No sport in America can match the pageantry, raw emotion, and thrilling tradition of college football. It is a world in which a twenty-year-old kid can become a national sensation overnight, in which coaches are deified and rivalries burn white-hot.
And in this world, there is no individual award so revered as the Heisman Trophy. Every yearsince 1935, one player has run, thrown, or kicked his way into the pantheon of American sport. From Nile "The Cornbelt Comet" Kinnick in the '30s, West Point's legendary backfield of Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis in the '40s, and Paul Hornung in the '50s to Ernie Davis, the Jackie Robinson of college football, miracle worker Doug Flutie, and modern-day Sunday warrior Eddie George, the history of the Heisman gives us insight into the heart of America through the lives of the heroes that entranced an entire nation for one brilliant season. Extraordinary in ways that transcend athletic ability, Heisman winners have gone on to become war heroes, Fortune 500 CEOs, and high-level politicians.
As John Heisman himself once said, the Heisman Trophy "is meant to exemplify the grandeur of a thousand men." Here within these pages are intimate portraits of some of the winners who also exemplify the grit and glory of America's beloved game and of the coaching giants such as Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, and Red Blaik, who inspired the winners to achieve.Told in the evocative words of Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist Bill Pennington, their heart-stopping experiences on the field and off will have Americans enthralled until the final page is turned.
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.
But out of these ashes emerged a modern Yankees dynasty, a juggernaut built on the sly, a brilliant mix of personalities, talent, and ambition. In Chumps to Champs, Pennington reveals a grand tale of revival. Readers encounter larger than life characters like George Steinbrenner and unexplored figures like Buck Showalter, three-time manager of the year, Don Mattingly, and the crafty architect of it all—general manager, Gene Michael, who assembled the team’s future stars—Rivera, Jeter, Williams, O’Neill, and Pettitte.
Drawing on unique access, Pennington tells a wild and raucous tale.