That’s the kind of response Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto draws from devoted readers of his faith column. Although best known as an award-winning sportswriter, Pluto has also earned a reputation—and a growing audience—for his down-to-earth musings on more spiritual subjects.
This followup to his first collection, “Everyday Faith,” offers 28 all-new thoughtful essays on faith in everyday life—practical topics such as choosing a church, lending money to friends, dealing with jerks, sharing your faith, visiting the sick, even planning a funeral.
Perhaps it’s because Pluto doesn’t claim to have the answers that so many readers are drawn to his writing.
“Real faith writing should be about real life,” Pluto says. “I write as much about my failures as my triumphs, because that is what a life of faith is about. It’s often as much suffering as celebration, with lots of mundane, everyday stuff in between. I write for people who may have been hurt by someone in church, people who have been discouraged by one who claimed to speak for God . . . I write for people who have found contentment in their faith but want a deeper relationship with God.”
Remember the excitement of those first years at Jacobs Field? When it seemed the Indians could find a way to win almost any game? When screaming fans rocked the jam-packed stands every night? When a brash young team snapped a forty-year slump and electrified the city?
Those weren’t baseball seasons, they were year-long celebrations.
Step back into the glory days with sportswriter Terry Pluto and broadcaster Tom Hamilton as they share behind-the-scenes stories about a team with all-stars at nearly every position . . . a sparkling new ballpark . . . wild comeback victories . . . a record sellout streak . . . two trips to the World Series . . . and a city crazed with Indians fever.
Revisit baseball’s most fearsome lineup: Albert Belle’s mighty swing and ferocious glare . . . Jim Thome’s moon-shot home runs . . . Omar Vizquel’s poetry-in-motion play at shortstop . . . Kenny Lofton’s exhilarating baserunning and over-the-wall catches . . .
These two Cleveland baseball veterans were there for it all. Now, they combine firsthand experience and in-depth player interviews to tell a richly detailed story that Tribe fans will love.
What do Julius Erving, Larry Brown, Moses Malone, Bob Costas, the Indiana Pacers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Slam Dunk Contest have in common? They all got their professional starts in the American Basketball Association.
The NBA may have won the financial battle, but the ABA won the artistic war. With its stress on wide-open individual play, the adoption of the 3-point shot and pressing defense, and the encouragement of flashy moves and flying dunks, today's NBA is still—decades later —just the ABA without the red, white and blue ball.
Loose Balls is, after all these years, the definitive and most widely respected history of the ABA. It's a wild ride through some of the wackiest, funniest, strangest times ever to hit pro sports—told entirely through the (often incredible) words of those who played, wrote and connived their way through the league's nine seasons.
Fans felt gut-punched in 2010 when local hero and MVP LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cavaliers and Northeast Ohio for Miami. The Cavs nose-dived in the standings and struggled to recover.
Then, in June 2014, LeBron announced he was coming home. And he had a mission: Lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals and give Cleveland its first championship in 52 years.
But would LeBron’s return be enough to restore his reputation, revive the franchise, and reward long-suffering Cleveland fans?
Award-winning sportswriter Terry Pluto tells how it all happened.
How LeBron won back fans with a heartfelt message — and savvy PR . . .
How the Cavs’ front office crafted a championship-caliber team with a big three of James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love and a bench stocked not only with talent but character and chemistry . . .
How LeBron’s added experience from four seasons and two titles in Miami prepared him for this second chance in Cleveland . . .
How the Cavaliers reached the 2016 NBA Finals to face a Golden State Warriors team, led by MVP Stephen Curry, that had just set an NBA record for wins and had vanquished the Cavs in the Finals the previous season . . .
How LeBron and the Cavs, down a historically hopeless three games to one, sparked an unprecedented come-from-behind surge (symbolized by LeBron’s superhuman block in Game 7) to stun Golden State and bring home the NBA Championship . . .
And how the ecstatic fans joined the team in a joyful celebration that brought more than a million people together in downtown Cleveland.
Pluto tells it all with insightful analysis, extensive front-office details, and a deep empathy for the fans.
Two award-winning sports journalists give an in-depth look at how a team and a city were rebuilt around superstar LeBron James.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers drew the top pick in the 2003 NBA draft, an entire city buzzed with excitement. After all, how often does a LeBron James come along? Especially for Cleveland, a midmarket Rust Belt city without a sports championship in forty years. Especially for the Cavaliers, a long-struggling team that had never reached the NBA finals.
Soon, everyone had something riding on LeBron—billionaire team owner Dan Gilbert looking for a return on his investment . . . teammates eager for a championship ring . . . the league in need of the next Michael Jordan to promote . . . the shoe company with its multimillion-dollar endorsement deal . . . even popcorn vendors in the stands of Quicken Loans Arena and servers waiting restaurant tables in a downtown that now booms every game night.
Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst tell the converging stories of a struggling franchise that had to get worse in order to get better and a highly touted teenage phenom, the local kid who became their future.
This book will fascinate any basketball fan who wants the inside story of how LeBron James became the young superstar shouldering the weight of an entire NBA franchise. Chock full of facts and analysis.
For forty years, he has been the Quiet Man of the NBA. As a rookie, he was overshadowed by two pretty fair guards who entered the league at the same time: Jerry West and Oscar Robertson. As a veteran, he was—both figuratively and literally—a coach on the floor, but he had the misfortune to play for several struggling teams. As a general manager, he won a championship and made back-to-back Finals appearances—but he did it without superstars, a year before Magic Johnson and Larry Bird revitalized the league. And as a coach, he has won more games than anyone in NBA history—but spent his best years locked in the same division as Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.
Basketball connoisseurs have long appreciated the style and intelligence with which Lenny Wilkens played and the unflappability and class he's brought to coaching. The respect he has earned resulted in his joining the legendary John Wooden as the only men to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame twice—first as a player, and then as a coach.
Now, in Unguarded, Lenny Wilkens steps out from behind his placid demeanor to speak plainly and unequivocally on the enormous social and athletic changes he's seen in his career.
Wilkens sounds off about the challenges he had to overcome in the course of his journey: the racism that left him off the 1960 Olympic basketball team and kept him from being chosen as head coach of the first Dream Team; the fatal miscalculation that kept his Cleveland Cavaliers from getting past Michael Jordan to the NBA Finals; the painful, frustrating task of coaching a troubled and troublesome J.R. Rider, a player who contributed to his departure from Atlanta. And he credits those who went out of their way to help him: the priests and nuns who taught him the value of discipline and reinforced his faith; the coaches who pushed him to develop his talents to the fullest; the selfless players such as John Johnson, Hot Rod Williams, Larry Nance, Steve Smith, and many others who sacrificed individual glory for the good of their teams; his mother, Henrietta, and his wife, Marilyn, who stood beside him in many trying times.
This book collects dozens of his popular essays about ethical and moral issues we all face in everyday life. Like getting along with our siblings. Setting a better example for our children. Listening better to our spouses. How money makes us do silly things. The lure of gossip. Feeling lonely. Giving in to anger. How we feel when our prayers go unanswered.
Pluto writes from a very personal perspective, as when he discusses the vanity of his own approach to baldness, or reveals white lies he has used to make himself feel better, or describes the temptation to tell off his boss at work. This honestly humble approach to finding the spiritual in the ordinary gives Pluto’s writing broad appeal.
“I don’t care if you’re a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim, or a skeptic; there is a spiritual thirst in most of us,” Pluto says. “I try to write about God and us and what that means for our lives.”
For a sportswriter who never thought he’d write about faith, Pluto has brought a great deal of meaning to the lives of his readers. This collection will serve as a great way for Pluto fans to revisit the many inspirations found in his writing—and to share them with a new audience.
“My goal is not to convert anyone reading the paper," Terry writes. "It is to make them think, and to bring some comfort. I write for people who are struggling with faith, or people in pain—physical or emotional. My job is to give them a voice, and to talk about the kind of faith we need to get through what life throws at us each day.”
Terry already had a dream job: getting paid to write about sports for a daily newspaper. But when the opportunity arose to write about more spiritual topics, he embraced the challenge. Readers are glad he did. His “Faith and You” column now regularly touches the lives of thousands of loyal readers.
Terry writes for people who aren’t always confident in their beliefs but know faith is still important to them . . . For people who sometimes get mad at their church or disagree with their pastor yet don’t want to lose the spiritual side of their lives . . . For people of different faiths or backgrounds or who aren’t even sure they’re religious. These essays don’t claim to have all the answers. But the questions they raise give readers something to think about all week.
In this age of billion dollar athletic marketing campaigns, “feel good” philosophy with no connection to reality, and a Sports Media echo chamber that’s all too eager swallow whatever idiotic notion happens to be in vogue at the moment, it’s tough to find people who aren’t afraid to say what they’re really thinking.
But that’s where Colin Cowherd comes in. As his millions of fans on ESPN Radio and ESPNU already know, Colin is the rare sports analyst who’s brave (or crazy) enough to speak his mind—even if it pisses some people off. Of course, it helps that a lot of what Colin has to say is simply hilarious. Lots of writers can tell you about Boston’s storied sports history. But how many can tell you why the city of Boston is America’s five year old? Lots of writers will brag about the stuff they got right, but how many will happily list all the calls they got completely and utterly wrong? Whether he’s pointing out the stupidity of conspiracy theories, explaining why media bias isn’t nearly as big a deal as many assume, or calling out those who prize short term wins over sustainability, Colin is smart, thought-provoking, and laugh-out-loud funny. Some of the questions he’s not afraid to ask in You Herd Me! include:
Is Tiger Woods really a sex addict—or does he just have good PR?
Is “work-life balance” really the ideal we should all strive for—or is that just a way for people feel better about mediocrity?
Is talent really all it’s cracked up to be—or can too much talent actually be counterproductive?
Is the X games really a sport—or would we all be better off if we admitted it’s something else entirely?
Is Hell really a supernatural place of fire and brimstone—or is it actually just another word for living in Tampa?
Unapologetically entertaining and packed with behind-the-scenes insights you won’t get anywhere else, You Herd Me! is unlike any other sports book ever written.
One of the most outspoken and original voices in sports sounds off while revealing his incredible life story.
Jalen Rose has never been quiet. Not as a kid growing up in Detroit in the 70’s and 80’s. Not as the brash, trash-talking leader of the legendary “Fab Five” at the University of Michigan. Not as the player under the stewardship of Hall of Famers Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas and others throughout his 13-year NBA career. And certainly not as a commentator and analyst on ABC/ESPN and Grantland.
In Got to Give the People What They Want, no topic is off limits.
Honest, unfiltered, unbiased. Raw, refreshing, real. This colorful collection of stories and opinions about basketball and life gives people the kind of insight and understanding they don’t get anywhere else in the sports world.
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.
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!
The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room.
It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster.
The famed quarterback decided to bare all.
And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets.
No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel, just as I asked the first question. On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby—screwing with me.
When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me, to wanting to screw me.
But I don’t date players.
And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football.
I’d date an athlete.
It’s the other kind of player I don’t date.
You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.
Brody Easton was the ultimate player.
Every woman wanted to be the one to change him.
But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for.
Turned out, I was that girl.
Let’s face it. It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…
And this one is ours.
Author's note - The Baller is a full-length standalone novel. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18
There’s a lot you don’t see or hear sitting high up in the stands. But Colin Cowherd knows what really goes on—and he’s not afraid to share the vivid details of everything ESPN doesn’t show. From hotel parties for athletes and other industry professionals, to gossip from the road between games, to what happens behind closed doors, Cowherd—who has interviewed everyone from President Barack Obama to Kate Upton—draws on personal experiences to offer you an exclusive look into the rarefied, outrageous, ego-mad sports world.
With unparalleled candor and the signature, brazen voice his fans have come to know and love, Cowherd offers a unique vantage point of places and events otherwise curtained to the general sports audience, while weaving in his opinions on aspects of competition, tradition, and all things refereed. If you want honest, unvarnished opinions on current sports rivalries, scandals, and statistics, it’s all in Raw—from one of America’s most outspoken sports broadcasters on air today.
Ray Lewis is undeniably one of the biggest names in football—not only for his seventeen years in the NFL, but also for the dramatic events that nearly brought his career to a halt in 2000. In his memoir, Lewis shares honest accounts of his difficult childhood and delves into the anguish and controversy that he found away from the game. But these heartbreaks gave him the courage to trust in God and continue his dream to play for the NFL and win the Super Bowl.
From a rookie player to a football veteran, Lewis has experienced everything imaginable during his football career, and has become one of the best defensive players in the history of the NFL. I Feel Like Going On is the story of his incredible journey, and a sincere look at the most popular sport in America from one of football’s most revered players.
They were World Heavyweight Champions: Bob Backlund, Superstar Billy Graham, and Bruno Sammartino. They were fan favorites: “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Chief Jay Strongbow, and Andre the Giant. They were the villains everyone loved to hate: Killer Kowalski, Ernie Ladd, and the Fabulous Moolah. They were ethnic heroes, someone just like you that you could cheer for: Ivan Putski, Pedro Morales, Peter Maivia. They were the stars that shined the brightest, and left an indelible mark on the memories of countless fans.
In a time when professional wrestling was divided into territories, no place created bigger Superstars than World Wrestling Entertainment. From the company's centerpiece in Madison Square Garden, legends were born.
WWE Legends is the every fan's guide to the legends of the ring. They are all in here, from Andre the Giant to George “the Animal” Steele, with quick stats and descriptions of their most famous matches. No true wrestling fan should be without this book.
Looking back on how he went from being a homeless child in Memphis to playing in the NFL, Michael talks about the goals he had to break out of the cycle of poverty, addiction, and hopelessness that trapped his family. Eventually he grasped onto football as his ticket out and worked hard to make his dream into a reality. With his adoptive family, the Touhys, and other influential people in mind, he describes the absolute necessity of seeking out positive role models and good friends who share the same values to achieve one's dreams. Sharing untold stories of heartache, determination, courage, and love, I Beat the Odds is an incredibly rousing tale of one young man's quest to achieve the American dream.
Have you ever wondered where the weaknesses are in Tiger's game? Or what would happen if there were PGA Tour cheerleaders? Or how Old Tom Morris would play if he came back from the dead? In The Power of Positive Idiocy, readers will be treated to Feherty's answers to these questions, as well as his distinctive commentary on aging, Texas, the Irish, parenting, addiction, Charles Barkley, and, of course, every pro golfer and golfing situation you can imagine. Full of great laughs, ridiculous wisecracks, and some of the best advice for anyone new to the game of golf, Feherty’s remarkable collection is a must have for golfers of every stripe.
Editor John Branson—a longtime friend of Proenneke’s and a park historian—ensures that Proenneke’s journals from 1974–1980 are kept entirely intact. His colloquial writing is not changed or altered, but Branson’s footnotes make his world more approachable by providing a background for names and places that may have otherwise been unknown. Any reader with a love for conservation and true-life wilderness narratives will undoubtedly admire and relish Proenneke’s tales of living in the wild.
The New York Times bestseller, now with a new introduction! The Breaks of the Game focuses on one grim season (1979-80) in the life of the Bill Walton-led Portland Trail Blazers, a team that only three years before had been NBA champions.
The tactile authenticity of Halberstam's knowledge of the basketball world is unrivaled. Yet he is writing here about far more than just basketball. This is a story about a place in our society where power, money, and talent collide and sometimes corrupt, a place where both national obsessions and naked greed are exposed. It's about the influence of big media, the fans and the hype they subsist on, the clash of ethics, the terrible physical demands of modern sports (from drugs to body size), the unreal salaries, the conflicts of race and class, and the consequences of sport converted into mass entertainment and athletes transformed into superstars--all presented in a way that puts the reader in the room and on the court, and The Breaks of the Game in a league of its own.
Fantasy football, fantasy baseball, fantasy basketball, even fantasy sumo wrestling: the world of fantasy sports is huge, and still growing. Today, more than 35 million people in the United States and Canada spend hours upon hours each week on their fantasy sports teams. And as the Senior Fantasy Sports Analyst for ESPN, Matthew Berry is on the front lines of what has grown from a niche subculture into a national pastime.
In his New York Times-bestselling Fantasy Life, Berry celebrates every aspect of the fantasy sports world. Brilliant trash talk. Unbelievable trophies. Insane draft day locations. Shake-your-head-in-disbelief punishments. Ingenious attempts at cheating. And surprisingly uplifting stories that remind us why we play these games in the first place.
Written with the same award-winning style that has made Berry one of the most popular columnists on ESPN.com, Fantasy Life is a book for both hard-core fantasy players and people who have never played before. Between tales of love and hate, birth and death, tattoos and furry animal costumes, the White House Situation Room and a 126-pound golden pelican, Matthew chronicles his journey from a fourteen-year-old fantasy player to the face of fantasy sports for the largest sports media company in the world.
Fantasy will save your life. Fantasy will set you free. And fantasy life is most definitely better than real life. You’ll see.
In 1991, fresh from college, Craig Carton drove a crappy 1980 Buick to Buffalo, New York, to interview for a job at WGR radio. The station manager who hired him was the first to recognize his considerable on-air talent, and helped start what has become a legendary radio career. Often compared to Howard Stern, Carton has hosted a series of highly rated shows, and in 2007 he joined WFAN, where he and Boomer Esiason hosted an eponymous show every morning for four hours out of a studio in New York City.
In this debut book, Carton invites the reader to join him as he recounts tales from his suburban youth, defends his long-held love affair with the New York Jets, reminisces about the shenanigans of some of the highest paid and most celebrated athletes playing today, and reflects on his work as one of radio’s craftiest, most hilarious personalities ever to get behind the microphone.
Who knows a golfer best? Who’s with them every minute of every round, hears their muttering, knows whether they cheat? Their caddies, of course. So sportswriter Rick Reilly figured that he could learn a lot about the players and their game by caddying, even though he had absolutely no idea how to do it. Amazingly, some of the best golfers in the world—including Jack Nicklaus, David Duval, Tom Lehman, John Daly, Jill McGill of the LPGA tour, and Casey Martin—agreed to let Reilly carry their bags at actual PGA and LPGA Tour events. To round out his portrait of the golfing life, Reilly also persuaded Deepak Chopra and Donald Trump to take him on as a caddy, accompanied the four highest-rolling golf hustlers in Las Vegas around the course, and carried the bag for a blind golfer.
Between his hilarious descriptions of his own ineptitude as a caddy and his insight into what makes the greats of golf so great, Reilly’s wicked wit and an expert’s eye provide readers with the next best thing to a great round of golf.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“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.
Sir Alex Ferguson's best-selling autobiography has now been updated to offer reflections on events at Manchester United since his retirement as well as his teachings at the Harvard Business School, a night at the Oscars and a boat tour round the Hebrides, where he passed unrecognised.
The extra material adds fresh insights and detail on his final years as United's manager.
Both the psychology of management and the detail of football strategy at the top level can be complex matters but no-one has explained them in a more interesting and accessible way for the general reader than Sir Alex does here.
MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY is revealing, endlessly entertaining and above all inspirational.
At seven-foot-five, four hundred and fifty pounds, André the Giant was a living, breathing legend—a behemoth taking on all comers. Billed as “the Eighth Wonder of the World,” he was the greatest attraction in sports entertainment and one of the most famous athletes in the world.
André the Giant: A Legendary Life is the story of how his enormous charisma and undeniable presence aided World Wrestling Federation's explosive rise to the forefront of popular culture. André's battles with such rivals as Ernie Ladd, Killer Khan, Big John Studd, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Randy “Macho Man” Savage are certifiable classics, while his epic WrestleMania III match with Hulk Hogan—before 93,000—still holds the record for largest attendance.
Outside the ring, André Roussimoff was equally formidable—his voluminous appetite for life is the stuff of legends. Moreover, André was among the first wrestlers to cross over into pop superstardom with roles in such television series as The Six Million Dollar Man and films like The Princess Bride.
André's incredible tale is told through his most memorable matches, with reminiscences and recollections from the people closest to him. In addition to blow-by-blow analysis of his greatest in-ring triumphs, author Michael Krugman takes us behind the curtain to see how this amazing athlete struggled with his size and his stardom, as well as his fight with crippling pain caused by both his profession and the disease that made him who he was.
André the Giant: A Legendary Life is the true-life tall tale of one of the most influential and adored Superstars in sports entertainment history.
The dream of playing big-time basketball never came true for Bruce Nelson, so he passed it on to his son Roberto. His every waking moment as a father was devoted to securing Roberto a Division I scholarship. Oftentimes he worried that his son’s lack of competitive fire might put that dream in jeopardy—when in fact it was Bruce’s own actions that would do so. When Bruce is forced to monitor Roberto’s progress from behind penitentiary walls, his influence recedes—and so too does Roberto’s commitment to the aspirations they once shared. In a story that combines deep insight into family relationships with the deft storytelling that distinguished his award-winning Play Their Hearts Out, George Dohrmann follows Roberto as he addresses his life’s most difficult decisions in the absence of his best friend and most constant companion. In doing so, Dohrmann sheds new light on the larger story of basketball dreams and the pressures they place on young athletes.
Includes an excerpt from George Dohrmann’s Play Their Hearts Out, winner of the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting and the Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Youth Sports.
Praise for Play Their Hearts Out
“Often heartbreaking, always riveting.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Tremendous.”—The Plain Dealer
“Indispensable.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A tour de force of reporting, filled with deft storytelling and vivid character studies.”—The Washington Post
“One of the finest sports books of all time.”—Harper’s Magazine
“Amazing stuff . . . the Friday Night Lights of youth basketball.”—Leigh Montville, author of The Big Bam
“A landmark achievement in basketball journalism.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST SPORTS BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES • THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR • KIRKUS REVIEWS
When a resurgent Phil Mickelson won the Tour Championship in September 2009, he was quick to credit a series of simple putting lessons from veteran golf champion and instructor Dave Stockton. As a top coach, Stockton has taught a long list of pro players-including Annika Sorenstam, Yani Tseng (winner of four LPGA tournaments), Adam Scott (Texas Open champion), Hunter Mahan (Phoenix Open champion), and Morgan Pressel (World Ladies Championship of Japan winner)-the putting strategies that finessed their game.
Stockton's breakthrough concept is that every player has their own Signature Stroke, which is unconscious. Good putting comes from the mind, Stockton says, not from a series of stiff mechanical positions. With visualization, the right frame of mind, an efficient pre-putt routine, and connection to the individual internal stroke signature, any player can make far more putts. Putting has always been taught as an offshoot to the full swing, when in reality it is far different- almost a different game. Unconscious Putting will help players get out of the rigid, mechanical, overthinking trap.
In Unconscious Putting, Stockton shows how players at every handicap level-from pros to weekend golfers-can putt effortlessly and with confidence by integrating a new mental approach with a few simple physical routines that will keep them locked on target. Readers will also gain invaluable advice on reading greens and equipment. Illustrated throughout and filled with anecdotes about how Stockton's lessons have helped today's leading players, Unconscious Putting is a must-have golf book and a category classic-in-the-making.
"I know that I'll be evaluated in Seattle with wins and losses, as that is the nature of my profession for the last thirty-five years. But our record will not be what motivates me. Years ago I was asked, 'Pete, which is better: winning or competing?' My response was instantaneous: 'Competing. . . because it lasts longer.'"
Pete Carroll is one of the most successful coaches in football today. As the head coach at USC, he brought the Trojans back to national prominence, amassing a 97-19 record over nine seasons. Now he shares the championship-winning philosophy that led USC to seven straight Pac-10 titles. This same mind-set and culture will shape his program as he returns to the NFL to coach the Seattle Seahawks.
Carroll developed his unique coaching style by trial and error over his career. He learned that you get better results by teaching instead of screaming, and by helping players grow as people, not just on the field. He learned that an upbeat, energetic atmosphere in the locker room can coexist with an unstoppable competitive drive. He learned why you should stop worrying about your opponents, why you should always act as if the whole world is watching, and many other contrarian insights.
Carroll shows us how the Win Forever philosophy really works, both in NCAA Division I competition and in the NFL. He reveals how his recruiting strategies, training routines, and game-day rituals preserve a team's culture year after year, during championship seasons and disappointing seasons alike.
Win Forever is about more than winning football games; it's about maximizing your potential in every aspect of your life. Carroll has taught business leaders facing tough challenges. He has helped troubled kids on the streets of Los Angeles through his foundation A Better LA. His words are true in any situation: "If you want to win forever, always compete."
From the Hardcover edition.
The quarry--from trout and salmon to striped bass, massive tarpon, and chimerical permit--inhabit these thirty-three essays as surely as the characters of a novel, luring the author back to childhood haunts in Michigan and Rhode Island, and on through the stages of his life in San Francisco, Key West, and Montana; from the river in his backyard to the holiest waters of the American fishery, and to such far-flung locales as Ireland, Argentina, New Zealand, and Russia. As he travels with friends, with his son, alone, or in the literary company of Roderick Haig-Brown or Isaak Walton, the fish take him to such subjects as "unfounded opinions" on rods and reels, the classification of anglers according to the flies they prefer, family, and memory--right down to why fisherman lie. "His essay subjects are the stuff of epics," Geoffrey Wolff has written, "and his narratives can make you laugh out loud."
Infused with a deep experience of wildlife and the outdoors, dedicated to conservation, reverent and hilarious by turns or at once, The Longest Silence sets the heart pounding for a glimpse of moving water, and demonstrates what a life dedicated to sport reveals about life.
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.
“An affirmation of the strong state of American sportswriting.” — Kirkus Reviews
From more than 350 national, regional, and specialty publications and, increasingly, the top sports blogs, Christopher McDougall, best-selling author of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, hand-selected the very best sports journalism of the past year.
NCAA football is big business. Every Saturday millions of people file into massive stadiums or tune in on television as "athlete-students" give everything they've got to make their team a success. Billions of dollars now flow into the game. But what is the true cost? The players have no share in the oceans of money. And once the lights go down, the glitter doesn't shine so brightly. Filled with mind-blowing details of major NCAA football scandals, with stops at Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Missouri, BYU, LSU, Texas A&M and many more, The System explores and exposes the complex, and perhaps broken, machine that churns behind the glamour of college football.
With a New Afterword
For years, John Feinstein has met regularly with Red Auerbach and his friends, drawing out Red's life story in a raucous series of unforgettable sessions. From those smoke-and laughter-filled rooms come the colorful reports about all the players and coaches Red has worked with and played against over the years. Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Sam Jones, Bill Russell, and Michael Jordan, you name them, the basketball greats are all here.
Red Auerbach's incredible experiences in sports and John Feinstein's unparalleled skill as a sports storyteller make this one of the greatest books to come out of the game of basketball.
Every college sport picks its champion by a postseason tournament, except for one: Division I-A football. Instead of a tournament, fans are subjected to the Bowl Championship Series, an arcane mix of polling and mathematical rankings that results in just two teams playing for the championship. It is, without a doubt, the most hated institution in all of sports. A recent Sports Illustrated poll found that more than 90 percent of sports fans oppose the BCS, yet this system has remained in place for more than a decade. Built upon top-notch investigative reporting, Death to the BCS at last reveals the truth about this monstrous entity and offers a simple solution for fixing it.
Death to the BCS includes findings from interviews with power players, as well as research into federal tax records, Congressional testimony, and private contracts, revealing:
?The truth behind the "Cartel"-the anonymous suits who run the BCS and who profit handsomely by protecting it
?The flawed math and corruption that determine which teams participate in the national championship
?How the system hurts competition by perpetuating "cupcake" schedules
?How "mid-major" teams are systematically denied a chance to play for the championship
?How a comprehensive sixteen-team playoff plan can solve the problem while enhancing profitability
The first book to lay out the unseemly inner workings of the BCS in full detail, Death to the BCS is a rousing manifesto for bringing fairness back to one of our most beloved sports.
Living the life of an outdoorsman doesn’t necessarily take skill. After more than two decades of writing about his adventures (and misadventures), Bill Heavey has proven that being a true outdoorsman just takes enthusiasm, determination, and a willingness to, occasionally, make a fool of oneself.
You’re Not Lost If You Can Still See the Truck gathers together more than sixty of Heavey’s best stories from his work in Field & Stream, The Washington Post, and The Washingtonian. Including retellings of his adventures hunting ants in the urban jungles of Washington, DC; braving freezing winter expeditions in Eastern Alaska; attempting to impress ladies by immediately flipping over his canoe; and planning deer hunts around dad-duties, these tales are chock full of life, insight, and, of course, hilarity.
Here is a far-ranging and enlightening volume that traces a life lived outdoors, for better or for worse.
“To the list of great Field & Stream essayists . . . add the name Bill Heavey. His writing is funny, poignant, acerbic, and, best of all, always alert to the absurdities of life.” —Patrick C. McManus
Coach Dungy still passionately believes that there is a different path to significance—a path characterized by attitudes, ambitions, and allegiances that are all too rare but uncommonly rewarding. In the New York Times best seller Uncommon, Dungy reveals secrets to achieving significance that he has learned from his remarkable parents, his athletic and coaching career, his mentors, and his walk with God.
For Bill Heavey, being a sportsman is more than a hobby—it’s a way of life. So despite living inside the DC Beltway, raising a daughter who has an aversion to “nature food,” and having zero experience with foraging or gardening, Bill attempts the ultimate sportsman’s dream: living off the land.
Unsurprisingly, Bill’s foray into catching, finding, and growing his dinner doesn’t go exactly as planned. From battles with tomato-eating squirrels to a grizzly attempt at gutting perch to multiple failures at harvesting an appetizing salad, Bill stumbles through his quest for wild food with blood loss, humiliation, and hard lessons. Still, with the help of his locavore girlfriend and an eccentric neighbor who runs an under-the-table bait business, he manages to eat the way our ancestors did—and uncovers the true meaning of being full.
“Bold, courageous, hilarious, honest, and touching” (Duff Goldman), Bill Heavey’s first full-length book is a must-read look at how we consume, consider, and source our most basic of needs.
After the phenomenal success of Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby tried to avoid writing about soccer, for fear that he'd be writing about it forever. But occasionally over the years he’s found it impossible to turn down a particularly enticing assignment or, in the case of the 2012-13 Premier League, just unable to resist writing about that most spectacular of seasons.
Fortunately for those who love great writing about soccer, all these fugitive pieces are collected in Fan Mail. You can follow the fortunes, as Hornby did, of a hopelessly out-of-their-depth Cambridge United in the old Second Division, discover why Perry Groves was an unlikely hero among Arsenal fans, enjoy Hornby trying to explain the World Cup to Americans, and share with him the pain of watching his national team.
He has no compunction telling readers, in his singular quick-witted style, how he really feels about some of the most popular sports figures of our time. Wondering about quarterback Jay Cutler? “Cutler is the kind of guy you just want to pick up and throw into a swimming pool, which is exactly what Peyton Manning and two linemen did one year at the Pro Bowl.” Or how about Tiger Woods? “Sometimes you wonder where Tiger Woods gets his public-relations advice. Gary Busey?” But for every brazen takedown, Reilly has written a heartwarming story of the power of sports to heal the wounded and lift the downtrodden: the young Ravens fan with cancer who called the plays for a few—victorious—games in 2012, or the onetime top NFL recruit who was finally exonerated after serving five years for a crime he didn’t commit.
With a new introduction and updates from Reilly on his most talked-about columns, as well as his expert opinion on athlete tattoos, NFL cheerleaders, and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Tiger, Meet My Sister showcases an unparalleled sportswriter at the top of his game.
Insightful, incendiary, outrageously brilliant, such was the man who galvanized American journalism with his radical ideas and gonzo tactics. For over half a century, Hunter S. Thompson devastated his readers with his acerbic wit and uncanny grasp of politics and history. His reign as "The Unabomber of contemporary letters" (Time) is more legendary than ever with Hey Rube. Fear, greed, and action abound in this hilarious, thought-provoking compilation as Thompson doles out searing indictments and uproarious rants while providing commentary on politics, sex, and sports—at times all in the same column.
With an enlightening foreword by ESPN executive editor John Walsh, critics' favorites, and never-before-published columns, Hey Rube follows Thompson through the beginning of the new century, revealing his queasiness over the 2000 election ("rigged and fixed from the start"); his take on professional sports (to improve Major League Baseball "eliminate the pitcher"); and his myriad controversial opinions and brutally honest observations on issues plaguing America―including the Bush administration and the inequities within the American judicial system.
Hey Rube gives us a lasting look at the gonzo journalist in his most organic form―unbridled, astute, and irreverent.
So concluded the National Football League in a December 2005 scientific paper on concussions in America’s most popular sport. That judgment, implausible even to a casual fan, also contradicted the opinion of a growing cadre of neuroscientists who worked in vain to convince the NFL that it was facing a deadly new scourge: A chronic brain disease that was driving an alarming number of players -- including some of the all-time greats -- to madness.
League of Denial reveals how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage.
Comprehensively, and for the first time, award-winning ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru tell the story of a public health crisis that emerged from the playing fields of our 21st century pastime. Everyone knew that football is violent and dangerous. But what the players who built the NFL into a $10 billion industry didn’t know – and what the league sought to shield from them – is that no amount of padding could protect the human brain from the force generated by modern football; that the very essence of the game could be exposing these players to brain damage.
In a fast-paced narrative that moves between the NFL trenches, America’s research labs and the boardrooms where the NFL went to war against science, League of Denial examines how the league used its power and resources to attack independent scientists and elevate its own flawed research -- a campaign with echoes of Big Tobacco’s fight to deny the connection between smoking and lung cancer. It chronicles the tragic fates of players like Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, who was so disturbed at the time of his death he fantasized about shooting NFL executives; and former Chargers great Junior Seau, whose diseased brain became the target of an unseemly scientific battle between researchers and the NFL. Based on exclusive interviews, previously undisclosed documents and private emails, this is the story of what the NFL knew and when it knew it – questions at the heart of crisis that threatens football, from the highest levels all the way down to Pop Warner.
When he was picked in the seventh-round of 1999 NFL draft, Donald Driver couldn’t find Green Bay on a map. He was given little chance of making the Packers roster, much less of amassing over 10,000 yards in his career and becoming a Super Bowl champion. But in an unlikely journey, Driver has overcome obstacle after obstacle to become one of the most successful players in the NFL.
Now, for the first time, Driver recalls his time growing up in Houston, spending nights living in a U-Haul trailer with his mother and stealing cars and selling drugs with his brother to get by. He recalls what it was like to walk into the locker room as a little-regarded prospect out of Alcorn State, an athlete who one year earlier thought his future was in high jump rather than football, and why he would have never made the team without the support of General Manager Ron Wolf.
With the help of his winning speed, skill, not to mention, smile, Driver became one of Brett Favre's most-trusted targets and a fan favorite at Lambeau. (Though it took some time for him to perfect his Lambeau leap.) Driven takes you inside the locker room with Favre, shares his experiences with Reggie White, and recalls his more recent role as a veteran leader for like Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings during their Super Bowl run in 2010. Over 14 years Driver has been through it all—game winning touchdowns, crushing playoff defeats, frightening injuries, and the glory of the Super Bowl.
Traveling off the field, Driver discuss his relationship with his wife and three children: how uncertain they were when he undertook the relentless training necessary to become a champion on the 2012 season of Dancing With the Stars, and how supportive they are of his charity work and service to God.
Driver retired on his terms after 14 years in the NFL: as a Packer for life. Driven is the definitive story of Donald Driver’s extraordinary journey.
From the Hardcover edition.