NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Secret Race is the book that rocked the world of professional cycling—and exposed, at long last, the doping culture surrounding the sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrong. Former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton was once one of the world’s top-ranked cyclists—and a member of Lance Armstrong’s inner circle. Over the course of two years, New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle conducted more than two hundred hours of interviews with Hamilton and spoke with numerous teammates, rivals, and friends. The result is an explosive page-turner of a book that takes us deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to win that they would do almost anything to gain an edge. For the first time, Hamilton recounts his own battle with depression and tells the story of his complicated relationship with Lance Armstrong. This edition features a new Afterword, in which the authors reflect on the developments within the sport, and involving Armstrong, over the past year. The Secret Race is a courageous, groundbreaking act of witness from a man who is as determined to reveal the hard truth about his sport as he once was to win the Tour de France.
With a new Afterword by the authors.
“Loaded with bombshells and revelations.”—VeloNews
“[An] often harrowing story . . . the broadest, most accessible look at cycling’s drug problems to date.”—The New York Times
“ ‘If I cheated, how did I get away with it?’ That question, posed to SI by Lance Armstrong five years ago, has never been answered more definitively than it is in Tyler Hamilton’s new book.”—Sports Illustrated
“Explosive.”—The Daily Telegraph (London)
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
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.
Winner of the Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Youth Sports
Eight years of unfettered access and a keen sense of a story’s deepest truths allow Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist George Dohrmann to take readers inside the machine that produces America’s basketball stars. Play Their Hearts Out reveals a cutthroat world where boys as young as eight or nine are subjected to a dizzying torrent of scrutiny and exploitation. At the book’s heart are the personal stories of two compelling figures: Joe Keller, an ambitious coach with a master plan to find and promote “the next LeBron,” and Demetrius Walker, a fatherless latchkey kid who falls under Keller’s sway and struggles to live up to unrealistic expectations. Complete with a new “where-are-they-now” Epilogue by the author, this thoroughly compelling narrative exposes the gritty reality that lies beneath so many dreams of fame and glory.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST SPORTS BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE LOS ANGELES TIMES • THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR • KIRKUS REVIEWS
Look for the exclusive conversation between George Dohrmann and bestselling author Seth Davis in the back of the book.
Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools—especially for girls—that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Provocative and controversial, Rhoden’s $40 Million Slaves weaves a compelling narrative of black athletes in the United States, from the plantation to their beginnings in nineteenth-century boxing rings to the history-making accomplishments of notable figures such as Jesse Owens, Althea Gibson, and Willie Mays. Rhoden reveals that black athletes’ “evolution” has merely been a journey from literal plantations—where sports were introduced as diversions to quell revolutionary stirrings—to today’s figurative ones, in the form of collegiate and professional sports programs. He details the “conveyor belt” that brings kids from inner cities and small towns to big-time programs, where they’re cut off from their roots and exploited by team owners, sports agents, and the media. He also sets his sights on athletes like Michael Jordan, who he says have abdicated their responsibility to the community with an apathy that borders on treason.
The power black athletes have today is as limited as when masters forced their slaves to race and fight. The primary difference is, today’s shackles are often the athletes’ own making.
When Kevin Garnett shocked the world by announcing that he would not be attending college—as young basketball prodigies were expected to do—but instead enter the 1995 NBA draft directly from high school, he blazed a trail for a generation of teenage basketball players to head straight for the pros. That trend would continue until the NBA instituted an age limit in 2005, requiring all players to attend college or another developmental program for at least one year.
Over that decade-plus period, the list of players who made that difficult leap includes some of the most celebrated players of the modern era—Garnett, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady, and numerous other stars. It also includes notable “busts” who either physically or mentally proved unable to handle the transition. But for better or for worse, the face of the NBA was forever changed by the prep-to-pro generation.
In compelling, masterfully crafted prose, Boys Among Men goes behind the scenes and draws on hundreds of firsthand interviews to paint insightful and engaging portraits of the most pivotal figures and events during this time. Award-winning basketball writer Jonathan Abrams has obtained remarkable access to the key players, coaches, and other movers and shakers from that time, and the result is a book packed with rare insights and never-before-published details about this chapter in NBA history. Boys Among Men is a thrilling, informative, must-read for any basketball fan.
For more than a decade, golf was dominated by one galvanizing figure: Eldrick “Tiger” Woods. But as his star has fallen, a new, ambitious generation has stepped up to claim the crown. Once the domain of veterans, golf saw a youth revolution in 2014. In Slaying the Tiger, Shane Ryan introduces us to the volatile, colorful crop of heirs apparent who are storming the barricades of this traditionally old-fashioned sport.
As the golf writer for Bill Simmons’s Grantland, Shane Ryan is the perfect herald for the sport’s new age. In Slaying the Tiger, he embeds himself for a season on the PGA Tour, where he finds the game far removed from the genteel rhythms of yesteryear. Instead, he discovers a group of mercurial talents driven to greatness by their fear of failure and their relentless perfectionism. From Augusta to Scotland, with an irreverent and energetic voice, Ryan documents every transcendent moment, every press tent tirade, and every controversy that made the 2014 Tour one of the most exciting and unpredictable in recent memory.
Here are indelibly drawn profiles of the game’s young guns: Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish ace who stepped forward as the game’s next superstar; Patrick Reed, a brash, boastful competitor with a warrior’s mentality; Dustin Johnson, the brilliant natural talent whose private habits sabotage his potential; and Jason Day, a resilient Aussie whose hardscrabble beginnings make him the Tour’s ultimate longshot. Here also is the bumptious Bubba Watson, a devout Christian known for his unsportsmanlike outbursts on the golf course; Keegan Bradley, a flinty New Englander who plays with a colossal chip on his shoulder; twenty-one-year-old Jordan Spieth, a preternaturally mature Texan carrying the hopes of the golf establishment; and Rickie Fowler, the humble California kid striving to make his golf speak louder than his bright orange clothes.
Bound by their talent, each one hungrier than the last, these players will vie over the coming decade for the right to be called the next king of the game. Golf may be slow to change, but in 2014, the wheels were turning at a feverish pace. Slaying the Tiger offers a dynamic snapshot of a rapidly evolving sport.
Praise for Slaying the Tiger
“This book is going to be controversial. There is no question about it. . . . It is the most unvarnished view of the tour—the biggest tour in the world—that I’ve ever read. And it’s not close.”—Gary Williams, Golf Channel
“A must-read for PGA Tour fans from the casual to the most dedicated . . . This book is certain to be as important to this era as [John] Feinstein’s [A Good Walk Spoiled] was two decades ago. . . . A well-researched, in-depth look at the men who inhabit the highest levels of the game.”—Examiner.com
“A masterfully written account of an important time in golf history.”—Adam Fonseca, Golf Unfiltered
“Absolutely marvelous . . . Ryan’s writing flows and his reporting turns pages for you.”—Kyle Porter, CBS Sports
“A riveting read.”—Library Journal
“Ryan’s fresh look is just what we golfer/readers want.”—Curt Sampson, New York Times bestselling author of Hogan
“Ryan does a fantastic job painting a thoughtful and accurate portrait of the new crop of heirs apparent.”—Stephanie Wei, Wei Under Par
From the Hardcover edition.
Only, it's not quite that simple. Spanish soccer expert and historian Sid Lowe covers 100 years of rivalry, athletic beauty, and excellence. Fear and Loathing in La Liga is a nuanced, revisionist, and brilliantly informed history that goes beyond sport. Lowe weaves together this story of the rivalry with the history and culture of Spain, emphasizing that it is “never about just the soccer.” With exclusive testimonies and astonishing anecdotes, he takes us inside this epic battle, including the wounds left by the Civil War, Madrid's golden age in the fifties when they won five European cups, Johan Cruyff's Barcelona Dream Team, the doomed Galáctico experiment, and Luís Figo's “betrayal.”
By exploring the history, politics, culture, economics, and language—while never forgetting the drama on the field—Lowe demonstrates the relationship between these two soccer giants and reveals the true story behind their explosive rivalry.
The extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town
Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston’ s refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees.
Set against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment, Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach. Warren St. John documents the lives of a diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also drawing a fascinating portrait of a fading American town struggling to accommodate its new arrivals. At the center of the story is fiery Coach Luma, who relentlessly drives her players to success on the soccer field while holding together their lives—and the lives of their families—in the face of a series of daunting challenges.
This fast-paced chronicle of a single season is a complex and inspiring tale of a small town becoming a global community—and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.
“A penetrating examination of how the elite college football programs have become ‘giant entertainment businesses that happened to do a little education on the side.’”—Mark Kram, The New York Times
Two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Gilbert M. Gaul offers a riveting and sometimes shocking look inside the money culture of college football and how it has come to dominate a surprising number of colleges and universities.
Over the past decade college football has not only doubled in size, but its elite programs have become a $2.5-billion-a-year entertainment business, with lavishly paid coaches, lucrative television deals, and corporate sponsors eager to slap their logos on everything from scoreboards to footballs and uniforms. Profit margins among the top football schools range from 60% to 75%—results that dwarf those of such high-profile companies as Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft—yet thanks to the support of their football-mad representatives in Congress, teams aren’t required to pay taxes. In most cases, those windfalls are not passed on to the universities themselves, but flow directly back into their athletic departments.
College presidents have been unwilling or powerless to stop a system that has spawned a wildly profligate infrastructure of coaches, trainers, marketing gurus, and a growing cadre of bureaucrats whose sole purpose is to ensure that players remain academically eligible to play. From the University of Oregon’s lavish $42 million academic center for athletes to Alabama coach Nick Saban’s $7 million paycheck—ten times what the school pays its president, and 70 times what a full-time professor there earns—Gaul examines in depth the extraordinary financial model that supports college football and the effect it has had not only on other athletic programs but on academic ones as well.
What are the consequences when college football coaches are the highest paid public employees in over half the states in an economically troubled country, or when football players at some schools receive ten times the amount of scholarship awards that academically gifted students do? Billion-Dollar Ball considers these and many other issues in a compelling account of how an astonishingly wealthy sports franchise has begun to reframe campus values and distort the fundamental academic mission of our universities.
From the Hardcover edition.
"I once said Dave Zirin was the best young sportswriter in the US. I was wrong. He's simply the best."—Robert Lipsyte
The people of Brazil celebrated when it was announced that they were hosting the twentieth World Cup (June 12–July 13, 2014), the world's most-viewed sporting tournament, and the thirty-first Summer Olympics (August 5–21, 2016).
Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades, with Brazilians taking to the streets to try to reclaim the sports they love but see being corrupted by powerful corporate interests, profiteering, and greed. In this compelling new book, relying on original reporting from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Dave Zirin examines how sports and politics are colliding in remarkable fashion in Brazil, opening up an international conversation on the culture, economics, and politics of sports.
One of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World" (Utne), Dave Zirin is a columnist for the Nation, SLAM, and SI.com. He is host of Sirius XM's popular weekly show Edge of Sports Radio and a regular guest on ESPN's Outside the Lines, Democracy Now!, and on MSNBC. His previous books include The John Carlos Story and What's My Name Fool? He lives near Washington, DC.
"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?
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
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 Dream Fulfilled: The Story of Barack Obama is about an inspirational man whose life shows us the value of hope, education, and hard work. Obama's journey—from his unusual youth to his travels to Kenya in search of his father to Harvard Law School and, finally, to the White House—proves that dreams can indeed be fulfilled.
In June 2013, when Lance Armstrong fled his palatial home in Texas, downsizing in the face of multimillion-dollar lawsuits, Juliet Macur was there—talking to his girlfriend and children and listening to Armstrong's version of the truth. She was one of the few media members aside from Oprah Winfrey to be granted extended one-on-one access to the most famous pariah in sports.
At the center of Cycle of Lies is Armstrong himself, revealed through face-to-face interviews.
But this unfolding narrative is given depth and breadth by the firsthand accounts of more than one hundred witnesses, including family members whom Armstrong had long since turned his back on—the adoptive father who gave him the Armstrong name, a grandmother, an aunt. Perhaps most damning of all is the taped testimony of the late J.T. Neal, the most influential of Armstrong's many father figures, recorded in the final years of Neal's life as he lost his battle with cancer just as Armstrong gained fame for surviving the disease.
In the end, it was Armstrong's former friends, those who had once occupied the precious space of his inner circle, who betrayed him. They were the ones who dealt Armstrong his fatal blow by breaking the code of silence that shielded the public from the grim truth about the sport of cycling—and the grim truth about its golden boy, Armstrong.
Threading together the vivid and disparate voices of those with intimate knowledge of the private and public Armstrong, Macur weaves a comprehensive and unforgettably rich tapestry of one man's astonishing rise to global fame and fortune and his devastating fall from grace.
Every college sport picks its champion by a postseason tournament, except for one: Divsiion 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% of sports fans oppose the BCS, yet this system has remained in place for more than a decade.
Building upon top-notch investigative reporting, Wetzel, Peter, and Passan at last reveal the truth about this monstrous entity and offer a simple solution for fixing it. Death to the BCS: Totally Revised and Updated is brought up to date to cover the 2010-2011 season, listing which teams were screwed by the BCS (such as TCU), how much money college football left on the table by not having a playoff (based on 2011 tax filings), and how the calls for the abolition of the BCS grew even louder this past year. The book also includes findings from interviews with power players, as well as research into federal tax records, congressional testimony, and private contracts. 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.
What the Kennedys are to politics, the Mannings are to football. Two generations have produced three NFL superstars: Archie Manning, the Ole Miss hero–turned–New Orleans Saint; his son Peyton, widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game; and Peyton’s younger brother, Eli, who won two Super Bowl rings of his own. And the oldest Manning child, Cooper—who was forced to quit playing sports after he was diagnosed at age eighteen with a rare spinal condition—might have been the most talented of them all.
In The Mannings, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson gives us, for the first time, the never-before-told story of this singular athletic dynasty—a story that shows us how finding strength in the face of catastrophe can be the key to success on and off the playing field.
Growing up, the three Manning brothers dream of playing side by side on the gridiron at Ole Miss. But with Cooper forced to the bench before his prime, Peyton must fight to win glory for them both. Meanwhile, Eli is challenged by his college coach to stop trailing in the footsteps of others and forge his own path. With Archie’s achievements looming over them, the brothers begin the climb to football history.
From the Manning family backyard to the bright lights of Super Bowl 50, The Mannings is an epic, inspiring saga of a family of tenacious competitors who have transfixed a nation.
Praise for The Mannings
“Anderson, an accomplished storyteller, writes about the Manning football legacy—warts and all—with style and verve, backed by an abundance of research and scholarship.”—Publishers Weekly
“An expertly written impressionistic account of the first family of football.”—Library Journal
“This is one of the most beautifully written and memorable books I’ve read in years—stunningly spectacular. I couldn’t put it down. Once again, Lars Anderson has shown why he is one of the seminal sportswriters of this generation. The Mannings is an absolute masterpiece.”—Paul Finebaum, ESPN college football analyst and New York Times bestselling author of My Conference Can Beat Your Conference
“Lars Anderson drills to the core of the Manning family. I love this book because it’s not just about football; it’s about how to raise a family.”—Bruce Arians, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals
“Anderson’s yarn never wobbles. . . . A winner for fans of modern football.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Anyone who has paid attention to the NFL over the last five decades understands the significance of the Mannings. They are to America’s best-loved game what the Holbeins are to portraiture, what the Bachs are to classical music, what the Kardashians are to mindless reality television, an unsurpassed dynasty. In The Mannings, Lars Anderson delivers an incisive, honest, and thorough chronicle of the first family of football.”—Jeremy Schaap, New York Times bestselling author of Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
Pronger explores the paradoxical position of the gay athlete in a straight sporting world, examines the homoerotic undercurrent subliminally present in the masculine struggle of sports, and explicates the growth of gay sports in the framework of the developing gay culture.
The Green Monster. Pesky's Pole. The Lone Red Seat. Yawkey Way. To baseball fans this list of bizarre phrases evokes only one place: Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Built in 1912, Fenway Park is Americas oldest major league ballpark still in use. In Faithful to Fenway, Michael Ian Borer takes us out to Fenway where we sit in cramped wooden seats (often with obstructed views of the playing field), where there is a hand-operated scoreboard and an average attendance of 20,000 fewer fans than most stadiums, and where every game has been sold out since May of 2003. There is no Hard Rock Café (like Toronto's Skydome), no swimming pool (like Arizona's Chase Field), and definitely no sushi (which has become a fan favorite from Baltimore to Seattle). As Borer tells us in this captivating book, Fenway is short on comfort but long on character.
Faithful to Fenway investigates the mystique of the ballpark. Borer, who lived in Boston before and after the Red Sox historic 2004 World Series win, draws on interviews with Red Sox players, including Jason Varitek and Carl Yastrzemski, management, including Larry Lucchino and John Henry, groundskeepers, vendors, and scores of fans to uncover what the park means for Boston and the people who revere it. Borer argues that Fenway is nothing less than a national icon, more than worthy of the banner outside the stadium that proclaims, “America's Most Beloved Ballpark”. Certainly as one of New England's greatest landmarks, Fenway captures the hearts and imaginations of a deferential and devoted public. There are T-shirts, bumper stickers, banners, and snow globes that honor the ballpark. Fenway shows up in popular films, novels, television commercials, and in replicated form in people's backyards—and coming in 2008 to Quincy, Massachusetts, is Mini-Fenway Park, a replica stadium built especially for kids.
Full of legendary stories, amusing anecdotes, and the shared triumph and tragedy of the Red Sox and their fans, Faithful to Fenway offers a fresh and insightful perspective, offering readers an unforgettable pilgrimage to the mecca of baseball.
As a rabid Eagles fan, Tom McAllister experiences plenty of defeats and disappointments, but his biggest challenge is coping with the premature loss of his father to cancer. In Bury Me in My Jersey, McAllister explores the connection between his dedication to the Eagles and the death of his father. He details the intense bonds—between fathers and sons, among friends, and even between a city and its football team—and chronicles the joys and sorrows, victories and failures, of a lifetime of sports obsession.
Any fan can relate: Tom drinks to excess, spends countless hours every week posting to an online Eagles message board, and spies on players in the fruit aisle of the supermarket. Without the example of his father to guide him, Tom often finds himself stumbling off track. But it is his girlfriend and eventual wife, LauraBeth, who keeps him grounded as he matures into adulthood.
A touching, funny, beautifully crafted memoir, Bury Me in My Jersey is not only a marvelous tribute to a father, a way of life, and a team and its devoted followers but also a love letter to the city of Philadelphia.
From the Hardcover edition.
As Girl Scouts and Guides move into their second century, their challenge will be to remain true to their founding values while remaking themselves on a regular basis. Given the changing nature of today's societies and the serious problems girls face on a daily basis, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts will need to be true to their motto, "Be Prepared," in order to march forward successfully into the future.
Through dynamic case studies, Commodified and Criminalized unpacks the conversation between black athletes and colorblind discourse, while challenging the assumptions of contemporary sports culture. The contributors in this provocative collection push the conversation beyond the playing field and beyond the racial landscape of sports culture to explore the connections between sports representations and a broader history of racialized violence.
Anyone who rides a bike knows the bicycling world is made up of tribes. From tattooed messengers to pretty urban hipsters to grouchy shop owners, they may look like they live on different planets, but they are united by their abiding love of bikes-and often their total disdain of other members of this insular world.
Bike Tribes is the Preppy Handbook of bicycling, replete with one-of-a-kind illustrations that taxonomize the special habits, clothing, preferences, and predilections of cyclists.
Mike Magnuson, an avid rider, bicycling expert, and longtime contributor to Bicycling magazine, covers the basics of racing, etiquette, and apparel and gear, including running commentary on cycling culture, poking holes in practically every pretension in the cycling world. Bike Tribes is a fun romp through the various subcultures in the bike community-bound to appeal to newcomers and grizzled cyclists alike.
During the bloodiest years of the civil rights movement, Bear Bryant and Joe Namath-two of the most iconic and controversial figures in American sports-changed the game of college football forever. Brilliantly and urgently drawn, this is the gripping account of how these two very different men-Bryant a legendary coach in the South who was facing a pair of ethics scandals that threatened his career, and Namath a cocky Northerner from a steel mill town in Pennsylvania-led the Crimson Tide to a national championship.
To Bryant and Namath, the game was everything. But no one could ignore the changes sweeping the nation between 1961 and 1965-from the Freedom Rides to the integration of colleges across the South and the assassination of President Kennedy. Against this explosive backdrop, Bryant and Namath changed the meaning of football. Their final contest together, the 1965 Orange Bowl, was the first football game broadcast nationally, in color, during prime time, signaling a new era for the sport and the nation.
Award-winning biographer Randy Roberts and sports historian Ed Krzemienski showcase the moment when two thoroughly American traditions-football and Dixie-collided. A compelling story of race and politics, honor and the will to win, RISING TIDE captures a singular time in America. More than a history of college football, this is the story of the struggle and triumph of a nation in transition and the legacy of two of the greatest heroes the sport has ever seen.
Futebol Nation is an extraordinary chronicle of a nation that has won the World Cup five times and produced players of miraculous skill, such as Pelé, Garrincha, Rivaldo, Zico, Ronaldo, and Ronaldinho. It shows why the phrase O Jogo Bonito—the Beautiful Game—has justly entered the global lexicon. Yet there is another side to Brazil and its game, one that reflects the harsh sociological realities of the “futebol nation.” David Goldblatt explores the grinding poverty that creates a vast pool of hungry players, Brazil's corrupt institutions exemplified by its soccer authorities, and the pervasive violence that has seeped onto the field and into the stands.
Futebol Nation illuminates both Brazilian soccer and Brazil itself; its brilliance, its magic, its style, and the fabulous myths that have been constructed around it; as well as its tragedies, its miseries, and its economic and political injustices. It is the story of Brazil told through its chosen national game.
Our ancestors crossed deserts, mountains, and oceans without even a whisper of what anyone today might consider modern technology. Those feats of endurance now seem impossible in an age where we take comfort for granted. But what if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our ancestors?
Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney takes up the challenge to find out: Can we hack our bodies and use the environment to stimulate our inner biology? Helping him in his search for the answers is Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof, whose ability to control his body temperature in extreme cold has sparked a whirlwind of scientific study. Carney also enlists input from an Army scientist, a world-famous surfer, the founders of an obstacle course race movement, and ordinary people who have documented how they have cured autoimmune diseases, lost weight, and reversed diabetes. In the process, he chronicles his own transformational journey as he pushes his body and mind to the edge of endurance, a quest that culminates in a record-bending, 28-hour climb to the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but a pair of running shorts and sneakers.
An ambitious blend of investigative reporting and participatory journalism, What Doesn't Kill Us explores the true connection between the mind and the body and reveals the science that allows us to push past our perceived limitations.
Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroid Scandal That Rocked Professional by award-winning investigative journalists Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, is a riveting narrative about the biggest doping scandal in the history of sports, and how baseball’s home run king, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants, came to use steroids. Drawing on more than two years of reporting, including interviews with hundreds of people, and exclusive access to secret grand jury testimony, confidential documents, audio recordings, and more, the authors provide, for the first time, a definitive account of the shocking steroids scandal that made headlines across the country.
The book traces the career of Victor Conte, founder of the BALCO laboratory, an egomaniacal former rock musician and self-proclaimed nutritionist, who set out to corrupt sports by providing athletes with “designer” steroids that would be undetectable on “state-of-the-art” doping tests. Conte gave the undetectable drugs to 28 of the world’s greatest athletes—Olympians, NFL players and baseball stars, Bonds chief among them.
A separate narrative thread details the steroids use of Bonds, an immensely talented, moody player who turned to performance-enhancing drugs after Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals set a new home run record in 1998. Through his personal trainer, Bonds gained access to BALCO drugs. All of the great athletes who visited BALCO benefited tremendously—Bonds broke McGwire’s record—but many had their careers disrupted after federal investigators raided BALCO and indicted Conte. The authors trace the course of the probe, and the baffling decision of federal prosecutors to protect the elite athletes who were involved.
Highlights of Game of Shadows include:
A look at how Bonds was driven to use performance-enhancing drugs in part by jealousy over Mark McGwire’s record-breaking 1998 season. It was shortly thereafter that Bonds—who had never used anything more performance enhancing than a protein shake from the health food store—first began using steroids. How Bonds’s weight trainer, steroid dealer Greg Anderson, arranged to meet Victor Conte before the 2001 baseball season with...
When Hungarian professor Ernő Rubik invented the Rubik’s Cube (or, rather, his Cube) in the 1970s out of wooden blocks, rubber bands, and paper clips, he didn’t even know if it could be solved, let alone that it would become the world’s most popular puzzle. Since its creation, the Cube has become many things to many people: one of the bestselling children’s toys of all time, a symbol of intellectual prowess, a frustrating puzzle with 43.2 quintillion possible permutations, and now a worldwide sporting phenomenon that is introducing the classic brainteaser to a new generation.
In Cracking the Cube, Ian Scheffler reveals that cubing isn’t just fun and games. Along with participating in speedcubing competitions—from the World Championship to local tournaments—and interviewing key figures from the Cube’s history, he journeys to Budapest to seek a meeting with the legendary and notoriously reclusive Rubik, who is still tinkering away with puzzles in his seventies.
Getting sucked into the competitive circuit himself, Scheffler becomes engrossed in solving Rubik’s Cube in under twenty seconds, the quasi-mystical barrier known as “sub-20,” which is to cubing what four minutes is to the mile: the difference between the best and everyone else. For Scheffler, the road to sub-20 is not just about memorizing algorithms or even solving the Rubik’s Cube. As he learns from the many gurus who cross his path, from pint-sized kids to engineering professors, it’s about learning to solve yourself.
There may be no cultural practice more global than soccer. Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope. The single greatest simultaneous human collective experience is the World Cup final.
In this extraordinary tour de force, David Goldblatt tells the full story of soccer's rise from chaotic folk ritual to the world's most popular sport-now poised to fully establish itself in the USA. Already celebrated internationally, The Ball Is Round illuminates soccer's role in the political and social histories of modern societies, but never loses sight of the beauty, joy, and excitement of the game itself.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The loamy black “muck” that surrounds Belle Glade, Florida once built an empire for Big Sugar and provided much of the nation's vegetables, often on the backs of roving, destitute migrants. Many of these were children who honed their skills along the field rows and started one of the most legendary football programs in America. Belle Glade’s high school team, the Glades Central Raiders, has sent an extraordinary number of players to the National Football League – 27 since 1985, with five of those drafted in the first round.
The industry that gave rise to the town and its team also spawned the chronic poverty, teeming migrant ghettos, and violence that cripples futures before they can ever begin. Muck City tells the story of quarterback Mario Rowley, whose dream is to win a championship for his deceased parents and quiet the ghosts that haunt him; head coach Jessie Hester, the town’s first NFL star, who returns home to “win kids, not championships”; and Jonteria Willliams, who must build her dream of becoming a doctor in one of the poorest high schools in the nation. For boys like Mario, being a Raider is a one-shot window for escape and a college education. Without football, Jonteria and the rest must make it on brains and fortitude alone. For the coach, good intentions must battle a town’s obsession to win above all else.
Beyond the Friday night lights, this book is an engrossing portrait of a community mired in a shameful past and uncertain future, but with the fierce will to survive, win, and escape to a better life.
Now internationally acclaimed award-winning journalist David Walsh gives an explosive account of the shadow side of professional sports. In this electrifying, controversial, and scrupulously documented exposé, Walsh explores the many facets of the cyclist doping scandals in the United States and abroad. He examines how performance-enhancing drugs can infiltrate a premier sports event–and why athletes succumb to the pressure to use them. In researching this book, Walsh conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with key figures in international cycling, doctors, and other insiders, including Emma O’Reilly, Armstrong’s longtime massage therapist; former U.S. Postal Service cycling team doctor Prentice Steffen; cycling legend Greg LeMond; and former teammates of both Landis and Armstrong.
Central to the story is Lance Armstrong’s relentless, all-consuming drive to be the best. Also essential to this narrative is Floyd Landis, the unassuming, sympathetic hero who was the first winner of the Tour de France after Lance–and the first ever to face the threat of having his title revoked. More than anything else, this book will ignite anew the debate about whether there is room in the current sports culture for athletes who compete honestly, whether sports can be saved from a scandal as widespread as this, and what changes will have to be made.
With a compelling narrative and revelations that will stun, enlighten, and haunt readers, David Walsh addresses numerous questions that arise in that crucial space where sports meet the larger American culture.
From the Hardcover edition.
One Helluva Ride, a full-throttle account of the rise and reign of NASCAR nation, is award-winning motorsports reporter Liz Clarke’s chronicle of how stock car racing exploded from regional obsession to national phenomenon. In covering the sport for more than fifteen years, Clarke has developed a strong rapport with NASCAR’s drivers, team owners, and hard-core fans. Through her reporting and analysis, we get to know the public and private sides of NASCAR’s most iconic figures, including seven-time champion Richard Petty, who set the standard for treating fans with respect, and the late Dale Earnhardt, whose brazen, bullying tactics wreaked havoc on the track, but whose heart was as big as Daytona’s infield.
The sports world stopped in its tracks the day Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. Some feared that NASCAR’s soul would die with him. But it has raced on, steered by visionary promoters, the all-controlling France family (who founded the sport), and, above all, the next generation of drivers to stir fans’ passions: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., son of the NASCAR legend and now, like his father before him, the circuit’s most popular driver; Jeff Gordon, the beloved but oft-maligned outsider, bred from the cradle to be NASCAR’s winningest modern champion; and Kasey Kahne, a reluctant heartthrob whose confidence derives entirely from an accelerator pedal. Clarke also brings us inside NASCAR’s most triumphant and tragic dynasties: the Pettys, the Earnhardts, and the Allisons–and reveals how faith, family, and a deep-seated love of their sport helps them cope with grief and loss.
Clarke shows NASCAR to be at a crossroads. In pursuit of a broader audience, NASCAR has severed its sponsorship ties to Big Tobacco, abandoned racetracks in small markets in favor of speedways near glitzy major cities, and welcomed Japan’s Toyota into a sport traditionally restricted to American-made sedans. As NASCAR races toward mass appeal, some suggest it is leaving its roots behind. To others, it is boldly extending its reach from the Southern workingman to every man, woman, and child in the world.
Whether you’re one of the die-hard NASCAR faithful or just a casual follower, nobody brings you closer to the sport and business of big-time stock car racing than Liz Clarke. This book, like the phenomenon it profiles, really is One Helluva Ride.
From the Hardcover edition.
–RON ZOOK, head football coach, the University of Florida
In Every Week a Season, acclaimed sports reporter and author Brian Curtis takes readers on an unprecedented whirlwind tour of NCAA Division I football. It’s a world that breeds great drama, a world that millions watch but few understand. It is a multibillion-dollar business. It is an obsession.
To get to the beating heart of college football, Curtis embarked on a breakneck itinerary that took him where all red-blooded college football fans long to be: behind the scenes at nine big-time programs. In nine weeks, Curtis visited Colorado State University, the University of Georgia, Boston College, the University of Tennessee, the University of Maryland, the University of Wisconsin, Louisiana State University, Florida State University, and Arizona State University. He braved the rain to watch Wisconsin pull off the upset of the year; he was at Neyland Stadium to see Tennessee manage a thrilling overtime victory; he was in Tallahassee to witness Florida State’s dramatic double overtime battle for the ACC title. As added bonuses, he was with Georgia when the team fought for the SEC Championship, and on the LSU sideline when the boys from Baton Rouge defeated Oklahoma to capture the BCS National Championship. At each stop, he brings us inside the game’s inner sanctum: in team meetings and scouting sessions; on the field and on the sidelines, during scrimmages, practices, and games; at pre-game traditions, meals, and religious services; in the locker room before the game and at half-time. Virtually nothing and no one was off-limits.
Along with the players, Curtis got to know the coaches–from the young guns to the legends–spending time with them in their offices and on the road. We see firsthand the challenges of running a major college football program–when called on, coaches must serve as CEOs, PR gurus, lawyers, politicians, and policemen. We also learn of the sacrifices made by wives and children that enable coaches to keep the numerous young athletes under their supervision focused, secure, and happy.
Brian Curtis gives a no-holds-barred insider’s account that will rank as one of the most honest and accurate books on big-time sports in America. Short of strapping on a helmet, you’ll never get closer to the game.
From the Hardcover edition.
The essayists include scholars in anthropology, psychology, film studies, communication studies, and sociology, one of whom used to wrestle professionally. Classic studies of wrestling by Roland Barthes, Carlos Monsiváis, Sharon Mazer, and Henry Jenkins appear alongside original essays. Whether exploring how pro wrestling inflects race, masculinity, and ideas of reality and authenticity; how female fans express their enthusiasm for male wrestlers; or how lucha libre provides insights into Mexican social and political life, Steel Chair to the Head gives due respect to pro wrestling by treating it with the same thorough attention usually reserved for more conventional forms of cultural expression.
Contributors. Roland Barthes, Douglas L. Battema, Susan Clerc, Laurence de Garis, Henry Jenkins III, Henry Jenkins IV, Heather Levi, Sharon Mazer, Carlos Monsiváis, Lucia Rahilly, Catherine Salmon, Nicholas Sammond, Phillip Serrat, Philip Sewell
In this perceptive, finely argued book, Gregg Easterbrook shows that the so-called "Heidi Bowl" was not just an isolated bizarre moment. It was the beginning of the football era in America. The sport boomed alongside television, soon becoming our national campfire--one of the few points of agreement across the political spectrum and a genuine source of community even as religion's influence waned. It is no coincidence, Easterbrook argues, that we now see in football the same issues that we perceive elsewhere in America--including recent problems with bullying, violence against women, racial injustice, and financial skulduggery.
These problems are significant, and many have been moved to limit their engagement with the NFL's venal culture--or boycott it entirely. Yet as Easterbrook shows, there's something here worth saving. He expounds on the benefits of football, and throws its many problems into relief, finally arguing that the work of reforming and changing one of our great pastimes is American as the game itself.
Both entertaining and thought-provoking, THE EDGE not only visits the battlefields in the war against cheating and corruption, but also explores ways to ensure that “the spirit of sport” can survive in today’s high-tech, highly professional world.
Drawing on controversies straight out of the headlines, Pielke looks at doping, match fixing, fake amateurism, and other ways of breaking the rules. But are those rules--and the values they reflect--hopelessly outdated?
Wonderfully readable and scrupulously researched, THE EDGE blends science and journalism to produce an unforgettable account of sport in crisis.
Named one of the “Best Books of the Year” by Guardian, Slate, Financial Times, Independent (UK), and Bloomberg News
Soccernomics pioneers a new way of looking at soccer through meticulous, empirical analysis and incisive, witty commentary. The San Francisco Chronicle describes it as “the most intelligent book ever written about soccer.” This World Cup edition features new material, including a provocative examination of how soccer clubs might actually start making profits, why that's undesirable, and how soccer's never had it so good.
This collection is of particular interest for anyone who intends to enter a bidding process for a major sporting event. It offers the host of an event a good introduction to the potential ways to generate economic benefits and will enhance understanding of the economics behind major sporting events.
This book was previously published as a special issue of European Sport Management Quarterly
Clearly written and highly accessible for all readers, this book addresses a pressing issue in professional and high-performance sport—the use of steroids—by placing it within the historical context of the ongoing desire to achieve the pinnacle of human sport. Topics examined in detail include the three major crises of Ben Johnson's positive test in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the creation of the World Anti-Doping Association, and the House Committee on Government Oversight's probe into steroid use. The author provides a critical examination of the current ban on steroids, and boldly advocates a common-sense solution to the complex problem of steroid use in sport: the adoption of harm-reduction strategies and policies rather than outright proscription.
The study of anthropology, as presented in Anthropology of Sport and Human Movement, provides a scope that offers a critical and discerning perspective on the complex calculus involving human biological and cultural variation that produces human movement and performance. Each chapter of this compelling collection resonates with the theme of a tightly woven relationship of biology and culture, of evolutionary implications and contemporary biological and cultural expression.
The Best American Sports Writing 2016 includes Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham, L. Jon Wertheim and Ken Rodriguez, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, Brett Popplewell, Alexandra Starr, Wright Thompson and others
RICK TELANDER is a Chicago Sun-Times senior sports columnist and the Basketball Evangelist for Slam magazine. He has also written for Sports Illustrated and ESPN: The Magazine, and has been featured seven times in The Best American Sports Writing. He is the author of eight books, including Heaven Is a Playground and From Red Ink to Roses.
GLENN STOUT, series editor of The Best American Sports Writing since its inception, is the author of Young Woman and the Sea and Fenway 1912.
Come Out Swinging chronicles the everyday world of the gym. Its diverse members train, fight, talk, and socialize together. We meet amateurs for whom boxing is a full-time, unpaid job. We get to know the trainers who act as their father figures and mentors. We are introduced to women who empower themselves physically and mentally. And we encounter the male urban professionals who pay handsomely to learn to box, and to access a form of masculinity missing from their office-bound lives. Ultimately, Come Out Swinging reveals how Gleason's meets the needs of a variety of people who, despite their differences, are connected through discipline and sport.
Once known as the City of Champions, Edmonton is at a crossroads. As oil prices continue to plummet, the economic outlook grows bleaker by the day. Political changes have ushered in an era of uncertainty. And, as though mirroring the city’s fortunes, the Edmonton Oilers continue to struggle on the ice, offering little solace or escape to the city’s long-suffering hockey fans.
But on June 26, 2015, hope was reborn in Edmonton. With the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers selected Connor McDavid, a once-in-a-generation talent who, at only eighteen years old, was already being compared to the Great One who had preceded him twenty-five years earlier. Sparked by the arrival of McDavid, the construction of a new state-of-the-art hockey arena, and the development of a revitalized downtown core, a new sensibility began to emerge in Edmonton. Sensing an opportunity, the city started to rebuild and rebrand itself in search of a new future.
Through exclusive access, uplifting anecdotes, and colourful interviews, The McDavid Effect traces the renewal of not just a hockey team, but of an entire city. Reflecting the multitude of viewpoints that make up Edmonton—from Connor himself to construction crews at work on the downtown development to business executives directing the new shape of the Albertan capital—The McDavid Effect paints a portrait of the city as it is being reimagined, captures the near-religious reverence people have for sports, and shows how the people of Edmonton are coming to hope again.
Pigskin Rapture team captures the sights, sounds, and smells of a state smitten with football, from K-D’s Barbecue in Midland, to the rarefied air of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s private box in AT & T Stadium. Here, too, are the more subtle and occasionally unseen manifestations of Texas football culture, such as a homeless man who resides on a practice field in Houston; the cavernous remains of the Astrodome; the proud high school where Andrew Luck played; the Australian woman who made the Cowboy’s cheerleading squad, having never watched an NFL game; and the hangover a West Texas town continues to endure nearly three decades following the publication of Friday Night Lights.
With hundreds of stunning full-color photographs and meticulous reporting on the games and events, this book provides both die-hard and casual football fans everything they need to feel part of the action!