The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s personified the flamboyance and excess of the decade over which they reigned. Beginning with the arrival of Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the number-one overall pick of the 1979 draft, the Lakers played basketball with gusto and pizzazz, unleashing their famed “Showtime” run-and-gun style on a league unprepared for their speed and ferocity—and became the most captivating show in sports and, arguably, in all-around American entertainment. The Lakers’ roster overflowed with exciting all-star-caliber players, including center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and they were led by the incomparable Pat Riley, known for his slicked-back hair, his Armani suits, and his arrogant strut. Hollywood’s biggest celebrities lined the court and gorgeous women flocked to the arena. Best of all, the team was a winner. Between 1980 and 1991, the Lakers played in an unmatched nine NBA championship series, capturing five of them.
Bestselling sportswriter Jeff Pearlman draws from almost three hundred interviews to take the first full measure of the Lakers’ epic Showtime era. A dazzling account of one of America’s greatest sports sagas, Showtime is packed with indelible characters, vicious rivalries, and jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes stories of the players’ decadent Hollywood lifestyles. From the Showtime era’s remarkable rise to its tragic end—marked by Magic Johnson’s 1991 announcement that he had contracted HIV—Showtime is a gripping narrative of sports, celebrity, and 1980s-style excess.
Foreword by Malcolm Gladwell
Newly updated with fresh takes on LeBron, Kobe, the Celtics & more*
Bill Simmons, the wildly opinionated and thoroughly entertaining basketball addict known to millions as ESPN.com’s The Sports Guy, has written the definitive book on the past, present, and future of the NBA. From the age-old question of who actually won the rivalry between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to the one about which team was truly the best of all time, Simmons opens—and then closes, once and for all—every major pro basketball debate. Then he takes it further by completely reevaluating not only how NBA Hall of Fame inductees should be chosen but how the institution must be reshaped from the ground up, the result being the Pyramid: Simmons’s one-of-a-kind five-level shrine to the ninety-six greatest players in the history of pro basketball. And ultimately he takes fans to the heart of it all, as he uses a conversation with one NBA great to uncover that coveted thing: The Secret of Basketball.
Comprehensive, authoritative, controversial, hilarious, and impossible to put down (even for Celtic-haters), The Book of Basketball offers every hardwood fan a courtside seat beside the game’s finest, funniest, and fiercest chronicler.
*Including even more footnotes!
With intimate, fly-on-the-wall detail, When the Game Was Ours transports readers to this electric era of basketball and reveals for the first time the inner workings of two players dead set on besting one another. From the heady days of trading championships to the darker days of injury and illness, we come to understand Larry’s obsessive devotion to winning and how his demons drove him on the court. We hear him talk with candor about playing through chronic pain and its truly exacting toll. In Magic we see a young, invincible star struggle with the sting of defeat, not just as a player but as a team leader. We are there the moment he learns he’s contracted HIV and hear in his own words how that devastating news impacted his relationships in basketball and beyond. But always, in both cases, we see them prevail.
A compelling, up-close-and-personal portrait of basketball’s most inimitable duo, When the Game Was Ours is a reevaluation of three decades in counterpoint. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball’s best times.
Whether you know Athletics or not, and even whether you know sport or not, chances are you know Usain Bolt. The fastest man on the planet, not just now but ever, Usain has won the hearts of people everywhere with his mind-blowing performances and his infectious charisma – uniting supporters around the world.
In this, his full autobiography, Usain tells his story in his own words: from humble beginnings in Jamaica, to international stardom at Beijing and on to the new heights of superstardom he has reached since lighting up London 2012.
Full of the charm and charisma that has made him the most popular sporting figure of our time and a universal celebrity, this is a book that Usain’s millions of fans will love.
In the 1820s, a fellow named Sam Patch grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, working there (when he wasn't drinking) as a mill hand for one of America's new textile companies. Sam made a name for himself one day by jumping seventy feet into the tumultuous waters below Pawtucket Falls. When in 1827 he repeated the stunt in Paterson, New Jersey, another mill town, an even larger audience gathered to cheer on the daredevil they would call the "Jersey Jumper." Inevitably, he went to Niagara Falls, where in 1829 he jumped not once but twice in front of thousands who had paid for a good view.
The distinguished social historian Paul E. Johnson gives this deceptively simple story all its deserved richness, revealing in its characters and social settings a virtual microcosm of Jacksonian America. He also relates the real jumper to the mythic Sam Patch who turned up as a daring moral hero in the works of Hawthorne and Melville, in London plays and pantomimes, and in the spotlight with Davy Crockett—a Sam Patch who became the namesake of Andrew Jackson's favorite horse.
In his shrewd and powerful analysis, Johnson casts new light on aspects of American society that we may have overlooked or underestimated. This is innovative American history at its best.
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.
At five feet ten inches tall, running back Walter Peyton was not the largest player in the NFL, but he developed a larger-than-life reputation for his strength, speed, and grit. Nicknamed "Sweetness" during his college football days, he became the NFL's all-time leader in rushing and all-purpose yards, capturing the hearts of fans in his adopted Chicago.
Crafted from interviews with more than 700 sources, acclaimed sportswriter Jeff Pearlman has produced the first definitive biography of Payton. Sweetness at last brings fans a detailed, scrupulously researched, all-encompassing account of the legend's rise to greatness. From Payton's childhood in segregated Mississippi, where he ended a racial war by becoming the star of his integrated high school's football team, to his college years and his twelve-year NFL career, Sweetness brims with stories of all-American heroism, and covers Payton's life off the field as well. Set against the backdrop of the tragic illness that cut his life short at just forty- six years of age, this is a stirring tribute to a singular icon and the lasting legacy he made.
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.
Knight granted Feinstein an unprecedented inside look at college basketball -- with complete access to every moment of the season. Feinstein saw and heard it all -- practices, team meetings, strategy sessions, and mid-game huddles -- during Knight's struggle to avoid a losing season.
A Season on the Brink not only captures the drama and pressure of big-time college basketball but paints a vivid portrait of a complex, brilliant coach walking a fine line between genius and madness.
The beautiful game deserves a beautiful book, and Eduardo Galeano—one of Latin America’s most acclaimed authors—has written it. From Aztec champions sacrificed to appease the gods, to the goals that were literally scored into wooden posts in Victorian England, to Spain’s victory in the 2010 World Cup, Soccer in Sun and Shadow is a history of the sport unlike any other.
Galeano portrays the irruption of South American soccer that made the game sublime: the elegant, mischievous, joyful style based on deft dribbling, close passes, and quick changes in rhythm, perfected by poor black children who had no toy but a rag ball. He describes the superstitions that vex players, the martyrdom of referees, the exquisite misery of fans, the sad denouement of stars past their prime.
Striding across the pages are players born with the ball—and entire nations—at their feet: Arthur Friedenreich, the son of a German immigrant and a black washerwoman, who first brought Brazilian style from the slums into the stadiums; Brazil’s Garrincha, whose body, warped by polio, could make the ball dance; and the Dutch great Ruud Gullit, who campaigned against apartheid on and off the pitch. And, of course, Beckenbauer, Pelé, Cruyff, and Maradona, a man blessed with “the hand of God” and a left foot equally as divine.
Soccer in Sun and Shadow traces the rise of the soccer industry and the concurrent voyage “from beauty to duty”: attempts to impose a soccer of lightning speed and brute force, one that disdains fantasy and forfeits play for results. Eduardo Galeano, who describes himself as “a beggar for good soccer,” gives the world’s most popular sport all the poetry, passion, and politics it deserves.
“What a book—an exquisite exercise in story-telling, democracy and myth-making.” —Colum McCann, winner of the National Book Award for Let The Great World Spin
From Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Dan Barry comes the beautifully recounted story of the longest game in baseball history—a tale celebrating not only the robust intensity of baseball, but the aspirational ideal epitomized by the hard-fighting players of the minor leagues. In the tradition of Moneyball, The Last Hero, and Wicked Good Year, Barry’s Bottom of the 33rd is a reaffirming story of the American Dream finding its greatest expression in timeless contests of the Great American Pastime.
From Acclaimed sports journalist Gary Myers comes the definitive inside account of the greatest rivalry in NFL history
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are perhaps the two greatest quarterbacks of all time. They are living legends who have come to embody the quarterback position and shape an entire generation of the NFL. They have also been fierce rivals every step of the way, and their many epic duels have not only ranked among the best and most exciting games ever played, they have fundamentally shaped the lives of and careers of both men.
But for all their shared brilliance, they are a study in contrasts. Tom is the underdog turned ultimate winner, an unheralded draft pick who went on to win a miraculous Super Bowl and become the leader of one of the NFL’s greatest dynasties. He is as firmly associated with big game brilliance as anyone who has ever played. Meanwhile Peyton was born into NFL royalty and a mountain of outsized expectations, yet somehow lived up to and exceeded all the hype, claiming virtually every passing record along his path to football immortality.
The contrast in greatness—between the overachieving underdog and the crown prince of football, between postseason brilliance and statistical dominance—has served as an endless source of fascination for fans and media, and over the years as the two players have faced off again and again in classic games, the argument has only intensified.
But until now, there has never been a definitive treatment of the debate that tells the real story.
What do Tom and Peyton actually think of each other? What do their coaches think of them? What about teammates and opposing players? What are they like behind closed doors and in the locker room, and how does that influence their careers? How did their vastly different upbringings shape them, and how has each handled the injuries, setbacks and defeats they’ve dealt with over their careers?
In this extraordinary book, veteran NFL correspondent Gary Myers tackles this subject from every angle and with unprecedented access and insight, drawing on a huge number of never-before-heard interviews with Brady and Manning, their coaches, their families, and those who have played with them and against them. The result is a remarkable collection of the most entertaining and revealing stories ever told about Peyton and Tom, from how they developed their vastly different leadership styles, to the unlikely friendship they’ve built over the years, to their respective exploits as locker room pranksters.
Wildly entertaining and deeply thought-provoking, Brady vs Manning is essential reading for anyone who truly wants to understand these extraordinary players.
From the Hardcover edition.
-World 9-Ball Champion Billy Incardona
"I've known Jay since the 60's. Although he loved to compete, he became more respected as a great game maker and money winner who helped out many a pool player when down on their luck."
-World All Around Champion Danny Diliberto
"Jay is the 'go to' man in pool. He is a living historian and a source for all pool info. As an accomplished player himself, he evolved into every aspect of the sport. He has given sage advice to up-and-coming players as well as champions. Jay is a valued member of the pool community who gets a nod and a smile from all who know him."
-Pat Fleming, ACCU-Stats Video Productions
In this long-waited book from the rising superstar of sportswriting, whose blog Edge of Sports is read each week by thousands of people across the country, Dave Zirin offers a riotously entertaining chronicle of larger-than-life sporting characters and dramatic contests and what amounts to an alternative history of the United States as seen through the games its people played. Through Zirin’s eyes, sports are never mere games, but a reflection of—and spur toward—the political conflicts that shape American society.
Half a century before Jackie Robinson was born, the black ballplayer Moses Fleetwood Walker brandished a revolver to keep racist fans at bay, then took his regular place in the lineup. In the midst of the Depression, when almost no black athletes were allowed on the U.S. Olympic team, athletes held a Counter Olympics where a third of the participants were African American.
A People’s History of Sports in the United States is replete with surprises for seasoned sports fans, while anyone interested in history will be amazed by the connections Zirin draws between politics and pop flies. As Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, puts it, “After you read him, you’ll never see sports the same way again.”
This updated edition of Gorn's highly influential history of the early prize rings features a new afterword, the author's meditation on the ways in which studies of sport, gender, and popular culture have changed in the quarter century since the book was first published. An up-to-date bibliography ensures that The Manly Art will remain a vital resource for a new generation.
For over half a century, Superstars have battled to win the WWE Championship. While the name may have changed, the prestige attached to the championship has exploded. That is due in no small part to the immortals of wrestling who have held this coveted title—Bruno Sammartino taking the title from the first holder, Buddy Rogers...the totally unexpected win of “Superstar” Billy Graham...Hulk Hogan’s win over the Iron Sheik, who had refused a payoff to injure Hogan...Andre the Giant’s surrender of the title to Ted DiBiase...the newcomer win of the Undertaker...the commanding wrestling abilities of Bret Hart...Shawn Michaels’s win in Montreal...the stunning victories of Stone Cold Steve Austin...the triumph of the People’s Champion, The Rock...Triple H playing the game...the never-surrender attitude of John Cena.
This is the chronicle of how the title that is now known as the WWE Championship became sports-entertainment’s most coveted prize.
Based on more than ninety original interviews, here is the rollicking chronicle of the famed Washington Redskins teams of the Joe Gibbs years—one of the most remarkable and unique runs in NFL history. From 1981 to 1992, Gibbs coached the franchise to three Super Bowl victories, making the team the toast of the nation’s capital, from the political elite to the inner city, and helping to define one of the sport’s legendary eras.
Veteran sportswriter Adam Lazarus masterfully charts the Redskins’ rise from mediocrity (the franchise had never won a Super Bowl and Gibbs’s first year as head coach started with a five-game losing streak that almost cost him his job) to its stretch of four championship games in ten years. What makes their sustained success all the more remarkable, in retrospect, is that unlike the storied championship wins of Joe Montana’s 49ers and Tom Brady’s Patriots, the Redskins’ Super Bowl victories each featured a different starting quarterback: Joe Theismann in 1983, the franchise’s surprising first championship run; Doug Williams in 1988, a win full of meaning for a majority African American city during a tumultuous era; and Mark Rypien in 1992, capping one of the greatest seasons of all time, one that stands as Gibbs’s masterpiece.
Hail to the Redskins features an epic roster of saints and sinners: hard-drinking fullback John Riggins; the dominant, blue-collar offensive linemen known as “the Hogs,” who became a cultural phenomenon; quarterbacks Williams, the first African American QB to win a Super Bowl, and Theisman, a model-handsome pitchman whose leg was brutally broken by Lawrence Taylor on Monday Night Football; gregarious defensive end Dexter Manley, who would be banned from the league for cocaine abuse; and others including the legendary speedster Darrell Green, record-breaking receiver Art Monk, rags-to-riches QB Rypien, expert general managers and talent evaluators Bobby Beathard and Charley Casserly, aristocratic owner Jack Kent Cooke, and, of course, Gibbs himself, a devout Christian who was also a ruthless competitor and one of the sport’s most adaptable and creative coaching minds.
A must-read for any fan, Hail to the Redskins builds on Lazarus’s interviews with key inside sources to vividly re-create the plays, the players, the fans, and the opponents that shaped this unforgettable football dynasty.
Salazar had faced death before, but he survived that and numerous other harrowing episodes thanks to his raw physical talent, maniacal training habits, and sheer will, as well as—he strongly believes—divine grace.
In 14 Minutes, Salazar chronicles in spellbinding detail how a shy, skinny Cuban-American kid from the suburbs of Boston was transformed into the greatest marathon runner of his era. For the first time, he reveals his tempestuous relationship with his father, a former ally of Fidel Castro; his early running life in high school with the Greater Boston Track Club; his unhealthy obsession to train through pain; the dramatic wins in New York, Boston, and South Africa; and how surviving 14 minutes of death taught him to live again.
“One of the five best NBA books ever written.”
—Bill Simmons, ESPN
In the 1990-91 basketball season, the Boston Celtics were a team in transition, both on and off the court. Jack McCallum, also the author of the critically-acclaimed SEVEN SECONDS OR LESS, chronicled this crucial year from the back-room planning on draft day to Larry Bird’s unforgettable effort in the postseason.
With aging superstar Bird nearing the end of his career, the season was filled with glorious highs and devastating lows. McCallum gets up close and personal with the players and management from this storied franchise, showing the larger-than-life characters in a rarely-seen light. The day-to-day drama of Bird's aching back plays in concert with the drumbeat of banter from his frontcourt partner, Kevin McHale. The book reveals the deep bonds—and sometimes deeper rivalries—of the locker room, and also provides an inside look at a league that was entering its Golden Age.
In the fall of 1992, America's National Pastime is in crisis and already on the path to the unthinkable: cancelling a World Series for the first time in history. The owners are at war with each other, their decades-long battle with the players has turned America against both sides, and the players' growing addiction to steroids will threaten the game's very foundation.
It is a tipping point for baseball, a crucial moment in the game's history that catalyzes a struggle for power by three strong-willed men: Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and union leader Don Fehr. It's their uneasy alliance at the end of decades of struggle that pulls the game back from the brink and turns it into a money-making powerhouse that enriches them all.
This is the real story of baseball, played out against a tableau of stunning athletic feats, high-stakes public battles, and backroom political deals--with a supporting cast that includes Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, Joe Torre and Derek Jeter, George Bush and George Mitchell, and many more.
Drawing from hundreds of extensive, exclusive interviews throughout baseball, The Game is a stunning achievement: a rigorously reported book and the must-read, fly-on-the-wall, definitive account of how an enormous struggle for power turns disaster into baseball's Golden Age.
On this night, a plane crash wiped out most of the schools football team. Unless you were there, you could never fully comprehend the gravity of grief that engulfed Huntington, West Virginia, in the days following the worst aviation disaster in the history of American sports.
I was there.
Ill never forget.
It could have been me on that plane.
I played football at MU for two seasons. A year before the tragedy, I left the team for personal reasons. When the school began the daunting task of resurrecting its football program in the spring of 71, it was a no-brainer decision for me to rejoin the team and become part of the rebuilding process.
Media projects devoted to the plane crash provide well-deserved notoriety. Still, there are glaring omissions. Now, for the first time, former Marshall defensive back Craig T. Greenlee tells the real story the whole story about Thundering Herd football from back in the day.
Dave Kindred -- uniquely equipped to tell the Ali-Cosell story after a decades-long intimate working relationship with both men -- re-creates their unlikely connection in ways never before attempted. From their first meeting in 1962 through Ali's controversial conversion to Islam and refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army (the right for him to do both was publicly defended by Cosell), Kindred explores both the heroics that created the men's upward trajectories and the demons that brought them to sadness in their later lives. Kindred draws on his experiences with Ali and Cosell, fresh reporting, and interviews with scores of key personalities -- including the families of both. In the process, Kindred breaks new ground in our understanding of these two unique men. The book presents Ali not as a mythological character but as a man in whole, and it shows Cosell not in caricature but in faithful scale. With vivid scenes, poignant dialogue, and new interpretations of historical events, this is a biography that is novelistically engrossing -- a richly evocative portrait of the friendship that shaped two giants and changed sports and television forever.
---Dave Kindred, author of Sound and Fury: Two Powerful Lives, One Fateful Friendship
The Missing Ring is more than a football book. It is both a story of a changing era and of an extraordinary team on a championship quest.
Very few institutions in American sports can match the enduring excellence of the University of Alabama football program. Across a wide swath of the last century, the tradition-rich Crimson Tide has claimed twelve national championships, captured twenty-five conference titles, finished thirty-four times among the country's top ten, and played in fifty-three bowl games.
Especially dominant during the era of the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant, the larger-than-life figure who towered over the landscape like no man before or since, Alabama entered the 1966 season with the chance to become the first college football team to win three consecutive national championships. Every aspect of Bryant's grueling system was geared around competing for the big prize each and every year, and in 1966 the idea of the threepeat tantalized the players, pushing them toward greatness. Driven by Bryant's enthusiasm, dedication, and perseverance, players were made to believe in their team and themselves. Led by the electrifying force of quarterback Kenny "Snake" Stabler and one of the most punishing defenses in the storied annals of the Southeastern Conference, the Crimson Tide cruised to a magical season, finishing as the nation's only undefeated, untied team. But something happened on the way to the history books.
The Missing Ring is the story of the one that got away, the one that haunts Alabama fans still, and native Alabamian Keith Dunnavant takes readers deep inside the Crimson Tide program during a more innocent time, before widespread telecasting, before scholarship limitations, before end-zone dances. Meticulously revealing the strategies, tactics, and personal dramas that bring the overachieving boys of 1966 to life, Dunnavant's insightful, anecdotally rich narrative shows how Bryant molded a diverse group of young men into a powerful force that overcame various obstacles to achieve perfection in an imperfect world.
Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the still-escalating Vietnam War, and a world and a sport teetering on the brink of change in a variety of ways, The Missing Ring tells an important story about the collision between football and culture. Ultimately, it is this clash that produces the Crimson Tide's most implacable foe, enabling the greatest injustice in college football history.
“Compelling…As becomes clear not long after its starting gun, this book transcends the search for a two-hour marathon.” —The Washington Post
Two hours to cover twenty-six miles and 385 yards. It is running’s Everest, a feat once seen as impossible for the human body. But now we can glimpse the mountaintop. The sub-two hour marathon will require an exceptional combination of speed, mental strength, and endurance. The pioneer will have to endure more, live braver, plan better, and be luckier than anyone who has run before. So who will it be?
In this spellbinding book, journalist Ed Caesar takes us into the world of elite marathoners: some of the greatest runners on earth. Through the stories of these rich characters, like Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, around whom the narrative is built, Caesar traces the history of the marathon as well as the science, physiology, and psychology involved in running so fast for so long. And he shows us why this most democratic of races retains its brutal, enthralling appeal—and why we are drawn to test ourselves to the limit.
Two Hours is a book about a beautiful sport few people understand. It takes us from big-money races in the United States and Europe to remote villages in Kenya. It’s about talent, heroism, and refusing to accept defeat. It is a book about running that is about much more than running. It is a human drama like no other.
In 1973, a Who's Who of golf's greats gathered at the Oakmont Country Club for the U.S. Open. Among those favored to win were Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Instead, Johnny Miller-a 26-year-old onetime phenom from San Francisco-astonished the golfing world by edging out the legends and crafting a record-setting 63 to win by a single stroke.
Featuring extensive archival and video research and candid interviews with leading golfers of the era, Chasing Greatness beautifully captures one of the unlikeliest victories and dramatic sports triumphs of the past half century. Authors Adam Lazarus and Steve Schlossman also chronicle the careers and the lives of six extraordinary figures during golf's modern-day golden era: Miller, Palmer, Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Weiskopf, and John Schlee.
The Masters is an amazing slice of history, taking us inside the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Augusta's most famous member. It is a look at how the new South coexists with the old South: the relationships between blacks and whites, between Southerners and Northerners, between rich and poor--with such characters as James Brown, the Godfather of Soul; the great boxer Beau Jack; and Frank Stranahan, the playboy golfer and the only white pro ever banned from the tournament. The Masters is a spellbinding portrait of a tournament unlike any other.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"A powerful and poignant memoir."—Cornel West, from the foreword
"John Carlos is an American hero. And finally he has written a memoir to tell us his story—and a powerful story it is. I couldn't put this book down."—Michael Moore
Seen around the world, John Carlos and Tommie Smith's Black Power salute on the 1968 Olympic podium sparked controversy and career fallout. Yet their show of defiance remains one of the most iconic images of Olympic history and the Black Power movement. Here is the remarkable story of one of the men behind the salute, lifelong activist John Carlos.
John Carlos is a former track and field athlete and professional football player, and a founding member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. He won the bronze medal in the 200-meter race at the 1968 Olympics, where his Black Power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith caused much political controversy.
Dave Zirin is the author of four books, including Bad Sports: How Owners are Ruining the Games We Love, A Peoples' History of Sports in the United States, and What's My Name, Fool?
For decades, the northeastern part of the United States, better known to insiders as the territory of the Capitol Wrestling Corporation, was considered the heart of the professional wrestling world. Capitol territory - from Boston southward to Washington, D.C. - enjoyed lucrative box-office receipts, and New York's Madison Square Garden was centre stage. Three generations of McMahons have controlled wrestling in that storied building and have since created the most powerful wrestling company the world has ever known.
Capitol Revolution: The Rise of the McMahon Wrestling Empire documents the growth and evolution of pro wrestling under the leadership of the McMahons, highlighting the many trials and tribulations beginning in the early 20th century: clashes with rival promoters, government inquests, and routine problems with the potent National Wrestling Alliance monopoly. In the ring, superstars such as Buddy Rogers and Bruno Sammartino entertained throngs of fans, and Capitol became internationally known for its stellar pool of vibrant performers.
Covering the transition from old-school wrestling under the WWWF banner to the pop-cultural juggernaut of the mid- to late-'80s WWF, Tim Hornbaker's Capitol Revolution is the detailed history of how the McMahons outlasted their opponents and fostered a billion-dollar empire.
The once-vaunted Green Bay Packers were a laughingstock by the late 1950s. They hadn’t fielded a winning team in more than a decade, and were close to losing their franchise to another city. They were in desperate need of a savior—and he arrived in a wood-paneled station wagon in the dead of winter from New York City.
In a single year, Vince Lombardi—the grizzled coach who took no bull—transformed a team of underachievers into winners and resurrected a Wisconsin city known for its passion for sport. He would lead them to championship to championship, and bring out the best in players including Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Willie Davis, Forrest Gregg, and many more. From an award-winning sportswriter, That First Season is “a compelling read about perhaps the most compelling coach ever to stride an NFL sideline” (Washington Times).
“Richly detailed in seamless prose, this is historical sportswriting at its finest.”—Lars Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of The Mannings: The Fall and Rise of a Football Family
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
It has had some successes here. The American Soccer League of the 1920s, Pélé and other international stars in the North American Soccer League's glamorous 1970s, the indoor soccer phenomenon of the 1980s, and the U.S. women's win in the Women's World Cup of 1999 all hinted that the American public is ready to embrace pro soccer.
In its short history, Major League Soccer (MLS) has survived and even started to thrive, drawing steady crowds and loyal fans. In Long-Range Goals, Beau Dure profiles teams and players, including D.C. United, the Los Angeles Galaxy, Landon Donovan, Freddy Adu, and Coach Bruce Arena, who are all vital to MLS. Some of the triumphs include an expansion of the league and its ownership group, the contribution of MLS players to a strong U.S. World Cup showing in 2002, and the construction of soccer stadiums nationwide. At the same time, MLS has occasionally stumbled, during costly legal battles with players and seeing two teams fold, but its investors have remained strong, figured out how to make money, and support the league.
From the league's formation in 1993 to the David Beckham era, this book reveals all the action on and off the pitch: the politics, the lawsuits, the management of its teams, and the savvy business deals that helped MLS rebound. It also revels in the big personalities of its stars, the grace of its utility players, and the obstacles the league faces in meeting its long-range goals.
From star running back Bryon “Bam” Morris’s interesting (and totally illegal) sideline career to the 1950s Kansas City A’s sneaky relationship with the New York Yankees; from French golfer Jean Van de Velde’s epic choke on 18 at the 1999 British Open to the infamous Cleveland Ten-Cent Beer Night riot of 1974; from Hungary’s bloody 1956 Olympic water polo match with the Soviet Union to the definitive analysis of basketball coach Larry Brown’s sartorial evolution and hoops maven Mike Fratello’s hair devolution–if it’s bad and sports related, then it’s likely in The Worst of Sports.
An uproarious collection of the most controversial and regrettable moments in major pro and college athletics, with a sprinkling of the obscure, The Worst of Sports is a compendium of abject failure, harebrained decision-making, avarice, and rank stupidity–in other words, the stuff that some athletes, and fans, are best at.
Whether you’re a casual fan or a face-painting zealot, you’ll find plenty to root for (or against) in The Worst of Sports.
“Original and funny, this book will entertain the pessimist that lurks in all of us who don’t root for the Yankees.”
–Mike Greenberg, author of Why My Wife Thinks I’m an Idiot
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Beginning with the seemingly innocent ponytail, the subject of the Introduction, scholar Jaime Schultz challenges the reader to look at the historical and sociological significance of now-common items such as sports bras and tampons and ideas such as sex testing and competitive cheerleading. Tennis wear, tampons, and sports bras all facilitated women’s participation in physical culture, while physical educators, the aesthetic fitness movement, and Title IX encouraged women to challenge (or confront) policy, financial, and cultural obstacles.
While some of these points of change increased women's physical freedom and sporting participation, they also posed challenges. Tampons encouraged menstrual shame, sex testing (a tool never used with male athletes) perpetuated narrowly-defined cultural norms of femininity, and the late-twentieth-century aesthetic fitness movement fed into an unrealistic beauty ideal.
Ultimately, Schultz finds that U.S. women's sport has progressed significantly but ambivalently. Although participation in sports is no longer uncommon for girls and women, Schultz argues that these "points of change" have contributed to a complex matrix of gender differentiation that marks the female athletic body as different than--as less than--the male body, despite the advantages it may confer.
March 28, 1992. The final of the NCAA East Regional, Duke vs. Kentucky. The 17,848 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and the millions watching on TV could say they saw the greatest game and the greatest shot in the history of college basketball. But it wasn't just the final play of the game-an 80-foot inbounds bass from Grant Hill to Christian Laettner with 2.1 seconds left in overtime- that made Duke's 104-103 victory so memorable. The Kentucky and Duke players and coaches arrived at that point from very different places, each with a unique story to tell.
In The Last Great Game, acclaimed ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski tells their stories in vivid detail, turning the game we think we remember into a drama filled with suspense, humor, revelations and reverberations. The cast alone is worth meeting again: Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Bobby Hurley, Jamal Mashburn, Christian Laettner, Sean Woods, Grant Hill, and Bobby Knight. Timed for the game's 20th anniversary, The Last Great Game isn't a book just for Duke or Kentucky or even basketball fans. It's a book for any reader who can appreciate that great moments in sports are the result of hard work, careful preparation, group psychology, and a little luck.
But like many stories of lionized athletes who rise to the status of legend, there was a fall—and in the case of Billy Cannon, also redemption. For the first time, Charles N. deGravelles reveals in full the thrilling highs and unexpected lows of Cannon’s life, in Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run.
Through conversations with Cannon, deGravelles follows the athlete-turned-reformer from his boyhood in a working-class Baton Rouge neighborhood to his sudden rush of fame as the leading high school running back in the country. Personal and previously unpublished stories about Cannon’s glory days at LSU and his stellar but controversial career in the pros, as well as details of his indictment for counterfeiting and his post-release work as staff dentist at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, unfold in a riveting biography characterized by uncanny success, deep internal struggles, and a champion’s spirit that pushed through it all.
New York Times bestseller 50 Years, 50 Moments celebrates five decades’ worth of memories, insights, and personal experiences of Super Sunday. Super Bowl MVP Jerry Rice has compiled his list of the most iconic, strategic, and record-breaking moments in football history from the Super Bowl’s inception to today—from the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I; to the amazing Miami Dolphins championship in Super Bowl VII that capped their seventeen-game undefeated season; to the heart-stopping Super Bowl XXV in which the New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19; and Super Bowl XLIX’s amazing last-second victory by the New England Patriots over defending champion Seattle Seahawks 28-24.
A Hall of Fame wide receiver who has played alongside and against some of the greatest players in the NFL, Jerry Rice, joined by accomplished sports researcher and journalist Randy O. Williams, draws on his intimate knowledge and insight of the game to highlight remarkable moments from this greatest game in modern sports. Rice’s access to the NFL means that 50 Years, 50 Moments is chock full of memories and insights directly from the athletes and coaches who were involved in these moments.
Pulling together all the catches, the interceptions, the fumbles and triumphant touchdowns that have made the Super Bowl an unforgettable experience. 50 Years, 50 Moments features marquee names like Joe Montana, Vince Lombardi, Roger Staubach, Walter “Sweetness” Payton, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath, Lawrence Taylor, “Mean Joe” Greene, as well as Tom Brady and is a handsome must-have keepsake for football fans everywhere that is sure to be treasured for generations to come.
While serving as assistant athletic director for compliance and student services at Marshall University from 1997 through 2001, Ridpath unearthed violations of several NCAA rules. These violations included overt academic fraud and impermissible, booster-devised employment for members of the Marshall University football teama team had taken the nation by storm because of its incredible success on the field. Ridpath now chronicles his experiences through this trying time in Tainted Glory: Marshall University, the NCAA, and One Mans Fight for Justice.
Instead of being hailed as a conquering hero determined to clean up an outlaw program, Ridpath had the tables turned on him. He found himself out of a job when Marshall University and the NCAA determined that the path of least resistance would be to remove him rather than address the issues head-on. With this action, they hoped to avoid damaging the university, the athletic department, and the NCAA overall.
This story is about more than the NCAA or Marshall University. It is about the state of the business of intercollegiate athletics told by someone on the inside who lived itthe good and the bad.
Though the sea change in American women's sports is evident in schools, the media, and local playing fields, scholars are still in the early stages of fully examining the causes and impacts of this historic change. Women and Sports in the United States brings together scholarly articles, journalism, political and legal documents, and first-person accounts that collectively explore women's sports in America, with emphasis on the post-Title IX era.
This book was published with the generous support of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University.
Heisman Trophy. The form is easy
to conjure, a graceful, fluid pose
that is football past and football present
in one dignified figure ...
The story of the Heisman Trophy
is an american epic.
-- from the Preface
No sport in America can match the pageantry, raw emotion, and thrilling tradition of college football. It is a world in which a twenty-year-old kid can become a national sensation overnight, in which coaches are deified and rivalries burn white-hot.
And in this world, there is no individual award so revered as the Heisman Trophy. Every yearsince 1935, one player has run, thrown, or kicked his way into the pantheon of American sport. From Nile "The Cornbelt Comet" Kinnick in the '30s, West Point's legendary backfield of Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis in the '40s, and Paul Hornung in the '50s to Ernie Davis, the Jackie Robinson of college football, miracle worker Doug Flutie, and modern-day Sunday warrior Eddie George, the history of the Heisman gives us insight into the heart of America through the lives of the heroes that entranced an entire nation for one brilliant season. Extraordinary in ways that transcend athletic ability, Heisman winners have gone on to become war heroes, Fortune 500 CEOs, and high-level politicians.
As John Heisman himself once said, the Heisman Trophy "is meant to exemplify the grandeur of a thousand men." Here within these pages are intimate portraits of some of the winners who also exemplify the grit and glory of America's beloved game and of the coaching giants such as Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, and Red Blaik, who inspired the winners to achieve.Told in the evocative words of Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist Bill Pennington, their heart-stopping experiences on the field and off will have Americans enthralled until the final page is turned.
Ditka retired in 1972 after stints with Philadelphia and Dallas (where he won Super Bowl VI), but he returned to Chicago as head coach in 1982. He became symbolic of the tough, hard-nosed, hyper-competitive style that defined the Bears through the 80s. Following the 1985 Bears' unforgettable season and Super Bowl victory, Ditka was enshrined as a hero in the minds of Bears fans everywhere.
Ditka will take readers on a fascinating and entertaining ride through the words of the award-winning Chicago Tribune journalists who covered "Iron Mike" for six decades. From his playing career to his coaching career, from personal triumphs to mishaps and scandals, Ditka is the ultimate fans' guide to the career and life of a Hall of Famer who came to define Chicago football in the modern age.
It was 1978. Jimmy Carter was president; gas prices were soaring; and Americans were hunkering down to weather the economic crisis. But Jim Fixx’s The Complete Book of Running was a bestseller. Frank Shorter’s gold medal in the 1972 Olympic marathon had put distance running on the minds of many Americans. The odd activity of “jogging” became “running,” and America was in love.
That summer, a junior from the University of Oregon named Alberto Salazar went up against Shorter and Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers at the Falmouth Road Race. Though he lost to Rodgers’s record-setting 32:21, the competition set the stage for an epic rivalry among the three greats. Each pushed the others to succeed and, in turn, inspired a nation of couch potatoes to put down the remote and lace up their sneakers.
“[A] lively, informative history.” — Newsweek/The Daily Beast
“Essential reading for runners both competitive and casual.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Kings of the Road is about marathon legends. It’s about running Fast. It’s about Will. It’s about the Real. It’s about drama of the finest kind.” —Bernd Heinrich, author of Why We Run and Racing the Antelope
“A rollicking, informed account of . . . how distance running helped define a generation.” —John Brant, author of Duel in the Sun and coauthor with Alberto Salazar of 14 Minutes
In the 1970s, the city of Pittsburgh was in need of heroes. In that decade the steel industry, long the lifeblood of the city, went into massive decline, putting 150,000 steelworkers out of work. And then the unthinkable happened: The Pittsburgh Steelers, perennial also-rans in the NFL, rose up to become the most feared team in the league, dominating opponents with their famed "Steel Curtain" defense, winning four Super Bowls in six years, and lifting the spirits of a city on the brink.
In The Ones Who Hit the Hardest, Chad Millman and Shawn Coyne trace the rise of the Steelers amidst the backdrop of the fading city they fought for, bringing to life characters such as: Art Rooney, the owner of the team so beloved by Pittsburgh that he was known simply as "The Chief"; Chuck Noll, the headstrong coach who used the ethos of steelworkers to motivate his players; Terry Bradshaw, the strong-armed and underestimated QB; Joe Green, the defensive tackle whose fighting nature lifted the franchise; and Jack Lambert, the linebacker whose snarling, toothless grin embodied the Pittsburgh defense.
Every story needs a villain, and in this one it's played by the Dallas Cowboys. As Pittsburgh rusted, the new and glittering metropolis of Dallas, rich from the capital infusion of oil revenue, signaled the future of America. Indeed, the town brimmed with such confidence that the Cowboys felt comfortable nicknaming themselves "America's Team." Throughout the 1970s, the teams jostled for control of the NFL-the Cowboys doing it with finesse and the Steelers doing it with brawn-culminating in Super Bowl XIII in 1979, when the aging Steelers attempted to hold off the Cowboys one last time. Thoroughly researched and grippingly written, The Ones Who Hit the Hardest is a stirring tribute to a city, a team, and an era.
Bookended by the close of the logging era and the 1970s shift to modern lake homes, condos, and Jet Skis, the 1920s to 1960s period covered in these essays represents the golden age of Northwoods camps and cabins—a time when retreats such as Wake Robin were the essence of simplicity. In Return to Wake Robin, Mamminga describes the familiar cadre of fishing guides casting their charm, the camaraderie and friendships among resort workers and vacationers, the call of the weekly square dance, the splash announcing a perfectly executed cannonball, the lodge as gathering place. By tracing the history of one resort and cabin, she recalls a time and experience that will resonate with anyone who spent their summers Up North—or wishes they had.
With never-before-told anecdotes, this candid and revealing oral history -- the first ever written on Fighting Irish football -- is told in the words of more than 150 Notre Dame players, coaches, leading sports journalists, and school faculty. This rousing narrative begins in the 1940s, a decade after the death of the fabled Knute Rockne, and concludes five decades later, with the formidable exploits of Notre Dame football at the end of the twentieth century.
“The Web of the Game” by Roger Angell
“Ahab and Nemesis” by A. J . Liebling
“Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” by John Updike
“The Only Games in Town” by Anthony Lane
“Race Track” by Bill Barich
“A Sense of Where You Are” by John McPhee
“El Único Matador” by Lillian Ross
“Net Worth” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
“The Long Ride” by Michael Specter
“Born Slippy” by John Seabrook
“The Chosen One” by David Owen
“Legend of a Sport” by Alva Johnston
“A Man-Child in Lotusland” by Rebecca Mead
“Dangerous Game” by Nick Paumgarten
“The Running Novelist” by Haruki Murakami
“Back to the Basement” by Nancy Franklin
“Playing Doc’s Games” by William Finnegan
“Last of the Metrozoids” by Adam Gopnik
“The Sandy Frazier Dream Team” by Ian Frazier
“Br’er Rabbit Ball” by Ring Lardner
“The Greens of Ireland” by Herbert Warren Wind
“Tennis Personalities” by Martin Amis
“Project Knuckleball” by Ben McGrath
“Game Plan” by Don DeLillo
“The Art of Failure” by Malcolm Gladwell
“Swimming with Sharks” by Charles Sprawson
“The National Pastime” by John Cheever
“SNO” by Calvin Trillin
“Musher” by Susan Orlean
“Home and Away” by Peter Hessler
“No Obstacles” by Alec Wikinson
“A Stud’s Life” by Kevin Conley
Gil Capps, a twenty-two-year veteran of the golf industry with NBC Sports and the Golf Channel, recaptures, hole-by-hole, the thrilling drama of this singular event from golf's golden era, from the media-crazed build-up to the tournament's final dramatic putt that would change the game of golf forever.
The two men couldn't have been more different in background, personality, and playing style, and their competition created as much tension as it did greatness, forcing Montana to prove that he was still the game's best quarterback and Young to prove that he was a worthy successor.
Featuring candid interviews with Montana, Young, Jerry Rice, George Seifert, and many more, Best of Rivals brings to life the story of two sports legends, the golden era of football their rivalry presided over, and the amazing legacy it produced.
Despite its rebellious, outlaw reputation, or perhaps because of it, surfing occupies a central place in the American – and global – imagination, embodying the tension between romantic counterculture ideals and middle-class values, between an individualistic communion with nature and a growing commitment to commerce and technology. In examining the enduring widespread appeal of surfing in both myth and reality, The World in the Curl offers a fresh angle on the remarkable rise of the sport and its influence on modern life.
Drawing on Peter Westwick and Peter Neushul’s expertise as historians of science and technology, the environment, and the Cold War, as well as decades of experience as surfers themselves, The World in the Curl brings alive the colorful history of surfing by drawing readers into the forces that fueled the sport's expansion: colonialism, the military-industrial complex, globalization, capitalism, environmental engineering, and race and gender roles. In an engaging and provocative narrative history – from the spread of surfing to the United States, to the development of surf culture, to the reintroduction of women into the sport, to big wave frontiers – the authors draw an indelible portrait of surfing and surfers as actors on the global stage.
From the Hardcover edition.
When the Southern University Bushmen football team traveled to Monroe, Louisiana, to play the Tigers of Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute for the first time on Armistice Day, 1932, few realized they were witnessing the birth of a phenomenon. Aiello recounts Southern's early dominance over the smaller, two-year institution; Southern's acceptance into the Southwestern Athletic Conference; Grambling's hiring of the legendary Eddie Robinson, who would lead the Tigers to 408 wins between 1941 and 1997; Grambling's first victory over Southern; and years of alternating home and away games. In 1974, the rivalry found a neutral site in New Orleans -- first at Tulane Stadium and then the Superdome -- and became the "Bayou Classic." An NBC television contract introduced the Bayou Classic to a nationwide audience and completed the transformation of the game into a major event. The Bayou Classic remains the only nationally broadcast game between two historically black schools. Aiello supplements his colorful narrative with period photographs and informative appendices providing game results, statistics, and all-star teams from every year the schools have played.
"To appreciate the rivalry," Coach Eddie Robinson once noted, "you have to realize Grambling and Southern fans are close friends, as well as relatives." Bayou Classic offers a splendid history for fans, friends, and those who want to know more about this special game.
In Heads of State: Pennsylvanias Greatest High School Basketball Players of the Modern Era, sportswriter Mark Hostutler sizes up the commonwealth to rank its 500 most-accomplished scholastic players from 1950-2010. With input from Sonny Vaccaro, Howard Garfinkel, and other hoops cognoscenti, the author canvassed the Keystone State, conducting hundreds of hours of research and interviews to assemble a list that is sure to stir passionate debate within an already buzzing community of roundball fans.
Hostutlers unique compilation highlights the exploits of Billy Owens, Tom McMillen, Gene Banks, Tyreke Evans, Donyell Marshall, Jameer Nelson, Geoff Petrie, and several others, as they reminisce about their achievements as teenagers on the hardwood. Wonderfully crafted and jam-packed with information, the book is perfect for hard-core fans, stat junkies, or anyone in search of a good read.