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2. The Steve Spurrier Story: From
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3. In Control: The Rebirth of an
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4. The Dark Side of the Game : My
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5. Namath: A Biography
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6. The Bowden Way: 50 Years of Leadership
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7. I Am Third: The Inspiration for
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9. Tiger's Walk: Memoirs of an Auburn
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11. What Color is a Conservative?
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13. Barry Sanders: Now You See Him
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14. Never Die Easy : The Autobiography
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15. Turnaround: Bear Bryant's 1st
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16. Alex Smith: The Story Of The University
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17. Emmitt: Run With History
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18. Quotable Spurrier: The Nerve,
19. Final Confessions of NFL Assassin
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20. Another Season : A Coach's Story

1. WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED : A Life of Vince Lombardi
by David Maraniss
list price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684844184
Catlog: Book (1999-10-07)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 132396
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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As coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967, Vince Lombardi turned perennial losers into a juggernaut, winning back-to-back NFL titles in 1961 and 1962, and Superbowls I and II in 1966 and 1967. Stern, severe, sentimental, and paternal, he stood revered, reviled, respected, and mocked--a touchstone for the '60s all in one person. Which adds up to the myth we've been left with. But who was the man? That's the question Pulitzer Prize-winner David Maraniss tackles. It begins with Lombardi's looming father, a man as colorful as his son would be conservative. Still, from his father Vince Lombardi learned a sense of presence and authority that could impress itself with just a look. If a moment can sum up and embrace a man's life--and capture the breadth of Maraniss's thoroughness--it is one that takes place off the field when the Packers organization decides to redecorate their offices in advance of the new head coach's arrival: "During an earlier visit," Maraniss reports, "he had examined the quarters--peeling walls, creaky floor, old leather chairs with holes in them, discarded newspapers and magazines piled on chairs and in the corners--and pronounced the setting unworthy of a National Football League club. 'This is a disgrace!' he had remarked." In one moment, one comment, Lombardi announced his intentions, made his vision and professionalism clear, and began to shake up a stale organization. It reveals far more about the man than wins and losses, and is the kind of moment Maraniss uses again and again in this superb resurrection of a figure who so symbolized a sporting era and sensibility. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (121)

5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the greatest sports biography ever written
If you are thinking about passing on this book because you've read a hundred other things on Lombardi, don't.

I almost did. Amongst other things, I'm a football junkie, a bit of an amateur historian on the subject, and felt that I knew enough about Vince--regardless of how fascinating a subject he is. I bought the book on the basis of its good reviews, and let me tell you every other book I have about Vince has been replaced by this book.

It is probably the best sports biography ever written. First off Maraniss is a world class writer, and this isn't written at the Junior High level as many sports books are. Second, the quality of his research--the dates, details, quotes and interviews--is staggering. An objective look at Lombardi as a family man, a father gives us a real taste of his life. It puts the times and Vince's achievements into perspective, and I never once felt that the airing of what technically could be considered "dirty laundry"(although it is tame by 1990s standards) lessened Lombardi in my eyes. On the contrary, it made him more of a realistic, vunerable person who's life becomes all the more remarkable for it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best sports book I've ever read!
I've always admired Vince Lombardi ever since his name was instilled in my conscious. When you think of the greatest coaches of all time, of any era, of any sport, Lombardi comes to mind. No coach ever gave so much of his blood, heart and dedication to win than Vince Lombardi; and all those traits are exhibited in this great biography of a man who transformed football, who brought football to the forefront. Maraniss has written a heartwarming, accurate account of a man who still lives in the public's conscious after his death almost 30 years ago. If you want a book about pure sports and strategy, then this isn't exactly your book. It's also about family and the desire to win. It's about determination. I've read King of the World by David Reminick which was also an excellent book, but this book tops it. When you finish this book you'll appreciate who Lombardi is and the sacrafice he gave to win. Most men wouldn't dare sacrafice so much of their time to do what Lombardi did, but after you finish this book you appreciate his love and why he did it. If there is one sports book you are ever going to get, this is it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
As a long-time Packer fan, about anything substantative would have been an interesting and fun read. But this one surprised me because it eclipsed long-established accounts of the Packers successes and failures and took an especially thorough look at the man who made Green Bay famous.

Who would have known, for example, that the Coach's brother was gay. Or that he could relate one-to-one to his team and his players in a way he never could to his family. The book shares more of these insights than it does such strategic things as how Jerry Kramer and Ken Bowman combined to throw "the" block. In fact, the on the field tactics and discussions almost become a distraction in a broader book that emphasizes what made the man tick.

Like Wisconsin's other 1960s era sports hero, Al McGuire, everybody thinks they know everything about Coach Lombardi. This book lends an exciting perspective on a man dead now for almost 35 years. It's fascinating and long overdue.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic!
First, a few low points... While not written in the jargon of the field, Maraniss clearly approaches the subject of Vince Lombardi from a post-modern point of view. He opens with a contrived and somewhat galling introduction, in which he explains that he has borrowed the title from another author and uses it (of course!) "ironically." At various points throughout the book, Maraniss attempts to "de-construct" Lombardi, which is to some extent the mark of any good biography, but the author takes it too far at times, especially in his frequent references to the "fallacy of the innocent past." Moreover, this is not a political book, but because Lombardi was mildly politically active, politics enters the picture. And a subtle bias pervades Maraniss's discussion of politics. When lifelong Democrat (but always pretty conservative) Lombardi begins drifting toward Nixon and Republicans in the turbulent sixties, Maraniss attributes Lombardi's conservatism not to a heartfelt belief in those principles but to an inability to cope with rapidly changing times. The 60s is a favorite topic for Maraniss, as his latest book indicates, but his digressions into the protests, while tangentially important to Lombardi's story (particularly his philosophy of freedom), are overdone.

Nevertheless, despite those faults, I still give this book a five. Immediately after that disappointing introduction, Maraniss redeems himself with probably the most stunning first line I have read in any book of nonfiction (and perhaps in fiction, too): "Everything begins with the body of the father." It is a starting point for a discussion of Lombardi's immigrant father, but it brings together elements that appear throughout the book: family (especially Lombardi's relationship with his son); Catholicism; the physical violence of football. From his youthful desire to be a priest and his high school and college football career, Maraniss follows Lombardi to Fordham and beyond to his first coaching job at a small Catholic high school in New Jersey and to an assistant's job at West Point, under Red Blaik. It was then to the Giants, where he was an assistant with Tom Landry, and finally across the country to Green Bay, where the legend was born.

The book is not just a biography of Vince Lombardi; it is a look at American life and culture and at the history of professional football. It is amazingly written, and the descriptions of football games are wonderful--particularly the Ice Bowl, which another reviewer has mentioned. Flaws and all, this is a fantastic read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Power Sweep
_That William Verneli Wood was challengig for a place on the Packers at all was a meaure of his mental strength and perseverance. It also underscored the determination of Lombardi and his personnel man, Jack Vainisi, to ignore the prejudices then prevalent in most NFL front offices in their search for the most talented players...Wood was a black quarterback in an era when black athletes were seldom allowed the opportunity to play that position_ (p237). Willie Wood went on to play 12 seasons for the NFL Green Bay Packers and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989 In this biography WHEN PRIDE STILL MATTERED, David Maraniss identifies _race relations_ as an issue that revealed Coach Vincent Lombardi's character.

I understood very little about the American version of football. Part of my confusion was that the foot is seldom used, and the object of the competition resembles a ball like no other. Even so, after reading WPSM, Mr Maraniss has provided me an appreciation for the athletes and the unmatched accomplishments of Coach Lombardi. Mr Maraniss chronicles football's mythical beginnings at US colleges in the first half of the twentieth century culminating in its zenith in the decade of the 1960s. The Packers were the team of that turbulent decade and Coach Lombardi became an icon.

I was not surprised by this aspect of the biography. I don't feel I am alone in anticipating a captivating telling of the history and personalities of the NFL. Where Mr Maraniss exceeds my expectations is in his ability to weave disparate details together as they powerfully manifest at a critical time. The Packer Sweep is the most prominent example. So too is the complex and often contradictory character of Coach Lombardi.

Mr Maraniss tells us that Vincent Lombardi had a rare quality of leadership that enhances the confidence of those around him. He was able to lift their spirits and they in turn responded with an effort that exceeded even what they themselves thought possible. This is a spiritual gift.

Part of this gift found expression when Coach Lombardi was intolerant of racial prejudice. _The Jim Crow discrimination that black Packers faced when the team played exhibition games in the South enraged Lombardi, and at the end of the 1960 preseason he decided that he would never again allow his team to be split by segregation; from then on, he said, any hotel that would not accomodate all Packers would get no Packers_ He applied the same standard to the establishments in hometown Green Bay, Wisconson.

Even before Willie Wood came to Green Bay, Lombardi brought Em Tunnell with him from the NY Giants, and paid for his lodgings, _Lombardi respected and needed Tunnell's experience that much_. (p240). Tunnell and Wood returned the respect. Wood said that Lombardi was _perhaps the fairest person I ever met_

Coach Lombardi carried this same attitude to the issues of homosexuality and pre-marital pregnancy. These are typically, emotionally laden issues for Christians. Whatever reservations Lombardi may have held personally, he let his team know that a gay player deserved respect, _if I hear one of you people make reference to his manhood you'll be out of here before your ass hits the ground_ (p471).

The coach's daughter and her fiance agreed to get married but they did not want her parents to know that she was pregnant. Their parish priest helped the young couple with the details of securing a marriage license and with their permission, contacted Vince and Marie Lombardi who were enjoying the success of a Super Bowl victory in Florida (GB 33 Oakland 14). Lombardi had become a national symbol of old-fashioned discipline and moral rectitude. Upon hearing the news, _at first, Lombardi was 'extremely angry, of course, but then calmed down and began drafting a game plan._ (p430). As soon as Vince and Marie returned to Green Bay, they paid a visit to the newlyweds. Susan remembers, _He stuck out his hand to Paul and said welcome to the family and asked him about his education and his plans_.

Mr Maraniss tells us of a complex Coach in this biography of Vincent Lombardi. There is never any doubt about his shortcomings. Through his unique determination Lombardi overcame these shortcomings and applied his will to hold a faith in the positive nature of us all. _Winning is the ony thing_ is the most famous quotation from Coach Lombardi, but winning was not the only thing at which Vincent Lombardi excelled.

PEACE ... Read more

2. The Steve Spurrier Story: From Heisman to Head Ballcoach
by Bill Chastain
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0878333169
Catlog: Book (2002-11)
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
Sales Rank: 82056
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Growing up in Florida in the 1960's I can remember how all kids loved Steve Spurrier, glamorous star quarterback for the University of Florida. Nobody stood taller than the Gator's No. 11, who became the epitome of a college football hero: good looking, talented and capable of leading miraculous comebacks.

Looking back, it's funny how the memories of Spurrier's playing carreer manage to get blurred. While doing the research for this book, I rediscovered the fact that Spurrier truly was the real deal as an athlete, which I belive has been obscured by his coaching success.

Spurrier didn't get on by guile and intelligence as an athlte, though they were part of the package; he did it with athltic ability that he began to develop at an early age. Peeling through the archives of Spurrier's life reaffirmed what he had been as an athlete and became the most enjoyable aspect of writing this biography.

I remembered many of Spurrier's successes from myy childhood reading accounts written by Rom McEwen of the Tampa Tribune, a man I later work with while a sportswriter for that same newspaper. Other accounts of Spurrier's wizardry were new to me; Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy, but I had never realized the depth of his success dating back to high school days - when he competed in everything and rarely lost at anything - to the miracle comebacks playing for Florida. Confidence and competitiveness have been his curse and his blessing.

Those special qualities complemented his athletic ability on one hand while casting him as an arrogant figure on the other.

Unlike many gifted athletes who excelled playing the games but couldn't coach a lick, Spurrier took to coaching football games to another dimension, making him the exception.

There is no gray to Spurrier; the man is as black and white as they come, and he is passionate, which echoes over and over in what his friends and associateds say about him. Whether you consider spurrier an "evil" genius or simply a genius, you can't dispute the fact that he is a football artist, given the creative things he has done as a coach.

Steve Spurrier has led an interesting life, and this is the story of that life. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best sports bios I've ever read
With all the media buzz about this book, I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype, but I gotta admit that it's one very good book. Chastain really gets into the mind and heart of a remarkable and complex man. ... Read more

3. In Control: The Rebirth of an NFL Legend
by Thomas Henderson
list price: $24.95
our price: $17.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0975989006
Catlog: Book (2004-08)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 6999
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Book Description

In the follow-up to the shattering bestseller Out of Control: Confessions of an NFL Casualty, former Dallas Cowboys star Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson shares the story of his recovery from the abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Henderson has been clean and sober for over 20 years and has not had a drink or done any drugs since November 8, 1983. In Control takes readers from Henderson’s 1986 prison release to his current life as a community activist, philanthropist, and distributor of alcohol and drug education films to prison programs and rehabilitation centers. He also discusses how his life has changed since March 22, 2000, when he won a $28 million jackpot in the Texas lottery.

Since 1986, Henderson has been seen or heard by patients and communities as he has traveled throughout the country sharing his experiences and offering strength and hope. Over a million Americans have heard him live or seen him on one or more of his alcohol and drug education films. The inspiring In Control, written with popular longtime Dallas Morning News sportswriter Frank Luksa, focuses on Henderson’s recovery, atonements, charity, his children and grandchildren, and the handling of his new-found wealth. ... Read more

4. The Dark Side of the Game : My Life in the NFL
by Tim Green
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446605204
Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 23980
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars A very honest book about NFL football by a former player.
"When I meet people for the first time, and they learn that I played for eight years in the NFL, their eyes glaze over with that far away look of a person dreaming about what he'll do if he wins the lottery." With these lines, Tim Green begins his autobiography. I must offer Mr. Green my heartiest congratulations because it takes a lot for this history major to buy an autobiography in hard cover. The last one I did buy was Lewis Puller Jr's moving Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography, "Fortunate Son" before it won a Pulitzer PRize. Bottom line: iit akes a lot to convince me to buy a book, written by a livng person about themselves. .. such as the book being interesting enough to have read about half of it in the bookstore. With his fourth book, Tim Green, a former defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons, has written an amazingly funny, refreshingly honest book about life in the "Big Time " of football. This is a book for fan (Both rab id & non), and non fan alike, irregardless of sex. It details the highs, lows, follies and foibles of football, both on and off the field, explaining such mysteries as what players really say on the field to one another after, ("Hi Ttim, how are you?... Good Brett, how about you?... Good."), racism ("Whenever a team travels anywhere, two large buses are needed to move them. It's not uncommon for one bus to be predominatly filled with blacks, and the other with whites.") what players eat (anything edible that's not moving fast enough to get away.) what it's like to play at the Meadowlands, ("football in a can"), right on down to what football players wear under their uniforms, ("The hard facts are that protective cups, as they are known, are as uncommon in the NFL as painted toenails.") Guess that's why there are no Dennis Rodman's in football. This is not howerver, a book for stuffed shirts, especially those in the NFL who are more used to the game of football being treated with the awe and admiration usually reserved for a WWII documentary of aircraft carrier warfare in the Pacific or the Battle of the Atlantic in WWII. IF your're such a stuffed shirt you certaily won't want this book since it's not a hagiography. IT is definitely not a Steve Sabol film with it's glowing commentaries and beautifully filmed sequences. Far from it, this book is real, funny, and sad in places, such as in it's description of former players having to start all over agian trying to get along on the average person's salaary after years of having had credit cards with $50,000 limits, huge bank accounts and being spoiled and fawned over. In short, it manages to transform football from the usual two dimensional cutout sport seen on weekend TV into a three dimensional sport which can live on after the TV has been turned off. Most fans probably never thought about the constant pain that it takes to play this sport, or what happens t players after the fame and money are gone. They probably don't consider what Deion Sanders is like after the cameras and kleig lights are turned off, the effect of stingers or how to shake hands with an NFL player. Bassically this is the sort of book that tells it like it is and makes fans think of thinkgs they normally woudln't they way a good book should. It's the sort of book the NFL needs and it should not cause either the NFl or FOXTV which has a long term contract to broaddcst nfl games to either blacklist or fire Time Green. While this book has been called ane xpose, I for one disagree with the characterization. The term expose is more appropirately applied to the Inspector General's report on the goings on at the now infamous "Tailhook" convention that the Navy had in Las Vegas. When this report was published it changed the way the Navy addressed a lot of things, especially it's relationshiops between the sexes and the participation of women in combat slots in air warfare. This book while no haiography will not measurably change anything. And as for Tim Green, while he may never be Ernest Hemingway, this is an exceedingly well written book. (Sorry Big Guy... to many compound sentences, forget those commas, find a war, try for Alexandre Dumas,.... even better yet... Tim Green!) This book remind us that football is a game, big time entertainment, an even bigger business and something few people rarely even thing aoubt... a really physically demanding job. And he even managed to stay away from mentioning the cheerleaders. Enough T&A!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My only problems. with the book... too short and he never addressed the issue of the "meaningless pension plan".

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprising and eye-opening, a fine overview
I had hoped that Tim Green would've addressed some of the really dark topics of the game such as organized crime influence, throwing games, etc. But the subjects he hits on were very informative and give some good insight as to what it's like to play football in the NFL. He paints a good picture of all the ups and downs of playing and gives fair warnings to all young players fortunate to rise to the pro level. Alot of his opinions are colorful and relevant and the book is very readable with many short chapters each packed with unique information. This is a must read for anyone who loves the game.

3-0 out of 5 stars interesting reading for NFL fans
If you follow the NFL or pro sports in general, you'll enjoy reading this book. There are no major revelations here - it does confirm some of what is speculated in terms of bending the rules with equipment, athletes pushing their bodies to the limit and then some, and players taking a range of medications to block pain and stay on the field. The best parts of the book give a glimpse of life in the NFL. Written before the HBO series on training camp, Green's book describes how tough the summer ritual can be and what it is like from week to week. He writes in a straightforward style and the chapters are arranged topically. Green wrote this nonfiction book before his series of fiction.

1-0 out of 5 stars The biggest waste of [$$$] ever
Want to know about a players life in the NFL? I'm talking about the real lowdown, all the dirt, the stuff you don't see on TV. So do I. Unfortunately, it's not in this book. This book would be just as interesting if all the pages were blank. It doesn't really tell you anything, not to mention it reads like a junior high book report. You'll get so bored of it, you probably won't finish. I left a few chapters unread, only after I forced myself to keep reading for a month (yeah, it took that long because this book is real easy to put down). It just ... . It doesn't draw you in...ever. Maybe if this was written by Emmitt, or someone who has actually accomplished something, it would be a little better. At least you could read about some great moments and carry something away from it. This was written by a guy who was basically the waterboy. It's a dud from start to.....well, whenever you quit. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side of the Game
The book "the Dark Side of the Game" was about the reality of the NFL and what athletes you see on TV have to go through every year, season, and day. It's a good book to read if you're a regular Fottball viewer, or just love the game. It goes into detail about trainning camp, physicals, and intervews. "Explains life in the NFL with out exageration" says Deion Sanders. It goes into great detail and brings you one step closer to the game, explaining strugglea with drugs, injuries, and women. There is even a chapter on how to shake a Football player's hand, saying that the way is not to show them your pwoer in grip, but to give a nice hand shake, for the hands of the NFL athletes are swollen and bruised all season. A new respect for the NFL athletes will be gained after reading this book, for the stories and conditions explained in the book are like none other. "If my boys were to not want to touch a football, i would be perfectly happy." says Green, knowing the game and the things that the players put up with, this quote is one to think about. Is the NFL really everybodys dream? Or just another dream that they'll be happy not pursuing? ... Read more

5. Namath: A Biography
by Mark Kriegel
list price: $27.95
our price: $16.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670033294
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 889
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Book Description

In between Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan there was Joe Namath, one of the very few sports heroes who transcended their game. The son of a Hungarian immigrant, Namath left the steel country of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, for the Deep South, where he played quarterback for Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. Almost four years later, he signed a $427,000 contract with the New York Jets that changed football forever, transforming a crude, violent game into show business. Namath became the most glamorous athlete in America––his fame nurtured by the age of television, the point spread, and the sexual revolution. His hair, his draft deferment, and his white shoes became symbols for a generation. But it was his "guarantee" of victory in Super Bowl III that ensured his legend.

In the tradition of Richard Ben Cramer’s Joe DiMaggio, David Maraniss’s A Life of Vince Lombardi, and Nick Tosches’s Dino, Mark Kriegel details Namath’s journey from steeltown pool halls to the upper reaches of American celebrity––and beyond. He renders Namath as an athlete and a man, a brave champion and a wounded soul. Here are Namath’s complex relationships with pain and fame plus his appearances in pantyhose ads, on The Simpsons, and Nixon’s Enemies List. Namath is not just for football fans, but for any reader interested in the central role of sports in American culture. ... Read more

6. The Bowden Way: 50 Years of Leadership Wisdom
by Bobby Bowden
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563526840
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: Longstreet Press
Sales Rank: 96530
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Leadership Book I Have Ever Read
I have read Maxwell and a host of other leadership books, but there is a world of difference between a consultant or a middle-manager telling you about leadership...and the winningest coach in college football telling you about leadership!

The thing I liked the most is that rather than vague affirmations or ambiguous principles, Bowden gives us SPECIFIC, hard-won advice regarding handling staff, planning for success, etc.

The fact that he has done so remarkably well--with his job "on the line" based on each season's performance, not to mention every time he plays a strong rival--Bowden gives us a CEO/Chairman of the Board-level view of how to handle matters.

I bought it because I am an FSU fan. I kept it because it was the best book on leadership I had ever read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bobby Bowden is a Legend..
On the football field Bobby Bowden is king! He is also a very inspirational and motivated person. This book is amazing, in ALL aspects. You don't have to be a Florida State or even a football fan, this book goes so far beyond any sport. This book basically tells you how too live a better life, and Bobby Bowden obviously has a awesome one.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
i would recommend this book to anyone who has to manage people in any capacity...from managing your children to managing your employees...Coach Bowden has proven himself to be a true leader both on and off the football field.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bowden Way
In The Bowden Way, Steve and Bobby Bowden combine to bring the reader practical, common sense approaches to issues every one of us face on a daily basis. Moreover, the content keeps you interested, is easy to follow, and is very linear in moving along from one topic to the next. Of course, with Bobby Bowden, there's always a bit of that geniune humor we've all come to expect. I would strongly recommend this book for any and all ages, football fan or not. It's a refreshing read.

5-0 out of 5 stars bowden shows us all how to win!
Wow- where to start. As a high-school football coach and student of motivation I have read every book written by a successful coach of any sport. All have been helpful, but this book is by far the best advice I have ever read on coaching and leading an organization. Bowden writes simple statements that at first glance seem somewhat to simplistic. However, the simplicity is the genuis of the man. The advice is short, specfic, and it works. I did not read one story or find an example as being a "coaching embellishment" all of the examples the man provides are real-life situations and the honest apprasial of the situation is a treat. As a coach I have a found a simple but powerful way to build a football program, as a leader and a person I have found a way to live a life with simple workable ideas and practices. Bowden's chapters on staff morale and staff meetings are pure gold to football coaches. Every coach should own this book and every person should read it. I was not a huge Bobby Bowden fan before, but I am now. He has written an honest book, that will make a huge difference for whomever reads it. ... Read more

7. I Am Third: The Inspiration for Brian's Song
by Gale Sayers, Al Silverman, Bill Cosby, Gale Sayers, Gayle Sayers
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142000752
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 28768
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

I Am Third is the memoir of Gale Sayers, one of the best running backs in the history of the NCAA and pro football. It is also the story of his friendship with Brian Piccolo. Known also as a community leader and great friend to all, Sayers's credo is, "The Lord is first, my friends are second, and I am third." ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this BOOK its great
I never really liked sports but one day in my english class we had to watch this movie and write a report on it. The movie was great it really moved me how there skin color didnt matter, and how two people so different yet so alike could work to build a grest friendship. I wanted to learn more about Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo. Now i love football i've read so much about both of them and the sport they this boook

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!!!
This review is on the book called "I Am Third". In this book it tells mostly about Gale Sayers' football career and some of Brian Piccolo's or Pic. The reason this book is called "I Am Third" is because he says that "God is 1st,my friends are 2nd,and I am 3rd". To understand this book you might have to know a little about football. If you like football stories I would reccomend you read "I Am Third".

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is one of the best books around. It teaches readers to try never give up, even if the future is bleak. It also deals with the sexual tensions of younger people and the problem of masterbation. But through the trials and tribulations, Gale gets over his problem and continues to live his life. This book sends a powerful message to readers and hits close, very close to the reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Am Third
I am third
By Gale Sayers

Devon Hurley

My book is called I am third and it's written by Gale Sayers. The price of the book is $...and u can find this book in any book store.
I am third is about the football player gale Sayers .He plays football with his friends every day. He grew up in a poor house with barely any food. That didn't stop him from playing football though. He played no matter what. One time he tried to tackle some one and he got kicked in the mouth and he was spiting out blood his brother played football too. He was older then Gale. Gale was a starter on the high school football team with his brother he only got to play with his brother one season because he was a senior when Gale was a freshman. Gale was a good player. He was like1st or 2nd best in the country. He wanted to go to a four year college to play football. Mississippi State was in other sports besides football like track and basketball. He broke the long jump record for track. His mom and dad were always working on something. Gale's dad was tall and had long legs. His dad worked hard every day and only got 40 dollars a day. His mom was at home watching all the kids. All the kids in the neighbor hood were on the football team. After gale went to college he was going to go to the pros either the chiefs or the bears. on draft day the Chicago bears picked Gale Sayers the first day of summer training he met Brian piccolo. Brian was a white person and Gale was a black person they didn't really get along at first of race but after they started playing together. The coach put them in the same room partner. When gale was voted rookie of the year Brian starts to get sick and has to go to the hospital and he finds out he has cancer and has to stay in the hospital for the rest of the season. Later he goes home and is recovering but he gets cancer again a in his chest and dies from cancer. later gale plays the best game of his career he scores 6 touchdowns.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book and movie, very Moving
I really never liked sports, but this book really moved me because it was a story of two men very different yet very alike. They were both very talented, over the past few months i've been doing so much research and Gale and Brian. I also am planning to do a important report on them, the frienship that they had was great. BUY THIS BOOK!! and the movie Brians song!I loved both. I love Ya Gale and Brian GOD BLESS! ... Read more

8. I've Got Things To Do With My Life: Pat Tillman And The Making Of An American Hero
by Mike Towle
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 1572437081
Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
Publisher: Triumph Books
Sales Rank: 12351
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Book Description

Pat Tillman never backed down from a challenge; in fact, he sought them out his entire life. That life ended tragically and heroically in Afghanistan in April 2004, after Tillman quit the National Football League to join the elite Army Rangers and serve his country in its war against terrorism. I’ve Got Things to Do with My Life is the inspirational story of Tillman’s incredible, heroic journey. ... Read more

9. Tiger's Walk: Memoirs of an Auburn Football Player
by Rob Pate
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 1582613117
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Sports Publishing
Sales Rank: 29522
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Book Description

Readers have the opportunity to enter the world of college football and follow one player through his experiences on the gridiron of the Southeastern Conference for the Auburn Tigers. A Tiger’s Walk observes him as he battles the highs and lows of championship and losing seasons, coaching hirings and firings, and personal success and tragedy.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, the self-proclaimed "football capital of the South," Rob Pate grew up well aware of the significance of college football in his home state. At the age of five he embarked on a journey in football that carried him from a proud youth league ballpark in small-town Alabama to the splendor of SEC football, as well as to the National Football League.

Readers can gain an understanding of daily life in college football and what today’s game is genuinely like, not from the perspective of someone who never touched the gridiron a day in his life, but rather from someone who recently stepped off the field for the very last time. Pate talks about facing some of the issues that have been buried for too long by college football’s big business bureaucracies. This is one Tiger’s walk in the world of today’s student athlete, helping fans watch from the sidelines and become one of the team. ... Read more

10. True Blue: The Carm Cozza Story
by Carm Cozza, Rick Odermatt
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300080999
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 467290
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For thirty-two years Coach Carm Cozza`s football program at Yale exemplified excellence. This engaging book is Cozza`s story, the reminiscences of a caring and principled teacher whose course material was athletic competition, whose classroom was a football field, and whose final exam was The Game against Harvard. Cozza brings us behind the scenes, recalls the outstanding men who played for him, and offers thoughts on football programs today. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any Yale Football fan.
Every Yale fan will enjoy Carm Cozza's humble jourey from Miami of Ohio {Coach's U} to the hallow halls of Yale University. Cozza provides the reader with insights on Yale's football past, present and future. An informative sports read. ... Read more

11. What Color is a Conservative?
by J. C. Watts, Chriss Winston
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060194367
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 110228
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first black to hold a Republican Party leadership position, Congressman J.C. Watts shares his inspirational story as well as hopes and plans for the future of America. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Autobiography
J. C. Watts' book can be read on two levels. On the one hand, it is an inspirational story of a boy from a small town who grew up to achieve the American Dream. On the other, it is a manifesto which boldly describes how a "compassionate conservative" approach to solving problems can make America "a better place."

Watts, who is black, grew up in a rural community in eastern Oklahoma and came of age before racial segregation and Jim Crow policies had completely died out. Although he faced formidable obstacles to success, he found inspiration from his parents, his coach, the legendary Barry Switzer, and others who molded his character and instilled in him the virtues of faith, personal responsibility, hard work, and tenacity. Armed with these virtues, Watts found success on the football field, where he become a star quarterback for the University of Oklahoma, and on Capitol Hill, where he quickly gained a reputation as a mover and shaker after his election to Congress. Throughout his book, Watts emphasizes his formula for success: focusing on an objective, acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve that objective, and maintaining the right mental attitude.

Watts describes how his conservative beliefs are a natural outgrowth of the virtues and values in which he had come to believe and from his growing realization that the Welfare State has been a failure. His views appear to fall into the school of thought which Ronald Reagan dubbed "the Creative Society" in 1967, and which George W. Bush later rechristened "Compassionate Conservatism." He believes that the federal government's approach to solving domestic problems should be to set an agenda for action and then remain in the background while private and faith-based organizations do most of the work aimed at carrying out the agenda. This approach, argues Watts, can be effective in dealing with issues ranging from social security reform to pollution abatement. Accordingly, Watts calls for removing government restrictions on such organizations so they can act effectively.

Although he is a committed conservative, Watts remains an independent thinker, and he recounts the occasions in which he has crossed swords with his fellow Republicans and conservatives.

Whether or not readers agree, Watts' arguments should inspire them to think "out of the box" and consider new approaches to solving social problems. In any case, readers should find his life story to be inspirational.

5-0 out of 5 stars Readers Review
I did not know what to expect when I picked up this book, but found it was hard to put down. I was very pleased with what I found. Watts begins the book with a background of his life growing up in Oklahoma . The rest of the book flows smoothly as he chronologically describes his college days, his marriage, professional football career, and his political years. He describes certain events in his life that led him to his conservative views. I would encourage anyone to read this book, as it causes the reader to reflect upon their own childhood and politcal views.

5-0 out of 5 stars Correction
This is a brief correction posted in response to the review dated December 2, 2003. The "quoted" words do not appear on page 168 or anywhere else in the book. Additionally Mr. J. C. Watts, Jr. gets five stars from me, not only because I highly doubt that he would say such things, but also because I admire anyone who is willing to go against the grain in ways that may provide valuable learning experiences for us all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book! A Must Read!!
As a Black Man, I am truly honored that a Black Man is not afraid to adhere to his morals. Once, I started to read this book, I could not put it down. It is an excellent book. I think if some Black people would read this book, the United States would be a greater country than it already is.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not All Republicans Are Bad.
This is an inspiring book for all Americans to read, even if you are not a conservative!! This book is not hateful, ugly, and distorted like alot of conservative books that's on the market. The only problem I have is he gives certain Republicans too much credit. Credits they do not deserve. Republicans are not going to win, if people like Ken Hamblin, Gordon Liddy and Sean Hannity keep preaching their message of hate. JC Watts is a republican we can all respect. ... Read more

12. Fields of Honor: The Pat Tillman Story
by Johathan Rand, Jonathan Rand
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1596090391
Catlog: Book (2004-05)
Publisher: Chamberlain Bros.
Sales Rank: 14249
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13. Barry Sanders: Now You See Him : His Story in His Own Words
by Barry Sanders, Mark E. McCormick, John Madden
list price: $29.99
our price: $19.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578601398
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Emmis Books
Sales Rank: 7776
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Why did Barry Sanders, one of the absolute greats in NFL history, retire when he was within reach of breaking the all-time rushing record?In BARRY SANDERS: NOW YOU SEE HIM, Barry explains for the first time anywhere what led him to make the biggest decision of his life.Also included is a bonus DVD packed with highlights and footage of Barry’s explosive on-field performance from his youth football days to his Heisman Trophy-winning years at Oklahoma State to his incredible pro career with the Detroit Lions.

Written with Barry’s life-long friend Mark McCormick, BARRY SANDERS: NOW YOU SEE HIM provides insight into who Barry Sanders really is:an incredibly gifted athlete, a dedicated family man, and a deeply private and spiritual person.For the first time, readers will learn about his struggles growing up, his often trying relationship with his father, and the painful loss of his beloved sister, Nancy, to whom the book is dedicated.It also chronicles his amazing, record-breaking football career, from fighting to earn a place on sports teams due to his size to his rise as a grid-iron legend.

"…I left on my own terms and I’m living on my own terms," says Sanders in the book’s final chapter.He says of his life since leaving the game, "I like to think that I’m good at balancing things and excelling at more than one thing at a time.I’m certainly trying to do that."

Only five years after leaving the sport, Sanders’ legacy cannot be forgotten.Among the many milestones during his stellar career, Sanders:

• Won the NFL Rookie of the Year and MVP awards

• Was named to the Pro Bowl nine times

• Rushed for 2053 yards in a single season

• Went 803 consecutive carries without a fumble

• Registered ten consecutive 1000+ yards per season and so much more.

BARRY SANDERS: NOW YOU SEE HIM allows football fans a rare glimpse behind the records and accolades, into the heart and mind of a man for whom adversity was as commonplace as setting records and scoring touchdowns.With tremendous candor, Barry Sanders tell his story the only way he knows how—with honesty, passion and a directness not found in other sports autobiographies. It also include original commentary from former teammates Kevin Glover and Lomas Brown, his former coaches, Wayne Fontes and Dale Burkholder, and former opponents Louis Oliver, Emmitt Smith and Mike Singletary. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Now You See Him...
Although a bit pricey, mostly because it's produced on slick paper and contains a bonus DVD, this is a well-written "autobiography" that gives one insight into Barry Sanders. From his parents, to growing up, high school, and his college and pro careers, Barry takes us through some of this thoughts and feelings through each stage of his life. What this book could have used more of is some insight on what it is really like to play in the NFL and some of the seamier sides he alludes to but never provides details of. And of course, he finally answers the question all football fans have been asking since his retirement-why?

The DVD is not very good, by the way. It's a pretty boring collage of famous runs and career achievements. They could have done much more with it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Barry Sanders story...short and sweet
The newly elected Hall of Fame running back, Barry Sanders, was always a man of many words and his recently released autobiography is fitting in its 139 page, picture-filled 8 x 10 work.
If a picture says a thousand words, than the included 19-minute DVD featuring Sanders and his accomplishments is worth a million and add visuals to the former Detroit Lion running backs accomplishments.
"Now You See Him..." is the entire life history of Sanders, the people that shaped his life and his accomplishments along the way, from North High School, Oklahoma State University and his only NFL team, the Detroit Lions.
Sanders writes of his football beginnings and the beginning of his doubtful beginnings in football due to his small stature. Sanders admitted being shorter, but always faster.
His high school football career was stunted (pun intended) as he played behind older brother, Byron, and was not utilized as a tailback until his senior year and after a coaching change.
Sanders writes of himself as being a team player, foregoing a chance to take the state rushing title after he had 262 yards in the final season game. His coach gave him the option of securing the title, but deferred to his teammates playing.
Surprisingly, Sanders was not highly recruited and took the opportunity to rush for the Cowboys at Oklahoma State University, again behind a superb back, Thurman Thomas.
As the third pick in the 1988 NFL draft, Sanders began his 10-year career with the Detroit Lions, playing under Wayne Fontes for 8-years and Bobby Ross for two turbulent years.
Moving through the to later chapters the reader discovers Sanders' thoughts about the pressure of surpassing Walter Payton's rushing record as the former Chicago Bear was dealing with his own life-threatening illness.
Sanders explains his side of retirement in chapter 15 "I Knew it was Over," explaining the Lions 5-11 season, consistent troublesome negotiations regarding his renewed contracts and the direction of the team.
Sanders includes his retirement letter, sent to the Wichita Eagle, but expands on his disgruntlement with Detroit general manger Chuck Schmidt.
What the book may be lacking, the DVD adds, but does not totally save the book.
The 19-minute DVD includes television footage of Sanders as his best, utilizing his "jump back" style of running in high school, college and the NFL.
If after 139 pages you are not impressed with Sanders, his life and career, the DVD is a waste. If you are a fan of Sanders, his team and his skill, the DVD is a great highlight film included with the book.
Sanders is soft-spoken in his words about his career, his teammates and his competitors. His book is easy to read, picturesque and his DVD inclusion technologically innovative, similar to his running style.

5-0 out of 5 stars Barry Sanders, the Great Writer.
Barry Sanders is perhaps the next coming of James Joyce. If you don't believe me, just take a look at her brilliant command of prose. It flows ever so delicately through the travails of her life. The language has such a rhythm that is unparalleled by contemporary literature. Five stars. A-plus.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Detailed Look at a Modest Man
Barry Sanders tells of his life, including his tenure as a Detroit Lion, in this semi-autobiography. Certainly most people who want to know why Barry walked away from football will buy this book, but the book does not focus just on his decision to leave the game. Barry writes about his childhood and the influence his religion and parents would have on his life; his mother was a loving, caring woman, and his father was a stern, hard-working man who always said that the greatest running back ever was Jim Brown. He details his life through college football as an Oklahoma State Cowboy, the NFL, and up to the present, where he has settled down with a wife and a son.

Barry always made certain when playing football that he never lost track of his goal as a player: to win the game. He passed up on achieving personal records many times because he simply did not value them enough; all he wanted to do was win the game. Whenever he ran with the ball, his goal as a running back was to run toward the end zone any which way possible. He mentions in the book that his father told him to run like a scared rabbit when playing football, and watching the footage on the DVD, that is just what he did.

It is unfortunate that there are not that many players of Barry's caliber in professional sports today, and by "caliber," I do not mean that the players should be tantamount in playing ability; I mean their approach to the game and the ultimate goal they should strive for, winning the game. Certainly there are some who are primarily team-oriented, but unfortunately they do not receive the media attention in this era where individual achievements seem to be held in an inordinately high regard. Whenever Barry scored a touchdown, he did not do an end zone celebration or spike the ball; he simply handed the ball to the official. Many NFL players receive attention for their bizarre end zone celebrations, but Barry Sanders showed everyone that great players do not need to get attention. If someone is great, he does not need to do anything more than be great to be recognized.

5-0 out of 5 stars What Makes Barry Run!
Barry Sanders jitterbugged his way into my world in 1988 as he dismantled by beloved Cowboys in the Holiday Bowl. I thought then what a terrible defense we had that day, only to learn later on how wrong I was. What a great back this Sanders is!

He is the greatest so far. I've seen them all: Brown, Horning, Sayers (he could have been if injury hadn't cut him short; also from Kansas--what have they got in their water there?), Payton, Emmitt, et al. This guy for me was the player (as so many others have said) one would pay money to see him run!

Speed, explosiveness, elusiveness, power, vision. More important, couple this with his personal temperament: a true anti-celebrity. A true good guy, a Christian athlete. An honest man. A family man. This is role model stuff formed by the Creator God Himself, whom Barry gives all the credit.

The book is very well done. Not by some known-name author, but Barry's friend Mark E. McCormick who does an excellent job outlining this exciting life and reporting it as it would seem Barry would: few words, to the point, tell it like it is. So there are a couple typos. Makes it more authentic for me! It speaks of what he feels like before, during and after a run. What is all this talk in some other reviews about nothing revealed really worth reading? What is missing is normal super=jock stories of ego and media hype, etc. Hand the ball to the ref in the endzone, pick up the Heisman, thank the Lord. Thanks Barry and Mark McCormick. You did it right!

The DVD I find exeptional. Especially thankful that less than more of his dismantled of Wyo is not shown. Some of the runs, e.g. one against da Bears is awesome, but there are others as well. Especially like the spin moves and neat straight arm. This guy could hit as well as dodge. He had it all. He was the best.

Revealing that what many thought was true and it is neat that Barry lets it out: for some weird reason, the Lions slowly dismantled the team that could have. . . We're all still hurting and depressed and ticked off at that. But the memories of Number 20! Boy what a treat!

Barry, thanks for your stuff! Especially that about your Mom and sister, Nancy. And your honesty about the child out of wedlock and abstinence film, etc. You are what the young studs need to hear about and from. God blessed you enormously and you're a man who doesn't forget who got him where he is.

To our Lord Jesus may His blessings continue to pour down upon you and yours! Run on! ... Read more

14. Never Die Easy : The Autobiography of Walter Payton
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375758216
Catlog: Book (2001-09-11)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 18791
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Never die easy. Why run out of bounds and die easy? Make that linebacker pay. It carries into all facets of your life. It's okay to lose, to die, but don't die without trying, without giving it your best."

His legacy is towering. Walter Payton—the man they called Sweetness, for the way he ran—remains the most prolific running back in the history of the National Football League, the star of the Chicago Bears' only Super Bowl Championship, eleven times voted the most popular sports figure in Chicago's history. Off the field, he was a devoted father whose charitable foundation benefited tens of thousands of children each year, and who—faced with terminal liver disease—refused to use his celebrity to gain a preferential position for organ donation. Walter Payton was not just a football hero; he was America's hero.
        Never Die Easy is Walter Payton's autobiography, told from the heart. Growing up poor in Mississippi, he took up football to get girls' attention, and went on to become a Black College All-American at tiny Jackson State (during which time he was also a finalist in a Soul Train dance contest). Drafted by the Bears in 1975, he predicted that he would last only five years but went on to play thirteen extraordinary seasons, a career earning him regular acknowledgment as one of the greatest players in the history of professional football. And when his playing days were over, he approached business and charity endeavors with the same determination and success he had brought to the football field, always putting first his devotion to friends and family. His ultimate battle with illness truly proved him the champion he always had been and prompted a staggering outpouring of love and support from hundreds of thousands of friends and admirers.
        Written with veteran journalist and author Don Yaeger in the last weeks of Walter Payton's life, Never Die Easy presents Walter's singular voice—warm, plainspoken, funny, self-aware—along with the voices of the friends, family, teammates, and business associates who knew him best at all stages of his life, including his wife, Connie, and their children, Brittney and Jarrett; his teammate and friend Matt Suhey; former Bears head coach Mike Ditka; and many, many others.
        Walter made Don Yaeger promise that his book would be "inspirational and leave people with some kind of lesson . . . and make sure you spell all the words right." Never Die Easy keeps all those promises.
... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars A touch of sweetness
I was a bit caught off guard when I first picked up Never Die Easy, and saw it was comprised of narritives from various people in Walter Payton's life. I quickly put any aprehensions aside as I became enthralled in the descriptions and recollectons of Payton and others. I was gratified to find that the Walter Payton of real life was close to the Walter Payton I had come to admire and respect. Many people contributed to this book, and added layers to the story Walter Payton told. Along with the voices of coaches and fellow players, the voices of his wife, his children, and his siblings. The passages that deal with his life before Chicago...a Soul Train dance contest winner?... and after football are candid. They are very frank with descriptions of learning he was sick and how they dealt with the struggle as his health declined. No one ever gave up hope. This is a fitting tribute to one of the finest football players to ever play the game and a pleasure to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique Format for a Biography, Touching, Read it
This book was enjoyable and touching. I read it from start to finish without stopping. The structure of the book makes it easy to understand and follow. Specific topics are addressed in each chapter with separate accounts of the narrator and then by Payton and Payton's friends.

Payton was a warrior on the football field and a philanthropist and businessman after his career ended. This book will give you a glimpse into his entire life. Walter Payton was a man to be admired for his playing ability and his sweetness as a person. If you are a Walter Payton fan read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Greatest Bear of Them All"
In this book about Walter Payton there is a lot of good information about him. The title "Never Die Easy," means that when Payton was sick with cancer he fought as long as he could and didn't complain about the pain. When Payton was diagnosed with cancer they told him he had a certain amount of time to live but he overcame that and lived two more years. He has one son (Jerrett Payton) and one daughter (Brittney). Walter's brother Eddie would come to the hospital and talk with him but when Walter was let out, him and Eddie would go out and hane a good time. Although Payton was one of the greatest football players he was a better person to his family, friends, and people. In the book there is a picture of Payton running up a hill, this picture shows him training as he works toward his accomplishments as a running back in the NFL. At the 1987 mark in the picture is where he retired form football. The famous hill in the photograph is named "Payton's Hill," his honor. Walter Payton was inducted in the Hall of Fame in July of 1993. His life was one of the roughest but he made the best of it and has the book to prove it. This is one of the best books I have read and probably will read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Never Die Easy
Shaun V
Book Review

Never Die Easy by Walter Payton with Don Yeager is a story of a boys childhood and how he got to where only a selected few go. The NFL.
Walter Payton grew up in Mississippi where sports was the only thing that kids could enjoy. Walter grew up with his mother, father, sister Pam, and brother Eddie. Every summer Walter's mother would have a truck load of topsoil delivered to the front yard to keep them out of trouble. That's how Walter developed all of his leg power. Walter loved to play baseball and football. He and his brother, Eddie always played sports.
During his first two years of high school, Walter was in the band and played soccer, until his brother Eddie became the star quarterback of the football team. Since then he only loved to play football. Walters junior year he was the starting varsity running back. He broke many school as well as state records. He trained non-stop because football was his life.
College was Walters time to shine. He went to Jackson State University. During his freshman year he shared a dorm with his brother because he was currently attending that same college. At Jackson State, Walter met his future wife, Connie. They were inseparable. Walter went on the TV show "Soul Train" because he love to dance. He was an excellent dancer due to his center of balance which helped him as a running back. Playing football in college wasn't any different than high school ball to him. He still dominated the playing field. Up next was the NFL draft.
Walter was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Bears. He has never been in such a cold city, he had to adjust quickly. He was so nervous of making a good impression to the loyal fans of Chicago, that his first year wasn't so hot. He rushed for under 300 yards that season. While playing for the Bears he broke Jim Brown's all-time rushing record . During his football career he only missed one game due to a slight ankle sprain. After every game Walter would stay after to sign autographs for his fans. " Nothing is as important to me as spending time with my fans. They are so loyal". Retirement came thirteen years later.
After football, Walter became a business partner for several small business chains across America. He donated to a lot of charities for diseases and he also donated a lot of his time to the city of Chicago. It wasn't only money that he donated. He donated a lot of his time to fans that were sick in hospitals and became a motivational speaker.
A few years later he was diagnosed with a disease that effected his liver. There were thousands already in line for a transplant, he was at the end. He was a very wealthy man and could have paid for thousands of treatments that would slower the process. He did as much as he could but the cancer had spread. He put those thoughts behind him and continued to do his charity work. Walter's son Jarrett was going to a Division I college at the University Of Miami. Walter couldn't have been any prouder.
Soon after Walter died on November 1, 1999.
In Never Die Easy, it shows you how to live life to it's fullest. Everyday Walter lived his life as it were to be his last. He didn't let anything or anyone stand in his way. When he had cancer he just told himself that he still had enough time to accomplish more. This book also showed how important family is. It isn't everyday you see someone's son announce their father's introduction speech in to the Hall of Fame.
In my opinion Never Die Easy was a really good book and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys sports.

1-0 out of 5 stars Never Die Easy ( the Walter Payton autobiography)
Being so ignorant of football, I did not even know who Walter Payton was until he died. When I read the book I found how important he was to the football association. It gave a better understanding of his disease that attacked his liver. It told the story of a once unstoppable football player to someone only a fraction his normal size and weigt, but he never lost his faith and continued fighting until his last days in his home with his family. I had no idea how hard it is to find a donor for a liver. Also the medications he had to take and how sick they made him, and also having to have a cathiter placed in his chest to draw blood and for IVs since his veins were so weak. This man touched the lives of millions and even though he was sick he never asked why and made it a vow to never die easy. ... Read more

15. Turnaround: Bear Bryant's 1st Year at Alabama
by Tom Stoddard
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880216892
Catlog: Book (2000-08-01)
Publisher: Black Belt Press
Sales Rank: 439322
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

By 1958, the once legendary Bama football program had reached an all-time low - only four wins in three years. The proud tradition that included national titles and Rose Bowl victories was a source of state pride that had to be saved. Paul "Bear" Bryant became the football program's savior, and the University gave him free rein to work his miracles.Comprehensive interviews with players and coaches, detailed accounts of practice sessions, play-by play recordings of the games, and numerous photos take the reader back in time to that critical year in Alabama football history. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars I liked it better than Junction Boys
Stoddard is a proven commodity after this one. I found it very revealing. I almost liked it as much as "A Tailgater's Guide To SEC Football" by Dr. Chris Warner. I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars "My Dads Greatest Mentor"
I have not yet read Mr. Stoddards book "Turnaround". However, I have just purchased this book for my dad because he played for Coach Bryant. As a son of a former player of Coach Bryant, I must say that any book about Coach Bryant will always be a special book to me and my family and especially to my Dad. My Dad has always and will always "look up" to Coach Bryant. Even though Coach Bryant was not successful in the beginning at the University of Alabama, I am quiet sure this book is great because it will illustrate his "NEVER QUIT" attitude, which is a philosophy that my Dad has lived with throughout his life.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Stoddard Nailed It"
I have most likely read almost every book that has been written about the legendery college football coach. With the possible exception of "Bear", (which was an autobiography written by John Underwood) this is the best book ever written on Paul "Bear" Bryant. It was meticulously researched and led the reader on a journey throughout the year of 1958 (Bryant's first year at Alabama) which laid the foundation for a football dynasty during the 1960s and 1970s. While books like "The Junction Boys" might be more entertaining (but not always factual), "Turnaround" does not suffer the numerous embellishment problems that "Junction" did. Tom Stoddard deserves a great deal of recognition for this work. It is a must for the serious student of Bryant.

4-0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT NOT GREAT
This book is worthwhile for any hard-core fan of the Crimson Tide. But if you are not there would be little here to interest you.

Another reviewer highly recommended "The Junction Boys", a story of the nightmarish ten days that Bear Bryant ran his first Texas A&M team through. I agree that book was more interesting and more focused. "Turnaround", regrettably, does not have the same appeal and sense of being there that "The Junction Boys" did. True, Bear Bryant was not the sweetest coach in the world in 1958, but after what he put his first Aggie team through I could not be awed with what his first Crimson Tide team went through. Bear's first Aggie team appeared to have had it tougher -- which is why he considered that to be his favorite team in spite of the fact that was his only losing team (1-9) in his entire career.

There were a couple of interesting items about the book though. First, J. B. "Ears" Whitworth preceded the Bear to Tuscaloosa and won only four games in three years. I do not remember anything about "Ears" as I was too young and growing up in Alabama I never heard many references to those dark days in Crimson Tide history. About the only reference to those days was that a quarterback who was hurt much of the time while at Alabama later went on to a somewhat more successful career in the NFL -- some guy named Bart Starr. The book did devote the first chapter to the problems swirling around the Alabama football program during "Ears" less than successful three years.

The second item of interest is the description of the practice sessions. Bear later mellowed considerably -- especially in the 1970s and when he was 15 - 20 years older and more experienced. But he ran the program in a very controlled manner, attention to detail, well organized, mission oriented, stressing a strong conditioning program, never a wasted moment on the practice field, well motivated, and stressing academics. I have read several descriptions of the current coach, Dennis Franchione, and although Coach Franchione was not a deciple of the Bear, he runs things in a very similar manner. There are differences of course in that there are different rules and water breaks are no longer considered a sign of weakness. But the basic ideas remain the same. I hope Coach Franchione has similar success.

3-0 out of 5 stars Turnaround Season: What Could Have Been
The book provides some remarkable insight into Coach Bryant's methods and thoughts. I heard stories that I have never heard and I consider myself a big fan. The problem was the boring play by play of the games and the constant roster updates. If you are a Bama fan buy it. If not it would be of little interest. ... Read more

16. Alex Smith: The Story Of The University Of Utah's Unlikely Star Quarterback
list price: $13.95
our price: $13.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932898344
Catlog: Book (2005-03-25)
Publisher: Spring Creek Book Company
Sales Rank: 161703
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Alex Smith--A Modern Cinderfella Story
The story of Alex Smith and his meteoric rise to the number one NFL draft choice is a superbly inspiring story, written by a very talented young author.It is laced with humerous anecdotes and interesting insights into Smith's homelife and his first 20 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read: Story of an Emerging Star
Wow! This is a compelling story, for young and old. Heather is an amazing storyteller, and does a masterful job of sharing the story of Alex Smith as he follows his dream of playing football in the NFL. It is full of fun and anecdotal excerpts from his childhood, and a detailed review of his march to an undefeated 2004 season, leading the University of Utah football team. I couldn't put it down, and read the whole book in one sitting (two weeks before his going first pick in the NFL draft). Now, I can't wait for the sequel covering his 49er years! ... Read more

17. Emmitt: Run With History
by Rudy Klancnik
list price: $39.95
our price: $39.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0972504206
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Calvert Group
Sales Rank: 153308
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Follow Emmitt all the way to the Record
This is a great book that displays Emmitt Smith's life and football career and his pursuit of Walter Payton's rushing record. The pictures in this book are very good since they are contributed by an official Cowboys photographer. The book also shows another side of Emmitt, his family life, that you probably wouldn't know even if you have been a fan of his for many years. By reading this book you really get the sense that Emmitt is a good man as well as being an extraordinary running back. I would recommend this book to all Cowboys fans and Emmitt fans. ... Read more

18. Quotable Spurrier: The Nerve, Verve, and Victorious Words of and About Steve Spurrier, America's Most Scrutinized Football Coach (Potent Quotables)
by Steve Spurrier, Gene Frenette
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931249172
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Towlehouse Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 135157
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Steve Spurrier is the epitome of a national sports figure either loved or hated with enthusiasm by millions. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Steve speaks up!!
If you love Steve Spurrier, you'll love this collection of hundreds of his quotes. If you hate Spurrier, you'll still love the book as it gives you ammo to yell back at. If you're not in either of these categories of people, then you might want to check and see if you're still alive. This is Spurrier in a nutshell, and it's a beautiful book. ... Read more

19. Final Confessions of NFL Assassin Jack Tatum
by Jack Tatum, Bill Kushner
list price: $24.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885758073
Catlog: Book (1996-07-01)
Publisher: Quality Sports Publications
Sales Rank: 561246
Average Customer Review: 2.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Can't believe this was published....
Aside from Tatum's whining about every game the Raiders lost, and his incessant bad-mouthing of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 70's, I actually enjoyed Tatum's first book, "They Call Me Assassin". Tatum's second book, "They Still Call Me Assassin", was almost an exact reprint of the first book, except it included a few more of Tatum's self-serving rants that would interest no one outside of Tatum's immediate family. Now, in this third installment, we are given exact reprints of both books. Amazingly, the reprinted portions of "They Call me Assassin" that were in "They Still Call Me Assassin" are left in "Final Confessions", so much of the reprinted material in "Final Confessions" appears twice in the book! The actual 'new' material takes up a whole 12 pages in the 348 page fiasco. Don't waste your money now, simply wait until the fourth Tatum book appears on the market, "I Still Have Final Confessions", and has the exact reprints of volumes 1-3.

2-0 out of 5 stars States again what was said in the original...
Buy "They Call Me Assassin" rather than spend your money on this release. It is simply too dry a read; especially when compared to his first book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brutally honest and shockingly factual, the best ever.
Brutally honest, shockingly factual, this book is the best ever written on the REAL world of professional sports.

"Final Confessions of NFL Assassin Jack Tatum" is an exact reprint of Jack's previous two books, "They Call Me Assassin" and "They Still Call Me Assassin - Here We Go Again". It also contains additional opinions and conclusions that Jack reached on a variety of subjects.

This compilation of events in the life of an NFL superstar reveals an athletically gifted, well educated, courageous and practical man who was raised to believe that truth, no matter how painful or revealing is more important than maintaining a phony status quo.

In this book, Jack has finally put to rest the whole issue of his insensitivity towards Darryl Stingley. He has taken a lot of undeserved heat for something completely out of his control. He indicates that he tried to visit and talk to Stingley more than once and was refused an audience. In spite of these unfortunate refusals, he has written words of praise for the man.

Honesty is not a behavior pattern for a reckless "loud mouth", it is the trait of a thinking man with values. This book is a celebration of honesty.

Just as time has transformed the public perception of Muhammad Ali from the "Louisville Lip" to one of the world's most beloved sports figures, this book proves that Jack Tatum deserves to be acknowledged as one of the greatest legends in sports history.

Jack Tatum deserves to be in the NFL Hall Of Fame because of his phenomenal play on the field and his courageously honest words off the field and in print.

If you want unvarnished truth about "pre through post" life in the NFL, This Is It!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Money.
"Final Confessions" is actually two books: "They Call Me Assassin" (1979) and "They Still Call Me Assassin" (1996), which discuss the football career of Jack Tatum, a former Oakland Raider defensive back who was one of the hardest-hitters in the history of the NFL.

Tatum was criticized sharply in the press for his hard hits, which often injured or knocked out opposing players. The criticism turned into an uproar on August 12, 1978, after an exhibition game between the Raiders and New England Patriots, in which Tatum made a vicious (but clean) tackle of Darryl Stingley that permanently paralyzed Stingley. That coupled with Tatum's unfortunate tendency to fire off his mouth, the "bad boy" image of the Raiders, and Raider Owner Al Davis' own conflict with Pete Rozelle and the NFL led to Tatum being characterized as an outlaw.

In his defense, Tatum responds, (1) professional football is a vicious and brutal game, (2) I was paid to hit people hard, and (3) I generally played up to but within the limits of the rules. He has a point. Half of the second book is simply a rehash (often verbatim) of the first book. The other half is taken up with stories about Tatum. Jack Tatum may have an interesting story to tell, but you won't learn it reading this book. Only the oldest die-hard Raider fans will find anything of interest in it. ... Read more

20. Another Season : A Coach's Story of Raising an Exceptional Son
by Gene Stallings, Sally Cook
list price: $28.00
our price: $28.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316811963
Catlog: Book (1997-08-11)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 95640
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When beloved Alabama football coach Gene Stallings's son was born with Down syndrome and a serious heart defect, doctors predicted he wouldn't live to see his first birthday and urged Coach Stallings and his wife to institutionalize him.

But for Gene and Ruth Ann that was not an option.Johnny quickly won the hearts and adoration of the Stallings family and everyone who took the time to know him, and, proving the doctors wrong by living a full life, he has become a vital and important part of his father's life and career.

With intimate glimpses of family life and thrilling football anecdotes, Another Season is brimming with poignant lessons about defying the odds and finding joy in every moment. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars John Mark Stallings is the true hero of Another Season.
I'm giving the book three stars for three reasons: One, we have a 3-month-old son with Down syndrome and anything on the subject is a welcomed addition to our library. Two, as difficult as it was to read some of Gene Stallings' comments about his own son, it probably took a lot for this football coach to bare his soul in print. Three, John Mark Stallings touched a deep nerve, giving me more hope that our little boy has every opportunity to grow up to be a loving, giving, productive man. But until the last two chapters, the book leaves you wondering whether Johnny was truly given a fair shake. Instead of celebrating the birth of his only son, in typical jock fashion, Stallings tries to punch out the doctor, changed the boy's name ("...we knew he would never be able to carry on the family name..."), laments that the boy will never be a strapping quarterback in the NFL, and worries over Johnny's slight physical differences. The book does illustrates how far we've progressed in our acceptance of people with Down syndrome, and brings home the fact that it is only the families of children with this disability who will ensure they get the unconditional love, attention and education they deserve. At the same time, though, I'm afraid it perpetuates some of the stereotypes and misconceptions that people continue to place on those with Down syndrome.

5-0 out of 5 stars Touching, heartfelt, will reach the soul of all who read
Gene Stallings is a man's man. A father's father. He was, and still is, a great coach, husband, and teacher. Yet he has a tender compassion not always seen in men of his calling. He owes much of that part of him to his son and he knows it. He has taken the sorrow and pain his family bore and turned it into an story of amazing hard work, courage, and love. This book should be one of the first things read by a couple faced with the reality of a Down Syndrome baby. Coach Stallings shows us there is life after DS, and it can be very good, indeed,it can be wonderful.

5-0 out of 5 stars A solid -- if difficult -- story, told by a solid man
I received this book unexpectedly after making a donation to my alma mater, from which Coach Stallings' daughters also graduated. Until then, I didn't even know the story had been written. The book fascinated me from many angles -- as a teacher, as the sister of someone born with a congenital handicap (whose parents were likewise advised to put him in an institution), as a reader of this genre of literature, and most of all, as someone who as a kid knew and adored John Mark Stallings.

Many have commented on the way the author plainly tells his early disappointments, fears, and frustrations at having his only son be born with such apparent limitations. I, too, initially felt uncomfortable. However, I came to admire Mr. Stallings' willingness to expose to scorn the ideas that he had back in the 1960s and 70s, ideas that over the course of the book he does slowly show to have been mistaken. By the end of the book it is clear he realizes that people born with Down syndrome are far more capable and have a more meaningful life than was dreamed of at the time John Mark was born. The narrative also puts into perspective the origins of those ideas.

The end result is an honest portrait by an unfailingly honest man, and the book shows the strong and loving relationship between Johnny and his father today.

-- Andrea

4-0 out of 5 stars A VICTORY FOR ALL
He longed for a son. So much so that at times Coach Gene Stallings imagined he could see him. "He'd always be a big strapping boy," Stallings writes, "and I'd envision him intercepting a pass, tucking that football under his arm, and sprinting to make a touchdown."

When his wife, Ruth Ann, did give birth to a son on June 11, 1962, Stallings couldn't wait to call his mentor and friend, Paul "Bear" Bryant. "We've got the boy, Coach Bryant!" he exulted. Then he proudly handed out blue banded cigars.

His elation was short lived. The next day when Stallings was told that his son was a mongoloid, the strapping assistant coach at Alabama passed out cold. It would be years before "Down syndrome" replaced mongoloid as an accepted term for the chromosomal disorder that results in delayed physical and mental development. It was only a few months before the couple learned that their son, John Mark, called Johnny, also had a serious heart defect.

Doctors and friends urged them to institutionalize their baby. The Stallings refused. They would raise their third child at home despite predictions that Johnny would never sit, walk or talk and, in all probability, not live to see his first birthday.

More than an account of raising an exceptional child, Another Season is testimony to a father's love. It is the heartwarming story of a remarkable family., as well as a poignant reminder of how perseverance and courage can overcome daunting obstacles.

Johnny's four sisters were his staunchest allies. Eager for him to learn, they rigged shoelaces on bedposts to repeatedly show him how to make loops and tie a knot - a feat he accomplished at six. Later, his sisters measured prospective dates by how warmly the boys responded to Johnny.

The bond between father and son grew stronger each day. Whether Stallings was coaching at Texas A & M, with the Dallas Cowboys, with the St. Louis Cardinals or leading the Crimson Tide, a devoted happy Johnny accompanied him to practice.

Two good reasons prompted Stallings' move to Dallas in 1972: superior educational opportunities for Johnny, and he needed a job. However, his first days as defensive secondary coach for the Cowboys were rocky. Players and staff knew he'd never been to a pro camp, never played pro football, and didn't have an enviable record at Texas A & M. As he brought Johnny to Saturday practice for the first time, he wondered how the Cowboy players would react. He knew when he saw a grinning Johnny squeezed between Roger Staubach and Lee Roy Jordan on a locker room bench. His son would belong.

The boy became such an integral part of the team that when Tom Landry passed out 1977 Super Bowl rings, Johnny's name was called . After slowly making his way to the front of the room, Johnny found that the diamond studded ring fit perfectly on his clubbed finger.

In 1989 Stallings saw himself as "a fifty-four-year-old coach who had been fired twice" (by A& M and the Cardinals). Then came the call from the president of the University of Alabama.

On January 11, 1990, in Tuscaloosa, he was introduced as Alabama's 22nd head coach . There Johnny found work he enjoyed at the Paul Bryant Museum.

Stallings was happy to be where his career had begun. That was also where it would end. After six years with the Crimson Tide, most of his goals were accomplished. He had compiled an average of ten wins a season, they had a 70-15-1 record, and won a national championship. Believing Johnny was slowing down and needed him, Stallings resigned. Some 300 people attended the farewell reception hosted by the Museum staff in Johnny's honor. As Stallings stood in a corner, he watched his 34-year-old son smiling, hugging friends, and posing for photographers. His boy had beaten all the odds and grown to manhood.

In a television commercial filmed for the United Way, Stallings says of his son, "His progress is measured in little victories." For Johnny Stallings and his family those small victories added up to a major triumph.

5-0 out of 5 stars A real-life story about football
This is an autobiography by a person who has had a highly successful career in college and pro football but knows the world does not start and end with sports. The raising of the Stallings' son Johnny, who has Down syndrome, is the real focus here. The two stories, football and family, are intertwined, as the authors never lose sight of the family even while describing the high and low points of Gene Stallings' coaching career. Indeed, Johnny as he grows shares in his father's work. The book gives insight into both the game and the people in it and in the Coach's family. These people are brought alive for the reader. It is the best book 'about' football I have read. ... Read more

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