Since 1999, when he made his international debut, there has been no greater player in world rugby than Brian O'Driscoll. In 2010 Rugby World magazine named him its world player of the decade - and since then the legend has only grown.
Now, at the end of his amazing career - which culminated in fairy-tale fashion with Ireland's victory in the 2014 Six Nations championship - he tells his own story. Honest, gritty and thoughtful, Brian O'Driscoll's Autobiography is not just an essential sports book. It is an essential book about family, friends, hard work, courage and imagination.
'Honest, charming and revealing - a thoroughly good read' Rugby World
'A thoroughly enjoyable read ... After reading The Test I warmed even more to O'Driscoll as a player and a man. He stood for a new ethos in Irish sport that refused to accept mediocrity or glorious failure' Fergal Keane, Irish Times
'O'Driscoll's honesty ... takes the reader to a place they simply have not been before' Vincent Hogan, Irish Independent
'A must-read insight into the life and mind of Ireland's greatest rugby player' Irish Mail on Sunday
'There are fascinating insights into the lengths he was willing to go to perform at the highest level' Sunday Business Post
Richie McCaw, Rugby World Cup winning captain and the New Zealand All Black's most capped player of all time, is unquestionably the greatest player of his generation. He is arguably the most talented player of all time.
In his bestselling autobiography, McCaw talks with brutal honesty about the roots of his family life that defined his character and how it gave him the strength to emerge from the lowest moment in his career to lift the Webb Ellis Cup, and become the most successful captain world rugby has ever seen.
As he prepares to become the first captain to successfully defend the World Cup, McCaw has set the standard of what a professional rugby player should be. Hugely popular and respected, his sheer presence means that he is a natural leader both on and off the pitch and his story is not just a brutal account of life on the front line, but an exhilarating portrait of modern rugby./div
In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
Unbroken is an unforgettable testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit, brought vividly to life by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand.
Hailed as the top nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography and the Indies Choice Adult Nonfiction Book of the Year award
“Extraordinarily moving . . . a powerfully drawn survival epic.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] one-in-a-billion story . . . designed to wrench from self-respecting critics all the blurby adjectives we normally try to avoid: It is amazing, unforgettable, gripping, harrowing, chilling, and inspiring.”—New York
“Staggering . . . mesmerizing . . . Hillenbrand’s writing is so ferociously cinematic, the events she describes so incredible, you don’t dare take your eyes off the page.”—People
“A meticulous, soaring and beautifully written account of an extraordinary life.”—The Washington Post
“Ambitious and powerful . . . a startling narrative and an inspirational book.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Magnificent . . . incredible . . . [Hillenbrand] has crafted another masterful blend of sports, history and overcoming terrific odds; this is biography taken to the nth degree, a chronicle of a remarkable life lived through extraordinary times.”—The Dallas Morning News
“An astonishing testament to the superhuman power of tenacity.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A tale of triumph and redemption . . . astonishingly detailed.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“[A] masterfully told true story . . . nothing less than a marvel.”—Washingtonian
“[Hillenbrand tells this] story with cool elegance but at a thrilling sprinter’s pace.”—Time
“Hillenbrand [is] one of our best writers of narrative history. You don’t have to be a sports fan or a war-history buff to devour this book—you just have to love great storytelling.”—Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament- the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa together. After being released from prison and winning South Africa's first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks-long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule-to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela's miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.
In the book you will discover how Bella was able to become close enough to this controversial superstar, to be given the opportunity to learn his many secrets. You will also come to find out how it was for Bella to have to bear such a burden of becoming a loyal keeper. Bella starts out as just another lover to a popular sports figure, but eventually ends up as so much more.
Discover how an unlikely encounter that should have resulted as just a one night stand, somehow turned out to blossom into a comradery that was meant to last a lifetime. Read along and bear witness to the love, joys, fears, rituals, betrayals, devastation and so much more.
Each chapter contains an intriguing truth that separates it from the others. What you may have thought you already knew, may very well shock you to learn it was otherwise. Read as Bella takes you back in time with her to sporting events, prison calls, tearful admissions, dogfighting conversations, painful allegations, intense romance, and more.
Find out how it all began, ended, and most importantly, how it was able to remain a secret for so long. Take a look inside and discover what really made Bella Escritor the “Quarterback Keeper”.
**Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award**
Gareth Thomas had it all. He was a national hero, a sporting icon. He was a leader of men, captain of Wales and the British Lions. To him, rugby was an expression of cultural identity, a sacred code. It was no mere ball game. It gave him everything, except the freedom to be himself.
This is the story of a man with a secret that was slowly killing him. Something that might devastate not only his own life but the lives of his wife, family, friends and teammates. The only place where he could find any refuge from the pain and guilt of the lie he was living was on the pitch, playing the sport he loved. But all his success didn’t make the strain of hiding who he really was go away. His fear that telling the truth about his sexuality would lose him everything he loved almost sent him over the edge.
The deceit ended when Gareth became the world’s most prominent athlete to come out as a gay man. His gesture has strengthened strangers, and given him a fresh perspective. Gareth’s inspiring and moving story transcends the world of sport to tell a universal truth about feeling like an outsider, and facing up to who you really are.
After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks—long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule—to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela’s miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.
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This is a witty, off-the-wall guide to the rules of the modern game, as if written by a very patient but understanding friend. Writer Iain Macintosh explains how rugby works and why is it so popular, and reveals the history of the sport. He guides the novice through the basic rules of the game in a bouncy, easy-to-fathom style, but also explains the fast-changing pace of the modern game that has made it even more compelling.
If you've ever been terrified by phrases like 'ruck and maul', or never quite understood the legalised 'bundle' that is a scrum, this book will remove the mystery and explain all you ever needed to know about rugby, but were too afraid to ask.
There has never been a rugby player quite like Paul O'Connell. He is synonymous with passion, heart and determination; but he is also the thinking man's rugby player, a legendary student of the game.
As the heartbeat of Munster, British and Irish Lions captain in 2009, and captain of the first Ireland team to defend a Six Nations championship, O'Connell has emerged as perhaps the most beloved of the golden generation of Irish rugby players. In an autobiography as intense as its author, he tells the story of his remarkable career.
'The years of O'Connell and O'Driscoll were as close to a golden age as ever Ireland will get and O'Connell's book tells you how it all happened ... It should be mandatory for every Irish squad member to read O'Connell's book to better understand what it takes to make a team' David Walsh, Sunday Times
'O'Connell has emptied the tank here. ... What has come out ... is a psychological profile that is almost shocking at times in what it reveals about the bloody single-mindedness of the competitive gene' Hilary A. White, Irish Independent
'The intense physicality of his rugby upbringing is an abiding theme ... along with humour, the craic and an extensive knowledge of how teams work' Paul Hayward, Daily Telegraph
'I found The Battle entrancing' Stephen Jones, Sunday Times
'Excellent ... [an] eye-opening account of the never-ending battles he fought' Rugby World
'Revelatory ... Unflinchingly charts his personal evolution ... He is not at all easy on himself' Keith Duggan, Irish Times
“The fight is yours to win.”
In this inspiring and moving book, Ronda Rousey, the Olympic medalist in judo, reigning UFC women's bantamweight champion, and Hollywood star charts her difficult path to glory.
Marked by her signature charm, barbed wit, and undeniable power, Rousey’s account of the toughest fights of her life—in and outside the Octagon—reveals the painful loss of her father when she was eight years old, the intensity of her judo training, her battles with love, her meteoric rise to fame, the secret behind her undefeated UFC record, and what it takes to become the toughest woman on Earth. Rousey shares hard-won lessons on how to be the best at what you do, including how to find fulfillment in the sacrifices, how to turn limitations into opportunities, and how to be the best on your worst day.
Packed with raw emotion, drama, and wisdom, this is an unforgettable book by one of the most remarkable women in the world.
Total rugby is the antithesis of play-safe rugby - an open, ebullient game in which every player is encouraged to show what he can do as an attacker, defender and supporting player. Total Rugby has become one of the game's most seminal coaching manuals - it highlights inspirational rugby coach Jim Greenwood's radical examination of every facet of the game and his ability to clearly convey the wealth of knowledge he accumulated over many years in the sport.
As well as playing an integral role in Wales's two Grand Slam victories, Jones has appeared in three Rugby World Cups and was part of the 2005 British and Irish Lions squad. He has witnessed at first hand how the Welsh rugby establishment has struggled with the transition to professionalism, and in this candid memoir he recounts the many highs he has experienced, as well as the challenges he has faced, throughout his career so far.
Jones gives an intriguing account of how he became one of the few Welsh players to play in France, recalling the brutality of the game there and how he became a cult figure amongst fans of Clermont Auvergne, where he was twice voted fly-half of the season.
In Stephen Jones - A Thinking Man's Game: My Story, the Welsh rugby star reveals how his steely resolve, utter determination and sheer passion for rugby have allowed him to bounce back from numerous setbacks to become one of the most popular and respected figures in the game today.
Ever since Tom Brown’s Schooldays the sport has seen itself as the guardian of traditional English middle-class values. In this fascinating new history, leading rugby historian Tony Collins demonstrates how these values have shaped the English game, from the public schools to mass spectator sport, from strict amateurism to global professionalism.
Based on unprecedented access to the official archives of the Rugby Football Union, and drawing on an impressive array of sources from club minutes to personal memoirs and contemporary literature, the book explores in vivid detail the key events, personalities and players that have made English rugby.
From an era of rapid growth at the end of the nineteenth century, through the terrible losses suffered during the First World War and the subsequent ‘rush to rugby’ in the public and grammar schools, and into the periods of disorientation and commercialisation in the 1960s through to the present day, the story of English rugby union is also the story of the making of modern England.
Like all the very best writers on sport, Tony Collins uses sport as a prism through which to better understand both culture and society. A ground-breaking work of both social history and sport history, A Social History of English Rugby Union tells a fascinating story of sporting endeavour, masculine identity, imperial ideology, social consciousness and the nature of Englishness.
A New York Times bestseller
During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more important, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the “Zen master” half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded; who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players’ nature, not their egos, fear, or greed.
This is the story of a preacher’s kid from North Dakota who grew up to be one of the most innovative leaders of our time. In his quest to reinvent himself, Jackson explored everything from humanistic psychology and Native American philosophy to Zen meditation. In the process, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork that turned the hypercompetitive world of professional sports on its head.
In Eleven Rings, Jackson candidly describes how he:
• Learned the secrets of mindfulness and team chemistry while playing for the champion New York Knicks in the 1970s
• Managed Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the world, and got him to embrace selflessness, even if it meant losing a scoring title
• Forged successful teams out of players of varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync
• Inspired Dennis Rodman and other “uncoachable” personalities to devote themselves to something larger than themselves
• Transformed Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager into a mature leader of a championship team.
Eleven times, Jackson led his teams to the ultimate goal: the NBA championship—six times with the Chicago Bulls and five times with the Los Angeles Lakers. We all know the legendary stars on those teams, or think we do. What Eleven Rings shows us, however, is that when it comes to the most important lessons, we don’t know very much at all. This book is full of revelations: about fascinating personalities and their drive to win; about the wellsprings of motivation and competition at the highest levels; and about what it takes to bring out the best in ourselves and others.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The transformation was astounding. Now Lancaster's side has the work ethic, humility and resolve to compare with that World Cup-winning team. Much of this is down to their coach, but with so little international experience, how did he bring about this renewal?
Part biography, part examination of leadership, The House of Lancaster pulls apart the England rugby machine and looks at how it has been put together. Filled with exclusive interviews from the leading protagonists, players and coaches, as well as containing unprecedented access to Lancaster's methods, The House of Lancaster shows how the vision, personality and leaderships skills of one driven man can turn a team into genuine world-beaters.
With a foreword from Sir Ian McGeechan OBE
As his teenage years came to an end, Williams looked set for a life of relative obscurity playing scrum-half for his local side, Amman United, and scratching around in a variety of day jobs. All that changed, however, when he was plucked from nowhere by then Neath coach Lyn Jones, and his rise to become Wales's most dangerous strike runner was meteoric. Following his international debut aged 21, Williams lit up Wales's 2003 World Cup campaign and went on to become an integral part of the Grand Slam-winning side of 2005, a year in which he also toured with the British Lions to New Zealand. In 2008, when Wales took the Grand Slam once more, he made a sensational contribution to the side's glorious victory.
After leading the great Bryan Habana a merry dance on the way to two mesmerising tries on Wales' tour to South Africa just two months later, Williams became the first Welshman crowned IRB World Player of the Year that autumn. He then completed the 2008-09 season with a second Lions tour, touching down twice in the 28-9 third Test victory against the Springboks.
In Shane, Williams reveals the inside story of his incredible rugby career so far, the personal trials that have come with success and how he has managed to defy the odds to become a living Welsh rugby legend.
"Entertaining . . .an insightful and funny observer of pro wrestling's universe." - Publishers Weekly
In this insightful, riveting book, Jericho takes us into WWE wrestling arenas around the world as he details his classic rivalries with The Rock, Steve Austin, HHH, Shawn Michaels, and John Cena, along with all the politics and backstage machinations he faced outside the ring. Chris recounts his hilarious escapades of breaking in with the Hollywood elite via doomed auditions, short-lived reality shows, made-for-television movies, and red-carpet interviewing fiascos.
Jam packed with CJ's trademark self-effacing humor, one-of-a-kind writing style, and ridiculous random encounters with everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Axl Rose, and Wayne Gretzky to Paul McCartney, and Howard Stern, UNDISPUTED is one of a rare breed-a sequel that might be better than the original.
Far more than a superb memoir about the highest levels of professional tennis, Open is the engrossing story of a remarkable life.
Andre Agassi had his life mapped out for him before he left the crib. Groomed to be a tennis champion by his moody and demanding father, by the age of twenty-two Agassi had won the first of his eight grand slams and achieved wealth, celebrity, and the game’s highest honors. But as he reveals in this searching autobiography, off the court he was often unhappy and confused, unfulfilled by his great achievements in a sport he had come to resent. Agassi writes candidly about his early success and his uncomfortable relationship with fame, his marriage to Brooke Shields, his growing interest in philanthropy, and—described in haunting, point-by-point detail—the highs and lows of his celebrated career.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Raging Bull is the iconic tight-head prop's own incredible story, the tale of a true legend of rugby union; a tough, no-nonsense player who is as fearless and uncompromising on the pitch as he is a great raconteur off it.
His career spans amateurism and professionalism, starting in the Cornish countryside and travelling to two World Cup finals and two Lions tours.
Vickery is a hugely passionate player. He sports a tattoo which announces 'I'll fight you to the death', and has overcome serious injuries (including eight operations) in a career of stunning highs and devastating lows. He plays his sport in the best traditions of rugby and he is a story teller par excellence.
Raging Bull will transport readers to the England front row in Six Nations clashes at Twickenham, to the changing rooms on British Lions tours, and to the bars of many an amateur rugby club. It will remind fans what rugby is really all about – the fun and camaraderie, and the passion and commitment, as the former herdsman turned England and Lions star takes you to the heart and soul of the sport he loves.
"An action-packed, uplifting, exceed-your-dreams thrill ride." -Associated Press
Chris Jericho has been named one of the top ten best wrestlers in the world and was crowned the first undisputed heavyweight champion in professional wrestling history. But his journey from Alberta, Canada, to Vince McMahon's WWE is a story that may never, ever happen again.
From leaving home at nineteen and training in the infamous Hart Dungeon; to dealing with his mother's devastating injury; to becoming a national heartthrob in Mexico, a local hero in Germany, and a hated villain in Japan; to his big break in the WCW; Chris shares both the poignant and the hilarious moments of his life. With never-before-heard insights into the highly political backstage machinations of the wrestling business during the 1990s, this is Lion Heart rising from small-town dreamer to big-time superstar, living and loving in foreign lands, and proving that dreams can come true.
The fearless, intimate, and inspiring story behind ESPN anchor Stuart Scott’s unrelenting fight against cancer, with a foreword by Robin Roberts.
Shortly before he passed away, on January 4, 2015, Stuart Scott completed work on this memoir. It was both a labor of love and a love letter to life itself. Not only did Stuart relate his personal story—his childhood in North Carolina, his supportive family, his athletic escapades, his on-the-job training as a fledgling sportscaster, his being hired and eventual triumphs at ESPN—he shared his intimate struggles to keep his story going. Struck by appendiceal cancer in 2007, Stuart battled this rare disease with an unimaginable tenacity and vigor. Countless surgeries, enervating chemotherapies, endless shuttling from home to hospital to office and back—Stuart continued defying fate, pushing himself through exercises and workout routines that kept him strong. He wanted to be there for his teenage daughters, Sydni and Taelor, not simply as their dad, but as an immutable example of determination and courage.
Every Day I Fight is a saga of love, an inspiration to us all.
From the Hardcover edition.
This is Bryan's behind-the-scenes story told for the first time ever — from his beginnings as a child wanting to wrestle to his ten years on the circuit before finally making it in WWE.
When his "YES!" chant becomes a full-fledged movement, his career skyrockets. This book chronicles all the hard work, values, influences, unique life choices and more leading to his watershed week at WrestleMania 30. You won't want to miss it. Yes! We're sure about this.
Windsor's irrepressible sense of humour comes shining through on every page, except when he gives chapter and verse on the personal crisis that drove him to plan suicide.
The Iron Duke is the no-holds-barred, warts-and-all story of a working-class Welsh folk hero who rose from humble beginnings to become a permanent member of the greatest Lions team in the history of rugby union.
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.
The Oval World is the first full-length history of rugby on a world scale – from its origins in the village-based football games of medieval times up to the globalised sport of the twenty-first century,now played in well over 100 countries. It tells the story of how a game played in an obscure English public school became the winter sport of the British Empire, spread to France, Argentina, Japan and the rest of the world and commanded a global television audience of over four billion for the last world cup final. And how American football – and other games such as Australian, Canadian and Gaelic football – emerged from rugby and highlight just how much the modern gridiron game owes to its English cousin.
Featuring the great moments in the game's history and its great names – such as Jonah Lomu, David Duckham, Serge Blanco, Billy Boston and David Campese alongside Rupert Brooke, King George V, Boris Karloff, Charles de Gaulle and Nelson Mandela – The Oval World investigates just what it is about rugby that enables it to survive and thrive in countries with very different traditions and cultures. This is the the definitive world history of a truly global rugby.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s story is unique, and uniquely entertaining, and he tells it brilliantly in Total Recall.
He was born in a year of famine, in a small Austrian town, the son of an austere police chief. He dreamed of moving to America to become a bodybuilding champion and a movie star.
By the age of twenty-one, he was living in Los Angeles and had been crowned Mr. Universe.
Within five years, he had learned English and become the greatest bodybuilder in the world.
Within ten years, he had earned his college degree and was a millionaire from his business enterprises in real estate, construction, and bodybuilding. He was also the winner of a Golden Globe Award for his debut as a dramatic actor in Stay Hungry.
Within twenty years, he was the world’s biggest movie star, the husband of Maria Shriver, and an emerging Republican leader who was part of the Kennedy family.
Thirty-six years after coming to America, the man once known by fellow bodybuilders as the Austrian Oak was elected governor of California, the seventh largest economy in the world.
He led the state through a budget crisis, natural disasters, and political turmoil, working across party lines for a better environment, election reforms, new infrastructure to rebuild California, and bipartisan solutions.
Until now, he has never told the full story of his life, including his greatest successes and his biggest failures, in his own voice.
Here is Arnold, with total recall.
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.
You know him by any number of names, and chances are you know all about his legendary basketball career: Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal is a four-time NBA champion and a three-time NBA Finals MVP. After being an All-American at Louisiana State University, he was the overall number one draft pick in the NBA in 1992. In his 19-year career, Shaq racked up 28,596 career points (including 5,935 free throws!), 13,099 rebounds, 3,026 assists, 2,732 blocks, and 15 All-Star appearances.
These are statistics that are almost as massive as the man himself. His presence-both physically and psychologically-made him a dominant force in the game for two decades.
But if you follow the game, you also know that there's a lot more to Shaquille O'Neal than just basketball.
Shaq is famous for his playful, and at times, provocative personality. He is, literally, outsize in both scale and persona. Whether rapping on any of his five albums, challenging celebrities on his hit television show "Shaq Vs.," studying for his PhD or serving as a reserve police officer, there's no question that Shaq has led a unique and multi-dimensional life. And in this rollicking new autobiography, Shaq discusses his remarkable journey, including his candid thoughts on teammates and coaches like Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley.
From growing up in difficult circumstances and getting cut from his high school basketball team to his larger-than-life basketball career, Shaq lays it all out in SHAQ UNCUT: MY STORY.
With millions of fans, Michaels had adulation and all the attention he could ask for, but he discovered there was something more. When he became a committed Christian during his years in the WWE it had to affect everything. Michaels reveals what it is like to be a man of faith in this unusual world and shares insights for all of us.
BONUS: This edition contains a Seabiscuit discussion guide and an excerpt from Unbroken.
Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes:
Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.
BEYOND BELIEF details the events that led up to the derailment. Josh explains how a young man destined for fame and wealth could allow his life to be taken over by drugs and alcohol. But it is also the memoir of a spiritual journey that breaks through pain and heartbreak and leads to the rebirth of his major-league career.
Josh Hamilton makes no excuses and places no blame on anyone other than himself. He takes responsibility for his poor decisions and believes his story can help millions who battle the same demons. "I have been given a platform to tell my story" he says. "I pray every night I am a good messenger."
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.
As no book has ever quite done before, Francona escorts readers into the rarefied world of a twenty-first-century clubhouse, revealing the mercurial dynamic of the national pastime from the inside out. From his unique vantage point, Francona chronicles an epic era, from 2004, his first year as the Sox skipper, when they won their first championship in 86 years, through another win in 2007, to the controversial September collapse just four years later. He recounts the tightrope walk of managing unpredictable personalities such as Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez and working with Theo Epstein, the general managing phenom, and his statistics-driven executives. It was a job that meant balancing their voluminous data with the emotions of a 25-man roster. It was a job that also meant trying to meet the expectations of three owners with often wildly differing opinions. Along the way, readers are treated to never-before-told stories about their favorite players, moments, losses, and wins.
Ultimately, when for the Red Sox it became less about winning and more about making money, Francona contends they lost their way. But it was an unforgettable, endlessly entertaining, and instructive time in baseball history, one that is documented and celebrated in Francona, a book that examines like no other the art of managing in today’s game.
But that success did not come easy. For such a well known player with a larger-than-life reputation, his long battle to make a breakthrough at the highest level is largely unknown. In this honest and revealing autobiography, Donncha talks in detail about the personal setbacks and disappointments at Munster and the unconventional ways he dealt with the frustration of not making the team for four of five years in his early 20s.
He had a parallel experience with Ireland where it took him nearly six years to get from fringe squad member to established first choice player. Here he talks candidly about how he brought discipline to his game, and about his relationships with the coaches who had overlooked him and the second row rivals who had kept him on the bench.
Donncha talks also with great warmth about a hectic childhood that was shaped by the death of his father when he was only six years old. One of the heroes of his story is his mother Marie who showed incredible strength and resourcefulness to rear a family of five on her own.
Often deservedly regarded as 'the joker in the pack', what is often less well known is the serious attitude and intensely professional approach Donncha brings to his rugby. Joking Apart gives the full picture, showing sides of the man that will be unfamiliar to followers of Irish rugby and will surprise the reader.
In Win or Learn, John Kavanagh tells his own remarkable life story - which is at the heart of the story of the extraordinary explosion of MMA in Ireland and globally. Kavanagh has become a guru to young men and women seeking to master the arts of combat. And as the trainer of the world's most charismatic male MMA star, he has become a magnet for talented fighters from all over the world. Kavanagh's portrait of Conor McGregor - who he has seen in his lowest moments, as well as in his greatest triumphs - is a revelation.
What emerges from Win or Learn is a remarkable portrait of ambition, discipline, and persistence in the face of years and years of disappointment. It is a must read for every MMA fan - but also for anyone who wants to understand how to follow a dream and realize a vision.
Born to Balkan immigrants who divorced when he was a toddler, Zlatan learned self-reliance from his rough-and-tumble neighborhood. While his father, a Bosnian Muslim, drank to forget the war back home, his mother’s household was engulfed in chaos. Soccer was Zlatan’s release. Mixing in street moves and trick plays, Zlatan was a wild talent who rode to practice on stolen bikes and relished showing up the rich kids—opponents and teammates alike. Goal by astonishing goal, the brash young outsider grew into an unlikely prodigy and, by his early twenties, an international phenomenon.
Told as only the man himself could tell it, featuring stories of friendships and feuds with the biggest names in the sport, I Am Zlatan is a wrenching, uproarious, and ultimately redemptive tale for underdogs everywhere.
Praise for I Am Zlatan
“Terrific . . . Far more insightful than your typical jock memoir, Ibra’s book tells his story of growing up as the son of immigrants in Sweden and pulls no punches when it comes to his opinions of some of the biggest names in the game.”—Sports Illustrated
“The most compelling autobiography ever to appear under a footballer’s name.”—The Guardian
“The story of Zlatan—from his days as an immigrant kid juggling a soccer ball so he won’t get bullied to his emergence as the genius player who scored the greatest goal ever—is as compelling and fancy-footed as his game.”—Aleksandar Hemon, National Book Award finalist and author of The Lazarus Project
“I love this book. I love it because it’s so much bigger than soccer. I Am Zlatan is a story of hope and grit and what an immigrant kid who comes from nothing can accomplish with hard work and belief in himself. It’s also a beautiful window into our new, more open, more diverse world.”—Marcus Samuelsson, bestselling author of Yes, Chef
“Probably the bestselling European immigrant’s tale since Zadie Smith’s White Teeth . . . Once you get past the obligatory snigger prompted by the phrase ‘footballer’s autobiography,’ you can see that Zlatan’s book strangely resembles an earlier immigrant’s tale: Portnoy’s Complaint.”—Financial Times
“He is skillful. He is outspoken. He is Zlatan.”—The New York Times
“The best sports autobiography in years.”—PolicyMic
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This big-hearted memoir by the most promising professional basketball player of his generation details his rise to NBA stardom, the terrible accident that ended his career and plunged him into a life-altering depression, and how he ultimately found his way out of the darkness.
Ten years ago, Jay Williams was at the beginning of a brilliant professional basketball career. The Chicago Bulls’ top draft pick—and the second pick of the entire draft—he had the great Michael Jordan’s locker. Then he ran his high-performance motorcycle head-on into a light pole, severely damaging himself and ending his career.
In this intense, hard-hitting, and deeply profound memoir, Williams talks about the accident that transformed him. Sometimes, the memories are so fresh, he feels like he’ll never escape the past. Most days, he finds a quiet peace as a commentator on ESPN and as an entrepreneur who can only look back in astonishment at his younger self—a kid who had it all, thought he was invincible, and lost everything . . . only to gain new wisdom.
Williams also shares behind the scenes details of life as an All-American. He tells it straight about the scandalous recruiting process and his decision to return to Duke and Coach K—a man who taught him about accountability—to finish his education. He also speaks out about corruption—among coaches, administrators, players, and alumni—and about his time in the NBA, introducing us to a dark underworld culture in the pros: the gambling, drugs, and sex in every city, with players on every team.
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.
The reigning UFC welterweight champion, St. Pierre seemed untouchable until injury derailed him and jeopardized his title and his career. Determined to make his comeback, he embarked on a careful regimen of physical therapy. He also used this healing period to assess his life, where he's been, what he's achieved, where he wants to go, and and lessons that helped shape who he is.
In The Way of the Fight, Canadian championship fighter St. Pierre invites fans into the circle of his life, sharing his most closely guarded memories. A compelling memoir that offers an intimate, gritty look at a fighter’s journey, told through inspiring vignettes, GSP is a moving account of commitment and power, achievement and pain, dedication and conviction from one of the world's greatest champions.
The definitive biography of a legendary athlete
The Shrug. The Shot. The Flu Game. Michael Jordan is responsible for sublime moments so ingrained in sports history that they have their own names. When most people think of him, they think of his beautiful shots with the game on the line, his body totally in sync with the ball -- hitting nothing but net.
But for all his greatness, this scion of a complex family from North Carolina's Coastal Plain has a darker side: he's a ruthless competitor and a lover of high stakes. There's never been a biography that encompassed the dual nature of his character and looked so deeply at Jordan on and off the court -- until now.
Basketball journalist Roland Lazenby spent almost thirty years covering Michael Jordan's career in college and the pros. He witnessed Jordan's growth from a skinny rookie to the instantly recognizable global ambassador for basketball whose business savvy and success have millions of kids still wanting to be just like Mike. Yet Lazenby also witnessed the Michael Jordan whose drive and appetite are more fearsome and more insatiable than any of his fans could begin to know. Michael Jordan: The Life explores both sides of his personality to reveal the fullest, most compelling story of the man who is Michael Jordan.
Lazenby draws on his personal relationships with Jordan's coaches; countless interviews with Jordan's friends, teammates, and family members; and interviews with Jordan himself to provide the first truly definitive study of Michael Jordan: the player, the icon, and the man.
Athlete, activist, rebel, poet, legend—Muhammad Ali stood larger than life in the imagination of hundreds of millions of people around the world. A gold medalist at the 1960 Olympics, he won the heavyweight championship at age twenty-two by conquering Sonny Liston in dramatic fashion. In the weeks after the upset victory, he confirmed his membership in the Nation of Islam and told reporters he would no longer answer to his “slave name”: Cassius Clay. The political establishment stripped him of his heavyweight title when he refused induction into the United States Army during the height of the war in Vietnam.
Ultimately, Ali returned to reclaim his crown, prevailing in epic fights against the likes of Joe Frazier and George Foreman. His talent and charisma—and above all, his adherence to principle—made him a cultural icon and one of the most beloved sporting figures of all time.
But that is only half the tale. Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times is also the story of Ali, the man. Author Thomas Hauser got closer to Ali than any previous biographer. His work—told in Ali’s own words and those of hundreds of family members, friends, rivals, and others who interacted with “The Greatest” over the decades—reveals a deeply spiritual, complex man, whose public and private battles, including his struggle against the devastating effects of Parkinson’s disease, gave new meaning to the word courage and changed forever our conception of what makes a champion.
Heralded by the New York Times as “the first definitive biography of the boxer who transcended sports as no other athlete ever has,” Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the legacy of one of the twentieth century’s most charismatic and controversial superstars.
This ebook includes rare photos authorized by Muhammad Ali Enterprises.
Pat Summitt was only 21 when she became head coach of the Tennessee Vols women's basketball team. For 38 years, she broke records, winning more games than any NCAA team in basketball history. She coached an undefeated season, co-captained the first women's Olympic team, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and was named Sports Illustrated 'Sportswoman of the Year'.
She owed her coaching success to her personal struggles and triumphs. She learned to be tough from her strict, demanding father. Motherhood taught her to balance that rigidity with communication and kindness. She was a role model for the many women she coached; 74 of her players have become coaches.
Pat's life took a shocking turn in 2011, when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible brain condition that affects 5 million Americans. Despite her devastating diagnosis, she led the Vols to win their sixteenth SEC championship in March 2012. Pat continued to be a fighter, facing this new challenge the way she's faced every other--with hard work, perseverance, and a sense of humor.
From the Hardcover edition.
The greatest run-scorer in the history of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013 after an astonishing 24 years at the top. The most celebrated Indian cricketer of all time, he received the Bharat Ratna Award - India's highest civilian honour - on the day of his retirement. Now Sachin Tendulkar tells his own remarkable story - from his first Test cap at the age of 16 to his 100th international century and the emotional final farewell that brought his country to a standstill.
When a boisterous Mumbai youngster's excess energies were channelled into cricket, the result was record-breaking schoolboy batting exploits that launched the career of a cricketing phenomenon. Before long Sachin Tendulkar was the cornerstone of India's batting line-up, his every move watched by a cricket-mad nation's devoted followers.
Never has a cricketer been burdened with so many expectations; never has a cricketer performed at such a high level for so long and with such style - scoring more runs and making more centuries than any other player, in both Tests and one-day games. And perhaps only one cricketer could have brought together a shocked nation by defiantly scoring a Test century shortly after terrorist attacks rocked Mumbai.
His many achievements with India include winning the World Cup and topping the world Test rankings. Yet he has also known his fair share of frustration and failure - from injuries and early World Cup exits to stinging criticism from the press, especially during his unhappy tenure as captain.
Despite his celebrity status, Sachin Tendulkar has always remained a very private man, devoted to his family and his country. Now, for the first time, he provides a fascinating insight into his personal life and gives a frank and revealing account of a sporting life like no other.
"UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons - 50 States - 50 Days", a Journeyfilm documentary, follows Dean’s incredible step-by-step journey across the country.
Ultrarunning legend Dean Karnazes has run 262 miles-the equivalent of ten marathons-without rest. He has run over mountains, across Death Valley, and to the South Pole-and is probably the first person to eat an entire pizza while running. With an insight, candor, and humor rarely seen in sports memoirs (and written without the aid of a ghostwriter or cowriter), Ultramarathon Man has inspired tens of thousands of people-nonrunners and runners alike-to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and be reminded of "what it feels like to be truly alive," says Sam Fussell, author of Muscle.
Ultramarathon Man answers the questions Karnazes is continually asked:
- Why do you do it?
- How do you do it?
- Are you insane?
And in the new paperback edition, Karnazes answers the two questions he was most asked on his book tour:
- What, exactly, do you eat?
- How do you train to stay in such good shape?
Reigning CrossFit World Champion Rich Froning is “The Fittest Man on Earth.” He’s fast. He’s strong. And he’s incredibly disciplined. But it takes more than physical strength to compete and win at an elite level. It takes incredible mental and spiritual toughness as well. And it is the precise balance of all three that makes Rich Froning a champion.
In First, readers come alongside Rich as he trains for and competes in back-to-back-to-back CrossFit World Championships. Along the way, Rich shares invaluable training tips, motivational techniques, and spiritual insights that, in keeping with the CrossFit philosophy, will prepare you to respond to any real-life physical, mental and spiritual challenge.
In 2006, Mark Titus arrived on Ohio State's campus as a former high school basketball player who aspired to be an orthopedic surgeon. Somehow, he was added to the elite Buckeye basketball team, given a scholarship, and played alongside seven future NBA players on his way to setting the record for most individual career wins in Ohio State history. Think that's impressive? In four years, he scored a grand total of nine—yes, nine—points.
This book will give readers an uncensored and uproarious look inside an elite NCAA basketball program from Titus's unique perspective. In his four years at the end of the bench, Mark founded his wildly popular blog Club Trillion, became a hero to all guys picked last, and even got scouted by the Harlem Globetrotters. Mark Titus is not your average basketball star. This is a wild and completely true story of the most unlikely career in college basketball. A must-read for all fans of March Madness and college sports!
Mariano Rivera, the man who intimidated thousands of batters merely by opening a bullpen door, began his incredible journey as the son of a poor Panamanian fisherman. When first scouted by the Yankees, he didn't even own his own glove. He thought he might make a good mechanic. When discovered, he had never flown in an airplane, had never heard of Babe Ruth, spoke no English, and couldn't imagine Tampa, the city where he was headed to begin a career that would become one of baseball's most iconic. What he did know: that he loved his family and his then girlfriend, Clara, that he could trust in the Lord to guide him, and that he could throw a baseball exactly where he wanted to, every time.
With astonishing candor, Rivera tells the story of the championships, the bosses (including The Boss), the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The thirteen-time All-Star discusses his drive to win; the secrets behind his legendary composure; the story of how he discovered his cut fastball; the untold, pitch-by-pitch account of the ninth inning of Game 7 in the 2001 World Series; and why the lowest moment of his career became one of his greatest blessings.
In The Closer, Rivera takes readers into the Yankee clubhouse, where his teammates are his brothers. But he also takes us on that jog from the bullpen to the mound, where the game -- or the season -- rests squarely on his shoulders. We come to understand the laserlike focus that is his hallmark, and how his faith and his family kept his feet firmly on the pitching rubber. Many of the tools he used so consistently and gracefully came from what was inside him for a very long time -- his deep passion for life; his enduring commitment to Clara, whom he met in kindergarten; and his innate sense for getting out of a jam.
When Rivera retired, the whole world watched -- and cheered. In The Closer, we come to an even greater appreciation of a legend built from the ground up.
To wrestling fans, the Nature Boy is a platinum-blond deity, a sixteen-time world champion who accurately boasted that he could have a five-star match with a broom. No matter how limited the opponent, Flair had the skill and determination to bounce all over the mat, transforming his rival into a star. When the camera light went on, "Slick Ric" could convince viewers that, if they missed an upcoming match, a momentous life experience would pass them by. Flair's opponents were challenged with this simple taunt: "To be the man, you have to beat the man."
Away from the arena, Richard Morgan Fliehr spent years struggling with his own concept of what it meant to be a man. He suffered periods of crushing self-doubt, marital strife and—in a profession where there was room for only one Ric Flair—broken friendships.
Ric Flair: To Be the Man, cowritten with Keith Elliot Greenberg, chronicles the anguish and exhilaration of Flair's life and career—in painfully honest detail. In addition to his own words, Flair's story is enriched by anecdotes from ring greats like Superstar Billy Graham, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Harley Race, Sgt. Slaughter, David Crockett, Arn Anderson, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.
To Be the Man traces the rise of one of wrestling's most enduring superstars to the pinnacle of the sports entertainment universe, and is a must-read for every wrestling fan.
Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white. In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the world of sports forever. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues.
I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson's early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete; his army stint during World War II, when he challenged Jim Crow laws and narrowly escaped court martial; his years of frustration, on and off the field, with the Negro Leagues; and finally that fateful day when Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers proposed what became known as the "Noble Experiment"—Robinson would step up to bat to integrate and revolutionize baseball.
More than a baseball story, I Never Had It Made also reveals the highs and lows of Robinson's life after baseball. He recounts his political aspirations and civil rights activism; his friendships with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Buckley, Jr., and Nelson Rockefeller; and his troubled relationship with his son, Jackie, Jr.
I Never Had It Made endures as an inspiring story of a man whose heroism extended well beyond the playing field.
In The Captain, best-selling author Ian O’Connor draws on extensive reporting and unique access to Jeter that has spanned some fifteen years to reveal how a biracial kid from Michigan became New York’s most beloved sports figure and the enduring symbol of the steroid-free athlete. O’Connor takes us behind the scenes of a legendary baseball life and career, from Jeter’s early struggles in the minor leagues, when homesickness and errors in the field threatened a stillborn career, to his heady days as a Yankee superstar and prince of the city who squired some of the world’s most beautiful women, to his tense battles with former best friend A-Rod. We also witness Jeter struggling to come to terms with his declining skills and the declining favor of the only organization he ever wanted to play for, leading to a contentious contract negotiation with the Yankees that left people wondering if Jeter might end his career in a uniform without pinstripes.
Derek Jeter’s march toward the Hall of Fame has been dignified and certain, but behind that leadership and hero’s grace there are hidden struggles and complexities that have never been explored, until now. As Jeter closes in on 3,000 hits, a number no Yankee has ever touched, The Captain offers an incisive, exhilarating, and revealing new look at one of the game’s greatest players in the gloaming of his career.