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)
At least 15% of the net retail price* of this eBook will be available to Comic Relief and Lumos Foundation for their work with children and young people to help them have a better life. 20% of these monies will be used by Comic Relief and 80% will be used by Lumos Foundation.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a talented and successful female athlete, Alex Morgan is a role model to thousands of girls who want to be their best, not just in soccer, but in other sports and in life. The story of her path to success, from playing in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, to winning gold in the 2012 London Olympics, to ranking as one of the National Team’s top scorers, will inspire everyone who reads it.
From her beginnings with the American Youth Soccer Organization to her key role in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Alex shares the details that made her who she is today: a fantastic role model and athlete who proudly rocks a pink headband.
“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.
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.
"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.
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.
When Robert Hoge was born, he had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. Surgeons removed the tumor and made him a new nose from one of his toes. Amazingly, he survived—with a face that would never be the same.
Strangers stared at him. Kids called him names, and adults could be cruel, too. Everybody seemed to agree that he was “ugly.” But Robert refused to let his face define him. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. And Robert came face to face with the biggest decision of his life, he followed his heart.
This poignant memoir about overcoming bullying and thriving with disabilities shows that what makes us “ugly” also makes us who we are. It features a reflective foil cover and black-and-white illustrations throughout.
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
How to...Horseback Riding is the next exciting installment in the popular How to... series!
This enthralling guide to every facet of horseback riding is packed with information to increase your equestrian knowledge. Filled with tips, pointers, and practical advice, this book will help improve your riding technique.
Accessible and easy to follow, it is full of engaging graphics and newly commissioned step-by-step photographs. The book features information on all areas of riding, from getting ready to ride and proper attire to show competitions, including dressage, cross country jumping, and western riding. Written in consultation with an expert equestrian consultant with extensive experience of teaching young children to ride, How to...Horseback Riding is a great companion to riding lessons.
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.
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.
“The Web of the Game” by Roger Angell
“Ahab and Nemesis” by A. J . Liebling
“Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu” by John Updike
“The Only Games in Town” by Anthony Lane
“Race Track” by Bill Barich
“A Sense of Where You Are” by John McPhee
“El Único Matador” by Lillian Ross
“Net Worth” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
“The Long Ride” by Michael Specter
“Born Slippy” by John Seabrook
“The Chosen One” by David Owen
“Legend of a Sport” by Alva Johnston
“A Man-Child in Lotusland” by Rebecca Mead
“Dangerous Game” by Nick Paumgarten
“The Running Novelist” by Haruki Murakami
“Back to the Basement” by Nancy Franklin
“Playing Doc’s Games” by William Finnegan
“Last of the Metrozoids” by Adam Gopnik
“The Sandy Frazier Dream Team” by Ian Frazier
“Br’er Rabbit Ball” by Ring Lardner
“The Greens of Ireland” by Herbert Warren Wind
“Tennis Personalities” by Martin Amis
“Project Knuckleball” by Ben McGrath
“Game Plan” by Don DeLillo
“The Art of Failure” by Malcolm Gladwell
“Swimming with Sharks” by Charles Sprawson
“The National Pastime” by John Cheever
“SNO” by Calvin Trillin
“Musher” by Susan Orlean
“Home and Away” by Peter Hessler
“No Obstacles” by Alec Wikinson
“A Stud’s Life” by Kevin Conley
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.
Packed with facts and action, this is a book young NASCAR fans will reach for again and again -- and because it comes from Matt Christopher, young readers know they're getting the best sports writing on the shelf.
The tradition of the Olympic Games faded over time until 1896, when they were brought back to life. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, with over two hundred athletes from fourteen countries. Today, nearly three thousand years after the first Games, the Summer Olympics attract one hundred thousand top athletes from over two hundred countries. Billions of fans around the world cheer on their national teams to bring back the gold.
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.
When Hungarian professor Ernő Rubik invented the Rubik’s Cube (or, rather, his Cube) in 1974 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. As Scheffler learns from the many gurus who cross his path, from pint-sized kids to engineering professors, it’s not just about memorizing algorithms or even solving all six sides—it’s about discovering how to solve yourself.
As the exclusive series of fall horse shows known as Indoors kicks into high gear, so does the gossip. And when the blogger posts a fake scandal about Zara's rock star father, she knows things have gone too far. And she has a plan to out the snarky blogger once and for all. . . .
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...
Bring Your "A" Game introduces key strategies for mental training, such as goal setting, pre-performance routines, confidence building, and imagery. Each of the seventeen chapters focuses on a single mental skill and offers key points and exercises designed to reinforce the concepts. The book encourages athletes to incorporate these mental skills into their daily lives and practice sessions so that they become second nature during competition.
Whether used at home by student athletes or assigned by coaches as part of team development, Bring Your "A" Game will help young performers develop a plan for success and learn to deal with the challenges of pursuing excellence in sport.
It is the perfect reference manual to have in your shed or workshop and also contain lots of tips on how to conduct quick repairs if you get into trouble while out on the road.
Total Sports outlines the geographical range, history, and major competitions for each sport. Fact boxes highlight key information including star profiles, record-breakers, and top tens, as well as the weirdest facts, bizarrest moments, and sport's most colorful characters.
A special section on the Olympic and Paralympic Games, looks at their history, from the early Greek games right up to the present day. All 33 Olympic sports are clearly identified and explained on the spreads, making Total Sports the must-have title for sports aficionados everywhere.
Fast-paced, adrenaline-filled, and brimming with out-of-this-world athleticism, basketball has won the hearts of fans all across America—yet it is particularly popular among kids and teens. Giants of the game like Steph Curry, LeBron, and Michael Jordan have transcended the sport to become cultural icons and role models to young fans. From the cornfields of Indiana and the hills of North Carolina, to the urban sprawl of New York City, Chicago and L.A., love of the game stretches from coast to coast.
Featuring Top Ten Lists to chew on and debate, and a Top 40-style Timeline of Key Moments in Basektball History, this comprehensive collection includes the greatest dynasties, from the Bill Russell-era Celtics, to the Magic Jonson-led Lakers, to the Jordan-led Bulls, right up to the Tim Duncan-led Spurs. All the greats take flight toward the hoop in this perfect book for young fans who dream about stepping on an NBA court.
"A trove of awesome athletic feats, game-changing stars of the past and present, and rich fodder for heated arguments."--Booklist
"Hoops fans will find a goldmine of information guaranteed to deepen their basketball knowledge and their understanding of the game."--VOYA
"An easy hook for serious sports fans."--School Library Journal
“Never patronizing, [Stout] captures both grit and glory.” —Kirkus Reviews
Many of the baseball greats overcame huge challenges to be sports heroes—here are five inspiring stories of men who did just that. Baseball is considered America’s pastime, but not all players grew up living the American dream. Babe Ruth, Jim Peirsall, Torii Hunter, Ron LeFlore, and Joe Torre sure didn’t. Poverty, abuse, and addiction are a few of the issues they had to deal with as kids, but they turned their lives around to play the game they loved.
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.
–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.
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.