Al Bernstein came into boxing during one of its greatest eras—the 1980s. Boxing was like a flower blossoming at that time. Al was right there for it. This book is so well written that it captures that feeling and as a reader I felt like he took me back to that time. Al is still at the top of his game as a broadcaster and this book shows why he has come so far and why he has announced more boxing than anybody else.” —Emanuel Steward, Hall of Fame trainer, manager, and broadcaster
"Like a conversation with Al. Funny, perceptive and refreshing." —Dave Farrar, author of THE PERFECT PUNTER, and British boxing commentator
“From rodeo cowboy to nightclub singer to consummate boxing analyst, Al Bernstein's life is full of surprise, humor, and humanity. He takes us into the boxing world in a very exceptional way that I find mesmerizing. Terrific writing, it’s clear Al has a nimble mind and very, very fast hands.”—Garry Shandling, Emmy award winning comedian/actor
For just over 30 years Al Bernstein has been one of the most recognizable and respected sportscasters in America. In those three decades, the “voice of boxing” reported the funny, poignant, and bizarre events that helped shape sports television, ESPN, boxing, Las Vegas, and SHOWTIME. With an eclectic cast of characters that includes every big name in boxing, including Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, as well as such names in the entertainment world as Rodney Dangerfield, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe, and Jerry Lewis, Bernstein's memoir will have you in stitches.
In these essays, written between 1954 and 1990, bestselling author Roger Kahn touches on locker-room controversies and politics, while inviting readers to share in the passion, grace, energy, and intense concentration involved in playing sports. Kahn pays warm tribute to his special heroes, Jackie Robinson, Roger Maris and Carl Furillo, along with those he particularly admired in the press box, John Lardner and Red Smith. Kahn also esteems football lineman Merlin Olsen, hockey goalie Glenn Hall, cager Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, outfielder Mickey Mantle, boxing promoter Don King, and last piece, "Story Without a Hero," about Pete Rose.
Praise for Roger Kahn:
"As a kid, I loved sports first and writing second, and loved everything Roger Kahn wrote. As an adult, I love writing first and sports second, and love Roger Kahn even more." —Pulitzer Prize winner, David Maraniss
"He can epitomize a player with a single swing of the pen." —TIME magazine
"Roger Kahn is the best baseball writer in the business." —Stephen Jay Gould, New York Review of Books
"Kahn has the almost unfair gift of easy, graceful writing." —BOSTON HERALD
Never was a man better placed to write on the sport. From the grassroots to elite professionalism, Greenwood has made his name as the face of intelligent and entertaining rugby writing and punditry. From hilarious character sketches of players to technical discussion of scrummaging and World Cup reminiscences, Greenwood delivers unrivalled writing on rugby that takes the reader to the heart of the game.