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1. Red Grange and the Rise of Modern
2. Tottenham Hotspur: Player by Player
3. A Scottish Football Hall of Fame
4. Great Rugby Heroes (Yesteryear)
5. Gillingham Football Club (Players
6. GIMP: When Life Deals You a Crappy
7. David Kopay Story
8. The Earl Campbell Story: A Football
9. Fallen Hero/the Shocking True
10. The Beautiful Team
11. Out of Bounds: Coming Out of Sexual
12. The Quarterback Who Almost Wasn't
13. Alone in the Trenches
14. Brian Piccolo: A Short Season
15. What It Means to Be a Red Wing:
16. Miracle in the Making: The Adam
17. Busted: The Rise and Fall of Art
18. Glasgow Rangers: A Complete Record
19. A Reason to Believe: The Blaise
20. Never Die Easy: The Autobiography

1. Red Grange and the Rise of Modern Football (Sport and Society)
by John M. Carroll
Hardcover: 296 Pages (1999-05-12)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0252023846
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Before the Super Bowl, before "Monday Night Football," even before the NFL, there was Red Grange. Catapulted into the public eye in 1924 by scoring four touchdowns in twelve minutes for the University of Illinois, the 'Galloping Ghost' went on to a trailblazing career as a professional player, Hollywood football idol, and broadcaster. He ranked with Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey in the 1920s as the most heralded figures in America's 'golden age of sport', and when "Sports Illustrated" did a special issue in 1991 on the greatest moments in sports, Grange was selected for the cover. Grange's star rose in tandem with that of the sport itself. His spectacular performance as a college player coincided with football's evolution into a rallying point of university life, undergirded by post-World War I money, cars, roads, stadiums, and mass media.With a natural talent and down-home image that helped legitimize professional football, Grange became one of the first athlete-heroes and the first major sports figure to serve as a play-by-play broadcast commentator.John Carroll depicts the career of this softspoken pioneer who helped lift pro football above its reputation as 'a dirty little business run by rogues and bargain-basement entrepreneurs'. A reluctant celebrity and folk hero, Red Grange stood throughout his life as a symbol of older, rural American values: an unpretentious self-made individual making a mark in a society increasingly controlled by machines, vast corporations, and stifling bureaucracies. His story is an essential element in understanding football's central place in American culture.Amazon.com Review
Red Grange was one of the certified heroes of an era that produced the anchors to any sporting hall of fame--Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Bill Tilden, Bobby Jones--but Red Grange and the Rise of Modern Football is no simple exercise in hero-worship. A professor of history at Lamar University, John M. Carroll works to put Grange in perspective against the backdrop of an amazing era--the '20s--and tackle the Galloping Ghost's myth. Still, in Grange's case, the myth remains awfully impressive.

A true superstar, Grange was a reluctant idol, letting his actions speak for him. In an era before big athletic scholarships, Grange paid for his education by delivering ice in the summer, a job that made him stronger than most of the defense men he'd regularly bowl over. As a junior at Illinois, Grange secured his legend with an inconceivable performance against Michigan, running for four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes. Before the final gun sounded--Carroll recounts this, and other games in glorious detail--Grange had added a fifth score on the ground, passed for a sixth, racked up a ridiculous 402 rushing yards on the day, and cemented his reputation. Post college, his all-American drawing power and singular brilliance on the field virtually saved the struggling young NFL; Carroll is quite thorough in his examination of the fledgling league and its odor of "a dirty little business run by rogues." Yet, despite all the fame and celebrity, a flirtation with Hollywood, and a respected post-playing career in the radio booth and various businesses, Grange never escaped his heartland unpretentiousness; he always seemed to know who he was and how he got that way. "I could run," he once said, "and that was the basis of any success I ever had." Because he ran so well, of course, that success evolved into a full-blown legend worthy of Carroll's scrupulous and absorbing examination. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Book
It was interesting to read about the early days of college football and the origins of some of the rules we have now about kids leaving early.The book is a little dry though - kind of like reading a history textbook at times.

5-0 out of 5 stars When Humility Still Mattered
This book does a great job of giving interesting detail and thoughtful perspective so you can see how an individual fit into the times and how the events of the single life mirrored the larger developments in society.You learn a lot about football, about men of that era and what character traits they valued, and about the role of the media and it's use of celebrity to create an audience.I enjoyed this so much I bought another Carroll book on a different early football hero - Fritz Pollard - and that is just as informative and insightful.

3-0 out of 5 stars Engaging story of pioneer on, off the field
This is a readable, well-researched book. Carroll tells how Grange rose tobecome one of America's first true superstars and how he left school earlyto join the then-disrespected ranks of pro football. While scholarly, afeeling for a truly humble man shines through.

5-0 out of 5 stars Red Grange is Number One!
My father always talked about Red Grange.I never really knew who he was. Thisbook brings everything into perspective. Mr. Carroll captures the essence of Red Grange, but more than that, he makes clear why Grange wasthe most important college player of this century and how he created themomentum which led to the explosion of pro football ... Read more

2. Tottenham Hotspur: Player by Player
by Ivan Ponting
Paperback: 208 Pages (1998-07-30)

Isbn: 0600595870
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An illustrated collection of detailed profiles of players who have represented Tottenham at first team level in the modern era, and managers who have led the club from the 1950s onwards. In the PLAYER BY PLAYER series. ... Read more

3. A Scottish Football Hall of Fame
by John Cairney
Hardcover: 254 Pages (1998-11-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$29.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1840180447
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Every generation has its own football field magicians, and A Scottish Football Hall of Fame encapsulates the Saturday afternoon spell cast by fine footballers for ordinary working men who lived to cheer on their heroes every week. Fervor was passed down from father to son, and in this way the future of the clubs as well as the fame of a few golden greats was guaranteed. Players like R.S.McColl (Queen's Park), Bobby Walker (Hearts), Alan Morton (Rangers), Denis Law (Manchester United), and Kenny Dalglish (Celtic) are in this pantheon, and they span the arc of Scottish football from its earliest days till modern times. These, and more than a hundred like them, are the men you will read about in these pages. Men who were once household names are captured here in their sporting immortality and introduced to generations of football enthusiasts who never saw them play.
... Read more

4. Great Rugby Heroes (Yesteryear)
by Dick Bruna
Paperback: 112 Pages (2003-09-08)
list price: US$19.75 -- used & new: US$0.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1843170469
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The world of rugby has produced a number of talented and magnificent players. Fascinating facts alongside detailed biographical notes on famous players such as Serge Blanco, J.P.R. Williams and Jonathan Davies, and illustrations combine to produce a history of the game. ... Read more

5. Gillingham Football Club (Players Directory)
by Roger Triggs
 Hardcover: 160 Pages (2000-11-15)

Isbn: 0752420631
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6. GIMP: When Life Deals You a Crappy Hand, You Can Fold -or You Can Play
by Mark Zupan, Tim Swanson
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2006-10-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$7.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000PGTEVK
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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College soccer star Mark Zupan had been out drinking one night and had passed out in the back of his best friend's pickup truck when his friend got in the driver's seat, decided to take the truck for a spin, and accidentally crashed it. Thrown into a canal and stuck in frigid water for fourteen hours, Mark was finally rescued and learned soon after that he'd broken his neck. He'd most likely be a quadriplegic and spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, doctors told him. At first Mark's only goal was to walk again. When that proved impossible, he fell into the depths of anger and despair, retreating from the world and the people closest to him. But love, friendship, and a new sport, quad rugby (a.k.a. "murderball"), helped Mark create a new existence that's truly exceptional.

Gimp, the no-holds-barred memoir of a Paralympic athlete and the star of the Academy Award–nominated documentary Murderball, is an inspiring, defiant, and revealing celebration of spirit and will that confounds readers' prejudices by offering proof that a guy in a chair can still do amazing things: have sex with his girlfriend, party with his friends . . . even crowd-surf at Pearl Jam shows.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book!
I saw the movie Murderball AND read Gimp.Incredible! I used to play hockey until I was in an accident so I can REALLY relate to Zupan. His story is an inspiration to all people dealing with a life altering circumstance.

3-0 out of 5 stars A good read

This is a good read, well written and inspiring without being corny.
It even has some dark humour to lighten the mood.

Will strike a chord with any athlete or sportsman. Makes the reader feel lucky about his own circumstances, if he/she is fortunate enough to be ablebodied.

4-0 out of 5 stars Book purchase
The product was great and Woody's book store communicated great through email about the purchase and ordering information.The only thing is the number of days that it took to ship was confusing; I thought it would get to me sooner, but what the number of days meant was when it would be shipped as opposed to it arriving to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zupan Rules!
Sometimes, people who have been "handicapped" in some manner end up withdrawing into themselves. A few of them are downright miserable. Mad at the world for being stuck in the situation they're in... the best they can hope for (because they're depressing to be around) is to have people feel sorry for them.

Mark Zupan (who, hopefully, you know from the astoundingly-good, and deserved-to-win-the-Oscar documentary, MURDERBALL), is NOT one of those people. He doesn't WANT anyone to feel sorry for him. (In fact, he doesn't even want to be seen as a "role model," or an "inspiration," though [sorry Mark!], to a lot of people, he is.)

Mark was an athletic, fun-loving 18-year-old, having a blast in South Florida when everything he knew changed in an instant. Sleeping off a night of heavy partying in the back of his buddy Chris Igoe's parked pickup, he had no clue when his friend got in and (also drunk) drove off. Not too long thereafter, Igoe swerved off the road and Mark ended up flying out of the truck-bed, over a fence, and into some dense foliage overhanging a small lake. (Igoe had no idea Mark was in the truck bed, so when the police came, they never looked for him.)

Mark regained consciousness, only to find himself unable to move (he didn't know it yet, but he was paralyzed from the neck down), hanging upside-down from a branch with his nose just inches from the water... and getting closer by the moment. He hung there for 14 hours, before a workman heard him yelling for help.

And that's just the START of the story!

In the years that followed, he has not only become one of the star players of the sport known as Quad Rugby (a.k.a. Murderball), his attitude about his "situation" (whether he likes it or not!) has helped untold numbers of others* to better cope with their own situations.

* I know of what I speak. My young and lovely wife has been in a wheelchair for several years due to Multiple Sclerosis. After seeing the movie MURDERBALL --and *especially* after meeting Zupan at a tournament, her attitude went from "good" to fantastic. She's no longer "the girl in the wheelchair." She's simply my wife, who's fun to be around, and who's interested in doing the things she CAN do, rather than fretting about the things she can't.

-Jonathan Sabin

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Your Usual Feel Good Story of Triumph Over Adversity
A fast paced, gritty look into an Athlete's brush with death and the long road to recovery.If you are looking for the next inspiration for a cheesy After School Special on overcoming adversity...don't read this book.If you are looking for a well written, insightful look into how one guy copes with tragedy and disability, then this is an excellent read.To say Gimp has texture is an understatement thanks to its subject, Mark Zupan, a quadriplegic athlete who was made famous by the documentary Murder Ball. Gimp details how this proud, perhaps arrogant athlete dealt with a tragic accident that cost him the full use of his limbs thanks to drunken night that resulted in a brush with death and a debilitating spinal cord injury.

Gimp does not spare us the details that are often left out of such stories including the uglier side of human emotion.The books subject faces Zupan's denial, doubt, guilt, fear, despair and loss as a result of his tragedy.While he ultimately comes to terms with his injury and recovery, it is not without some serious setbacks, some self inflicted.It is this part of writer Timothy Swanson's writing that really sets Gimp apart.He does not spare Zupan some hard looks into his darker nature to include arrogance, self indulgence and outright self destructiveness at times.If there is a villain in the book, it is Zupan himself and his own feelings of despair and anger.It is Swanson's description of Zupan's struggle with his own dark feelings and fears that give the story its power.

The book is not without its own sense of humor and offers a dark amusement that Zupan has for the hand life has dealt him.Gimp deftly shows Zupan's outlook on life which is headstrong and confident but not without his fair share of hidden frailty in the face of a near death experience.In fact, the description of the actual accident that describes Zupan clinging to life, literally perhaps, is the book's strongest section.I have many friends who suffer from war wounds, especially brain injuries from IED's or "danger close" air strikes and I can say from personal experience that Gimp does an excellent job at looking at how proud warriors (in Gimp's case a world class athlete), deal with injury and recovery.I recommend this book without reservation to certainly anyone who knows someone who suffers from a disability or who has seen the documentary Murder Ball.The book has broader appeal to fans of sports writing as well since the book leaves no doubt that Zupan is an athlete.The fact that it is an easy read and has a brisk pace is no small feat given that other works of this genre tend to drag on, lack direction and are often burdened with sappy and clichéd, touchy-feely housewife book club nonsense.Zupan's force of will as described by Swanson carries the book along as does the suspense of how he will cope with each stage of his recovery and his entrance into the world of quad rugby aka Murder Ball.I thought it was a great read and recommend it without reservation.
... Read more

7. David Kopay Story
by David Kopay, Perry Deane Young
Paperback: 256 Pages (2001-08-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$53.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555836380
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Originally published in 1977, The David Kopay Story was an earth-shattering event. It has never been duplicated. Twenty-three years after publishing his story, David Kopay remains the only NFL player who has publicly acknowledged his homosexuality. After a ten-year career as a running back for the San Francisco 49ers, the Detroit Lions, the Washington Redskins, the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers, and exhausted by the agony of living a double life, Kopay bravely talked to the Washington Star and took his place in history as the first prominent male athlete to come out of the closet. In The David Kopay Story, he reveals the conflicting emotional states that both prevented him from living openly and finally drove him to a place of total honesty. From psychotherapy to hypnosis to heartbreaking family confrontations to finally surprising acceptance from former teammates and coaches, this is a story of denial leading to acceptance, and finally to pride. As inspiring today as it was upon publication, Advocate Books is proud to make The David Kopay Story available to a new generation of readers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars David Kopay, APortrait in Courage
This book was a real revalation to me. To read a firsthand account of a gay man's journey, back in the late 1970s, was truly a rare, and positive experience. This was the era when gays were fiinally getting positive public recognition (at least on TV and in the press) other than being labeled "not normal," mentally ill, or other negative call-words. These were the days of gay marches, people "coming out" publicly, and the dawn of a new and positive age for homosexuality. Reading this book was a very
mind-blowing experience. To read, and understand, David Kopay's struggle and coming to terms with his own sexual identity, "coming out" to his parents and family, and the discrimination he experienced in searching for a job in the sports field, truly shows the social climate of the times; and also might show others that the human experience is similar to most people.
Perhaps "straight" people, right-wing Republicans and religious fantaics of the Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell types might gain some insight into the human condition by reading this, and similar, books. Too much time is spent on negativity and extolling people's differences by some groups and people; when there is still homophobia and gay-bashing still going on -- as shown by the sad episode of Matthew Shepherd, not too many years ago.
This book is a must-read for any gay man, also friends and family members of gay persons. The book may just show people that there isn't much difference between people, whatever their race, sexual preferences, or even religious beliefs. Even though I read this book almost twnety years ago, it's message is still strong, and I highly reccomend this book to anyone who has a gay family member, a gay friend, or if you are a gay person reading this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless and Wonderful
You don't need to be a gay man or a football fan to connect with this emotional and enlightening page-turner.Bravo to David Kopay and Perre Deane Young!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars David Kopay Story
This book is of a true hero, David Kopay.What a story of courage and inspiration.If you want to be inspired, read this book.One of the best!!

5-0 out of 5 stars well-written, gutsy and illuminating
This is David Kopay's account of growing up gay back when there were very few books or support groups to turn to, which makes it stand even taller.He describes his experience as a college and professional football playeras well as being in a fraternity.I find him candid, readable andlikeable.He never asked for any special favours, just the right to livehis life his way and do what he knew how to do.

I'm proud that David is afellow Husky; his name adds honour to the reputation of the University ofWashington, both as a hard-nosed athlete who hit like a freight train andas a man of courage.Just about anyone could benefit from reading hisbook.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Pioneer of Gay Sports Stories
Before Dan Woog's "Jocks," before "The Front Runner," before the whole genre, David Kopay rocked the homophobic world of sports by coming out and telling his story. An amazing personal journey and agreat historic account, this is a must-have for your gay library. Not assexy as you'd think, instead it's a harrowing and touching tale of thefirst pro football player - the first jock of the 20th century - to comeout big time. We all owe this man a lot, but beyond that, this is acompelling story. ... Read more

8. The Earl Campbell Story: A Football Great's Battle with Panic Disorder
by Earl Campbell, John Ruane
Paperback: 220 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$17.95
Isbn: 1550223917
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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In 1989, three years after retiring from the NFL, Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell was diagnosed with panic and anxiety disorder. From that point on, his life would never be the same. In his autobiography, Campbell reveals himself as a powerful young man who, with his parents and ten siblings, struggled to make ends meet working the famous rose fields of Tyler, Texas. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Texas, won the Heisman Trophy, and eventually became a three-time winner of the NFL's MVP award. Earl Campbell has been invited to speak to physician and patient groups across the country about his experience with panic and anxiety, and in speaking out, he has saved lives by inspiring and motivating others to seek help for this disorder. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Earl Campbell's illness
Real "Panic Disorder" is a very difficult illness,often misdiagnosed and,sadly, self treated.Earl, a strapping, awardwinning, pro football player from Texas gives insight into his war with "Panic Disorder"....a must read for anyone who loves or treats or has this disorder, especially men.This is often diagnosed in women, but affects many men, who very often medicate with alcohol.

5-0 out of 5 stars Courage
I turned 40 six months ago and suffered my first panic attack shortly aftewards. I was rushed to the hospital, thinking it was a heart attack. I was lucky. The ER doc diagnosed it correctly as a panic attack.

I went to my family physician the next day and he gave me a thorough exam, then recommended a psychiatrist to help me with my panic attacks. He also recommended I read The Earl Campbell Story. I had no idea who Earl Campbell was, since I am not a sports fan but I read the book.Mr. Campbell, your book really helped me.I found the front of the book very helpful, because it described who you were and how great a football player you were. Then when the panic attacks started, I thought I was reading about my own experience.

I think it took a tremendous amount of courage for you to step forward and write this book. It really helped me and I can't thank you enough.

3-0 out of 5 stars Inspiration to Me!
Ithought the book gave good detail on Panic Disorder and how it can affect anybody. The first couple of chapters went on to long about how he grew up and gave no information on his disorder until later in the book. I believe the book should have began when he started to develope Panic Disorder.

2-0 out of 5 stars disappointing
Be forewarned that panic does not come into this book until page 83 (of 208).Also be forewarned that it's written at maybe a sixth-grade reading level.(Neither of these is necessarily a bad thing.)

It's a simplistic and lengthy testimonial.There are some reconstructed dialogues that feelartificial, some of the chronology is hard to follow, and people appear out of nowhere or disappear after being identified in detail.

The first 82 pages are mainly football, with lots of numbers and stats. There's an entire chapter on his sausage business that reads like a promotional pamphlet:"All of our meals are precooked andspecially sealed with a newly developed technology to keep them fresh. Customers only have to pop them into a microwave oven for three minutes before serving. These meals have become big sellers for us because theyare convenient and taste great" etc. (p. 153). And not only that, but "Today I feel as confident about my ability to make a great-tasting meat product as I used to feel about my ability to run with the football. I think both are God-given talents" (p. 153). There's nothing to tie this to the supposed theme of the book.

We get glimpses of Campbell's "pride" (anger at a doctor's suggestion that he try Prozac, sudden disgust with one who asks him to ingest caffeine as an experiment, lashing out at doctors who, attempting to arrive at a diagnosis, inquire whether he uses drugs), glimpses of his warm feelings, and mere hints at "fear of failure" and an "emotional man". Just when he starts to tell us something interesting, he quits and moves on.

You get the feeling this guy wants to talk about it but he doesn't want to talk about it.

This is also hinted at by some contradictions. In one chapter he can't attend banquets because crowds bother him, but a few pages later he says "My panic disorder has no effect on my ability to function in the business world" (p. 149). If these are both true, some discussion would help.

Many panic sufferers would like to wave this book around as evidence that panicdoes not equate with general wimpiness.It's just disappointing that more substance isn't given here. ... Read more

9. Fallen Hero/the Shocking True Story Behind the O.J. Simpson Tragedy
by Don Davis
Paperback: 258 Pages (1994-07)
list price: US$4.99
Isbn: 0312955170
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Looks at the double murder of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman and discusses the murder charge and attempted flight ofO.J. Simpson. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars HE KILLED HER

4-0 out of 5 stars HE KILLED HER
This book,Fallen hero, was a good book. It told the points of his football life and then what he went through when we was charged for killing his wife and her friend at her house. Don Davis wrote improtant facts and then some. I liked the fact that he told more than needed because the reader gets an look on wat really happened and not just what the news said. What i didnt like about the book was that they spent so much time on his football life and then didnt tell much on his life after he retried from football and then went right to his trial on begin convicted of murder. ... Read more

10. The Beautiful Team
by Garry Jenkins
Paperback: 256 Pages (1999-08-02)
list price: US$12.62 -- used & new: US$0.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671015664
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An account of the journey by the author to Brazil to track down the surviving members of the 1970 world cup team. The players talk about their memories of the world cup and the events leading up to it. ... Read more

11. Out of Bounds: Coming Out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet
by Roy Simmons, Damon DiMarco
Hardcover: 260 Pages (2006-01-02)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$2.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786716819
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The second NFL player ever to come out as gay and the first ever to come out as HIV-positive, Roy Simmons was an up-and-coming star offensive lineman who quit football after just four years rather than be exposed as gay. Out of Bounds tells his compelling story-from his rape at age 10 to being plucked from his poor Southern background to join the NFL, from his first taste of pro football fame and sudden enormous wealth to his fast-paced, no holds barred nightlife of heavy drugs and countless sexual encounters with women and men. Simmons led a roller-coaster life that peaked in the late 1980s with his playing in the Superbowl. Ultimately, however, reckless living left him penniless, friendless, and on the brink of suicide. Finally in 1992, Simmons tapped the courage to come out as gay on national TV—then coming out as HIV-positive 10 years later—leading him to a healthy path of sobriety and self-acceptance. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

3-0 out of 5 stars Could have done without the gay sex true stories
He hardly said anything about football in this book which ticked me off, and because he played football that's the only reason why I checked the book out of the library from jump street. It was actually a decent book but even for a mature 27 year old like myself, the gay sex stories were too much for me to handle. But I figured since I started the book I might as well finish it. This book was sad because he just could not get himself out of trouble, its like trouble just kept finding him or he tried to find trouble. He was a very nasty and uncouth man in his younger years, and a person reading this book can only learn what the trouble that is ahead if they kept having too much sex with different people and using drugs and drinking at the same damn time.

He became HIV positive because of the life he lived. When he got the news that he was HIV positive he wasn't even surprised because he knew what the hell he was doing back in the day. And then his lack of relationship with his daughter was a shining by-product of his dangerous lifestyle. This book was more than an autobiography, it was therapy for Simmons to write the book to get all his past ill-doings out into the open. And it was a learning peace for someone who is or is thinking about being a nymphomaniac and drug user.

Read this book at your own risk, but even if you do YOU WILL LEARN SOMETHING.

4-0 out of 5 stars GotA Little Tiring
This book kept my attention and I was anxious to read it---but after Roy turned into a druggie, it got kind of boring. One slip up after another, making feeble attempts to stop.I got to the point where I was hoping he'd OD and die.Put him out of his misery. I find it rather strange that he uses all kinds of bad language and is rather descriptive in describing some of his sexual trysts,yet he gets religion in the book.It certainly didn't do anything to clean up his mouth.And now that he has found religion, is he claiming he's "cured" of being gayand finds it wrong and that it was a big mistake?The book doesn't say and there isn't much follow up available over the internet so I guess Roy's vanished into society.If he's been "cured" and now condemns homosexuality, I would be VERY upset with him, saying that he only used this book for profit.He was pro-gay through the book. I'm not saying he has to become a spokesman for the gay community or take up AIDS causes, but I think he has to remain true to himself and admit being gay.I also kind of got the implication that after he was outed and found religion, that he kind of used his being raped by a male neighbor as his 'excuse' for being homosexual, which I think is a big cop-out.He even admits he liked it and was interested in other guys at this same time.Is it who he's talking to at the time or is he consistent with his truth.Being the liar and self centered louse he was in the book, I do wonder.

3-0 out of 5 stars Little about football, but a lot about addictive behavior
I found this book in my "to be read" pile from several years ago. How it managed to fall to the bottom (or pushed aside), I'm sure I don't know. Nonetheless, I'm glad I read it.

The construction of the book is problematic, but definitely not fatal. Much of it seems episodic in nature, but that's not unexpected. Mr. Simmons (and his co-authors) is trying to tell a highly fascinating story in a few hundred tight pages. Given the fact that he was often under the influence, it's not surprising the book reads as disjointed scenes of an extraordinary journey. I suspect the NFL angle is designed to drive the narrative, but football (during college and in the NFL) plays second fiddle to the star of this book: Mr. Simmons and his drug addiction. I was intrigued by the last quarter of the book as Mr. Simmons repeatedly got on the wagon and repeatedly fell off; the things he did to support his drug habit; and how badly he treated his friends and family members: over and over and over, again.

Intellectually, I understand drug addiction, but it's not something I ever want to experience and I have considerable empathy for those who are in recovery. What I took away from his story is that every minute of every day is an ongoing struggle to conquer the addition.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best book ..that even layed my hands on, buy it if you can ...you will love it..
this is one of those book that after you read it ..that it juststay with you ..days, months , years later...it`s sad ,happy and funny, all at the same time..after time ..i found a tears rolling down my face ..i`d just love it..i would buy this book again...

5-0 out of 5 stars Lust, Love & Lies
We truly take our hats off to Roy Simmons for his honesty in coming out about his addiction, sexual abuse and his life of love, lust and lies in the NFL closet.In this eye-opening Autobiography Out Of Bound, Roy Simmons, known as " The Sugar Bear", talks about his life as a football player, playing for the New York Giants, Washington Redskins and USFL Jacksonville Bulls.Roy Simmons, a man who had it all was at the top of his profession.He was making tons of money and loved by thousands of fans, fell from grace.

Though Roy had a promising career as a NFL football player, like so many others, he allowed himself to be seduced into the world of drug-addiction. He followed in the footsteps of his teammates, refused to deal with his homosexuality, and forced himself to forget an unspeakable event that involved him being raped as a child by a respectable neighbor and was in denial about his sex addictions which was the cause of his down fall."It's amazing how he did not realize that his rape would trigger a future chain of events in his later years of countless promiscuity".

Torn between his high school sweetheart; Sheila, who later became the mother of his daughter, and Joe, the only man he ever truly loved, he manage to lose them both, by letting his selfishness and his addiction interfered.

After leaving the NFL and trying to make a life for himself, Roy goes from "Sugar to Shit".He continued to indulge heavily into drugs and alcohol and became more and more self-destructive.His life became unmanageable and spirals out of control.As the drugs and the alcohol takes over his life, he became violent, desperate and starts to prostitute himself. Eventually, Roy winds up on welfare.

As you continue to read this book, you will learn more and more about the great Roy Simmons, the Ex NFL football player.In this book, Roy shares his days of free basing, smoking crack, his time in prison and being HIV- Positive Roy even talks about dressing up in drag; yes dressing up in drag.

We found it truly remarkable for a man like Roy to encounter so many chances in life... just when you think he has hit rock-bottom, somehow he bounces back.It's amazing to discover how such a lucky man was not able to learn from his mistakes. Roy was definitely a man who had more than nine lives

So whether you're a Roy Simmons fan, a recovering addict, bi-sexual, or just plan old confused about who you are, Out Of Bounds teaches you a powerful lesson about the truth.... Remember, you can run, but you can't hide from the truth because in the end, the truth will always set you free.So we urge you to go out and get this book and delve into the un-restful soul of Mr. Roy Simmons.

... Read more

12. The Quarterback Who Almost Wasn't
by Jorge Prieto
Paperback: 128 Pages (1994-04)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$45.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558851097
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Product Description
biography of a young man saved by athleticism ... Read more

13. Alone in the Trenches
by Esera Tuaolo, John Rosengren
Paperback: 288 Pages (2007-06-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1402209231
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is Esera Tuaolo's own searing story of terror and hope. A Samoan raised on a Hawaiian banana plantation, he had a natural talent, football. He went on to play for five NFL teams: the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Carolina Panthers, and the Atlanta Falcons in the 1999 Super Bowl. But for the nine years he played professional football he lived in terror that when his face flashed upon the TV screen, someone would divulge his darkest secret. Esera Tuaolo is gay.

Alone in the Trenches takes you inside the homophobic world of professional football and describes fears that almost drove him to suicide. He evokes heartbreak--how his older brother, Tua, died of AIDS--and hope when, Esera, a deeply devout Christian fell in love and started a family.

“Tuaolo emerges in these pages as a complex, intellectually curious and fascinating individual defined neither by his choice of career nor by his sexual orientation.” --Booklist

“Tough, tender and brutally honest.” --Robert Lipsyte, former New York Times sports columnist

“Even I was not prepared for his amazing life story.” --Billy Bean, author of Going the Other Way ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book and good man!
The book was better than I imagined it would be.Esera is a good man with a good heart.His honesty comes through loud and clear.He explains how he navigated the world of sports and how he finally learned how to be a gay man in a relationship.He was lucky in that he found the right guy who loved him unconditionally.Really enjoyed this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Brave Coming Out Story
Another in a growing list of coming out stories buy men in sports.The book movingly shows the internal struggles to fit in to the macho world of professional sports while trying to be true to oneself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alone in the Trenches: A Must Read
Alone in the Trenches is a powerful story about Esera's struggles to be true to himself while also conforming to societal expectations for NFL players.

I can relate to Esera's experiences on a personal level, as I'm sure many will be able to, but what really pushes this book over the top is the blatant honesty and courage of Esera in publishing this material. By sharing his soul, Esera truly becomes a role model for all people.

The book is well-written and a very enjoyable read. Once I began, I could hardly put the book down. The praises of Alone in the Trenches cannot be sung enough. Everyone needs to read this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Esera Tuaolo has written an inspiring account of his coming out process as a gay man. Within the formidably macho environs of the NFL he concealed his sexuality for years, at great pains to his own psyche and emotional well-being.
He then(with great courage and dignity)acknowledged to the world that he is a man proud of himself, his family and his sexuality. A complete human being at last.
Good on you Esera. I am sure that many gay people will take heart from your fine example and live their lives as themselves, not what they think society wants them to be.

4-0 out of 5 stars Alone No More
Esera has been through a long struggle and come out on top.Now he is "Big Daddy" and Mitchell, his life partner, is "Little Daddy," to a pair of Samoan-American twins, Mitchell Junior and Michelle, and the two of them live quite, contented lives and travel frequently on Rosie O'Donnell's family cruises with their brood.Having twins has opened Esera's willingness to talk about his sexual preference, and he insists that he is doing it for them, so they will know how painful his life has been, in all its aspects.

He had it pretty bleak growing up, sort of like a Hawaiian version of Betty Smith's popular novel A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, with a hardworking, sometimes impatient mother, and a charming, weak father who took away all of the fun with him when he died unexpectedly and far too young.And he had a gay older brother who died of AIDS, and a wicked uncle who began molesting little Esera when he was six, and who, in a melodramatic finish, got himself killed in a terrible accident and they had to identify his little pieces by his tattoos and dental work!It made me wonder, is the monster really dead?Or might he have faked his own death to avoid paying the consequences of messing with Esera--molestors, after all, know how to play the game and how to fool the rest of us who aren't sociopaths, and I thought, he's probably living the Gary Glitter lifestyle in Thailand or somewhere by now.

However, Esera seems quite certain he is dead.He has nothing good to say about Garrison Hearst either, which amused me!Don't invite those two to the same dinner party--Hearst would bolt like a scared jackrabbit!

Like other reviewers, I could have used a bit more detail about what sex is like when you're a closeted NFL star, for Esera is one of the view who has been through the neon inside and escaped to tell the story.And although he seems frank about his addictions to alcohol and grass (or whatever), I wonder if there isn't anything he's not telling us.In the meantime, I look forward to Esera's forthcoming CD of modern pop music, for the descriptions he gives of his haunting, majestic voice make him seem like a modern day Perry Como, only with more "ufis" (balls). ... Read more

14. Brian Piccolo: A Short Season
by Jeannie Morris
Paperback: 159 Pages (1995-05-25)
list price: US$12.95
Isbn: 1566250242
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Chicago Bear running back Brian Piccolo died of cancer at age 26, leaving behind a young wife, three daughters, a host of friends - and a legend.More than 100,000 copies of this classic sports biography have been sold in cloth and mass-market editions. Now available for the first time as a trade paperback. Special 25th anniversary introduction by Jeannie Morris. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars The short life of Brian Piccolo
Johnny Morris, Chicago Bears' wide receiver, writes in the Foreword, "Brian Piccolo was a friend and former Chicago Bear teammate who lost a seven-month battle against cancer. Pic was one of those 'special' people, a man with solid character and a wholesome sensitivity toward others."

This is another perspective on "Brian's Song," this time written by Jeannie Morris (wife of Johnny Morris). She and Joy Piccolo and Brian Piccolo agreed that Brian would note his thoughts and reflections for a book. After his death, Joy asked Jeannie to write that book. And this is the poignant product.

Of course, we read of the friendship of Hall of Famer Gale Sayers with Piccolo. Piccolo had been a backup until Sayers blew his knee out in a game. Then, Piccolo came to replace him for the remainder of that year. The next year, Sayers came back, but Piccolo was able to get playing time. Then, health problems emerged. A nasty form of cancer.

There are many vignettes in this book that are worth attending to. One of my favorites focus on the relationship of Dick Butkus, Hall of Fame middle linebacker, with Brian. It's rather touching, and many might be surprised to see a different side of Butkus.

This is a nice little book that gives us insight into the courage of a person facing a dire threat to his life and how he and those around him responded. Worth a read for those interested in the subject. . . .

5-0 out of 5 stars Brian inspires us
In 1972, I was a high school football player. I had entered the season with pretty great expectations from the town and coaches.
That season proved to be something different than planned as I suffered a broken leg in the 3rd week of practices. Instead of piling up yards on the gridiron, I was left to sit on the bench with my crutches and knee high cast.
I was awash in self-pity and sorrow for the loss of my season and the chance to compete. Every game was torture and my eyes were never very far from tears.

It was after the 5th game, I sat at home brooding by the kitchen table when my dad came home from work. He laid this book in front of me. In side he had written, "At least you have next year."

I read the book. It's effect on me was both deep and profound. A person can't help but admire the courage of a man who faced what Brian faced. It changed my perspective from one of sorrow to one of "I will again."

I was lucky enough to go on and play college football. I am now a coach with 30 years experience. I have witnessed the agony of others who sufferfrom injury. Both of my own sons also lost season due to injury. But, it is this book and a Fall evening in 1972 that still paints the way I counsel these young athletes today.

It isa joyful book of hope in the midst of tragedy. I have a lot to thank Brain Piccolo. This book truly affected my life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming and heart-breaking
This book is the basis for the fantastic movie 'Brian's Song', about Brian Piccolo and his battle with cancer and his friendship with Gale Sayers.Jeannie Morris was the wife of Johnny Morris, a teammate of Brian Piccolo's.She does a splendid job of balancing the football aspect, with the friendship part, with the cancer battle.
This is the story of love, of enduring, of battling.Morris tells it all in heart-warming and heart-breaking detail.
I have never met anyone who was able to watch 'Brian's Song' without crying and this book has the same effect.

4-0 out of 5 stars A look into the mind of Brian Piccolo
This book enables the reader to empathize for Brian.He was a pro football player who battled with cancer at a time when there wasn't a lot known about cancer.Even if you don't like football you can appreciate the book for what it is.It is good for lots of ages as well.The book is good about explaining what was known about cancer at the time.It includes medical analysis of his hospital visits as well as interactions with his family and teammates.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book was great, althouhg Brian had a short seson he did much with his life and the story of his firendship with Gal Sayers was great. I loved the movie, Brians song, the book, I am Third, and this book, A short Seson. Every1 should buy this book. i find his life very important on reading about. ... Read more

15. What It Means to Be a Red Wing: Detroit's Greatest Players Talk About Detroit Hockey (What It Means to Be ...)
by Kevin Allen, Art Regner
Hardcover: 322 Pages (2006-10)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$19.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572438851
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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There are few things in sports as meaningful as lacing up one's skates to take the ice for the Detroit Red Wings, the NHL's proudest franchise. Only a chosen few can understand its impact, and they share their experiences in this compilation of personal stories and reminiscences. Detroit hockey fans, for the first time ever, can now fully grasp What It Means to Be a Red Wing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bought for a Red Wings Fan
I didn't read this myself, but I bought this for my Dad "the biggest Red Wings fan outside of Detroit".The transaction went well and delivered exactly on time.I asked for Saturday delivery to make the purchase worth while and they made it happen.Please to do business with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific read
Bought these books for my dad and father-in-law who are 90 and 88.They lived thru many years of Red Wing memories.They enjoyed the books very much and I know we will hear many many stories as a result of their reading.Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars stanley cup book
my grandson LOVED the book, even though they lost the2009 stanley cup.
i, too, enjoyed it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must for Red Wings fans
The players' passion for the sport and their Detroit franchise come through in this one.You get a real feeling for what it takes to make it to the top level of professional hockey and form a winning team.Probably not as of much interest to fans of other teams.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book for a Wings fan
I bought this book for my father who is a huge wings fan.It details in order historically the careers of key players and coaches and was the perfect father's day gift. ... Read more

16. Miracle in the Making: The Adam Taliaferro Story
by Scott Brown, Sam Carchidi
Paperback: 256 Pages (2001-09)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$11.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572434228
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Adam Taliaferro had it all:smarts, an easy-going personality, and incomparable athletic ability.None of that seemed to matter, however, on that fateful September day when his father was given startling news:Do not expect your son to walk again.Ever. Since that numbing day, Taliaferro, the Penn State freshman cornerback who was paralyzed after tackling an Ohio State running back, has defied the odds.Before he had spinal-fusion surgery, he made a vow to his mother:"Mom, I'm not going out like this."Three months later, he walked out of a Philadelphia hospital on crutches, determined to complete his amazing recovery, making the name "Adam Taliaferro" synonymous with courage and perseverance. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Miracle Story
This is a great book to read for anyone who thinks that something can't be done.This is the true story about Adam Taliaferro a Penn State football player who breaks his neck in a football game against Ohio State.The book is an emotional read but a good one.This read will make you shed a tear and also make you cheer when your done reading it.A good book for anyone who is a Penn State fan as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect book
I know Adam. I had the chance of seeing first hand how humble and giving he is. To see how he come from fame to being back in fame is a blessing. There was never a moment when I seen Adam and he did not smile or give you small talk. I was honored to meet him and to know him as a person. I am in the process of reading his book now and what I have read was truely a good read. I will post something after I finish the book but pick up this book because its a family down home, feel good book of how you can turn a accident into a blessing

1-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware!

5-0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Story
The book "Miracle in the Making" is an inspirational story about Adam Taliaferro, a former Penn State football player who was paralyzed in a game. He was told he would never walk again and this books lets you travel with Adam in his personal story of his road back after being completely paralyzed. This boo is a truly motivational book in which i recommend anyone, not just Penn State fans, to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars An EXCELLENt book
This truley is an excellent book. I grew up in the same neighborhood with Adam, attended the same HS (graduate a year after) and every bit of information (names, dates, etc) are all correct. All the information about his character is completely true, he really is an inspirational person.Growing up in a huge suburban high school with him, it really was a very competitive atmosphere.Everyone seemed to love him because he was one of the brightest (one of the highest GPAs of his class, scholar athlete and best athlete in the school) along with being one of the most modest, down to early people ever.If someone had the will to succeed it is him.I recommend this book to anyone overcoming obstacles, down on their luck,athletes and basically anyone because it is the type of book that you can not put down. ... Read more

17. Busted: The Rise and Fall of Art Schlichter
by Jeff Snook, Art Schlichter
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2009-09-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933197676
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Art Schlichter was a football God; was being the key word. After playing starting quarterback for coaches Woody Hayes and Earle Bruce at the Ohio State University, he was picked in the first round of the 1982 NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts. His star faded when his demons turned him into a gambling addict; swapping his life of football promise for one that would leave him outrunning the mob and the feds, stealing from his own mother and leaving his wife to care for two baby girls as he made 40 different prisons his home over ten years. An unimaginable fall from greatness, Schlichter tells the story of his trips to heaven and hell to sportswriter Jeff Snook. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Busted:The Rise and Fall of Art Schlichter
This book was well-written, spoken from the heart, and gave me a feeling that I really got to know Art.I'm so glad he wrote this book because there are many who have trouble with this addiction.Having been such a star player gives Art a platform to get his message out.He has paid a huge price as has his family.It was good to know the 'new' Art Schlichter, humble, wise, and determined to help others with this addiction.God bless him.

5-0 out of 5 stars The truth
This book is awesome, having never seen Art Schlichter play and always hearing about him, I had to read this book.Schlichter did not hold back in this book at all, he is brutally honest about everything.Why would he make this stuff up?I highly recommend this book to any Buckeye fan or any one who gambles.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a home run!
This was one of those books I just couldn't put down. I kept reading until my eyes gave out. I have had my own addiction issues mainly with alcohol and to a lesser degree sports betting and the book had me spellbound. I was fascinated with Art's meteoric rise through the ranks of high school and college football, culminating with being the #4 pick in the NFL draft. It was equally shocking to see Art's free fall, eventually winding up in a maximum security prison. In between there's more insanity than you could ever imagine.

3-0 out of 5 stars Small town football hero goes bad
Someone gave me this book to read because I am an Ohio State alum and a big OSU football fan.Reading this book is like watching a slow moving train wreak, the outcome never in doubt and of interest only because it happened in your back yard. It chronicles the sad, shallow life of All-American Quarterback Art Schlichter, who stole from his family and friends so that he could indulge in his reckless gambling compulsion and in the process destroyed the lives of himself and his family.

From this book I learned that Mr.Schlichter lived most of his life as a pampered, self centered jock who had a penchant for betting money on the horses at Beulah Park and Scioto Downs and transitioned to compulsive betting on all sports.Supporting him was a cast of facilatating syncophants including family members, high school chums, small time bookies, football coaches and university administrators; each one did their share to contribute to the tragedy and each had something to gain by covering up Schlichter's behavior, at least initially. Eventually all would end up looking foolish and complacent.

Art demonstates scant legitimate remorse for stealing from others nor for the suffering he caused to his family and friends.He kept doing the same criminal acts repetitively for decades, interrupted occasionlly with incarceration by the judicial system.I would describe him as a glib sociopath who is very good at misleading people. For that reason, I find it hard to know what to believe in this autobiography.I don't buy his "illness" justification for his gambling problems either.

There is sufficient dirty linen in the book to satisfy the prurient interests of OSU football program haters.You will find the names of legendary OSU football coaches, players, cheerleaders and even the Rose Bowl Queen and no one comes out of this book looking like a hero.

5-0 out of 5 stars Busted
What a great look into the Life of Art Schlichter. It's sad in many ways, yet uplifting as you find yourself pulling for him to beat the gambling demons that have cost him so much in life. This book is about more than football it's about the challenges we all face in life and what happens if we give in to those things that try to master us. There is still hope for Art to suceed in life and be a contributor. I hope he makes it. ... Read more

18. Glasgow Rangers: A Complete Record
by Bob Ferrier, Robert McElroy
 Hardcover: 256 Pages (1996-09)

Isbn: 1859830153
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Product Description
The complete statistical record of Glasgow Rangers, plus full written history, biographies of the leading players down the years, the managers, memorable matches recalled and much more. ... Read more

19. A Reason to Believe: The Blaise Winter Story
by Blaise Winter
Hardcover: 256 Pages (1998-02)
list price: US$22.50 -- used & new: US$25.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885758111
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars great life-story
Blaise tells a very inspirational story about his life and all the challenges that he was able to overcome to follow his dream. Blaise used football as a way to communicate when he was unable to talk plainly. He tells how he never gave-up and continued to believe in himself when no-one else would. Blaise had a vary successful football career and is now a successful speaker. I would highly recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars heart, will, guts, and determination
This book is a great illustration of where heart and determination will get you in life.Blaise Winter, from day one, had to overcome many problems.From his cleft palate to his stubborn high school principle andcoach, Blaise battled against all who didn't believe and reached hislife-long dream....playing in the NFL.If you are feeling down on yourselfor have little confidence, read this book and allow Blaise Winter toinspire you. ... Read more

20. Never Die Easy: The Autobiography of Walter Payton
by Walter Payton, Don Yaeger
Kindle Edition: 288 Pages (2001-01-18)
list price: US$15.00
Asin: B000FC1JIA
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"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.Amazon.com Review
Walter Payton's premature passing forced a rethinking of his autobiography that completely sidesteps the self-importance that dominates sports memoirs in general. Never Die Easy isn't a traditional autobiography at all. It's an oral history disguised as autobiography that relates the saga of the most exquisite running back in NFL history through an interweaving of Payton's words and the words of those who knew him, with necessary transitions and narrative bridged by his collaborator. The result is an appealing hybrid that mirrors Payton's quiet modesty. "He had not just been a great football player," writes Yaeger, "he had been a role model in an age when role models were in short supply."

The Payton that emerges is a man of great skill, decency, passion, and charity: a man beloved. Naturally, there's lots of football in Never Die Easy--the title comes from a saying of Payton's college coach--with eyewitness testimony provided by the likes of Mike Ditka, Mike Singletary, Jim McMahon, Franco Harris, Matt Suhey, and even Jim Brown, whose career rushing record Payton leaped over. But there is also lots of family: the voices of his wife, children, brother, and sister are heard.

But mostly, there is Walter Payton. It's his own unmistakably high-pitched voice that resonates throughout; he sets down the melody and the others harmonize. Payton was certainly astute about the game and his abilities, forthcoming both in triumph and failure--his unsuccessful attempt at winning the NFL franchise in St. Louis was a terrible post-career blow--and utterly decent. How many other superstar athletes could say, convincingly, "Too many of us only take. We don't give." Payton gave to the end--a man who died for want of an organ was willing and eager to donate his own. It was the ultimate testimony of his refined, unforgettable Sweetness. Never Die Easy offers a fair, honest, appreciative taste. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Customer Reviews (45)

4-0 out of 5 stars Moving Look
This moving book looks at NFL star Walter Payton, but is certainly not a typical sports biography.Instead it is a moving look back (and to some extent forward) at a great athlete and human being from his last days due to a devastating liver disease.The book covers Payton's upbringing in Mississippi, and his college career.Then it looks at his days as "Sweetness," one of the NFL's greatest (if not the greatest) running backs with the Chicago Bears from 1975-1987.Payton was neither big nor particularly fast, yet he set many NFL records with his quickenss, acceleration, balance, and desire. The story is told in many voices; we hear from Payton, plus his family members, teammates, coaches friends, etc.Readers get a perspective on football skills, his humanity, determination, etc.We also learn about the horrid disease that brought him down a few months after his 45th birthday.Payton spent his last days speaking out in support of organ donations, and those calls are included in these pages.The book is a fast read, but hardly an unaffecting one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Read and Interesting Story
Very good read.Especially interesting were the chapters about his childhood, and dealing with life after football.

5-0 out of 5 stars Never Die Easy
I am not a sports fan but Walter Payton's behavior on and off the field had caught my attention.How many people would earn the nickname "sweetness" especially in sports.I remember his illness and the day his death was announced and I called my daughter at work to let her know.She was a huge fan.My cousin recomended this book; I had never heard of it.He had said he was not a reader but this book was so inspiring he said I should read it.It was no longer in print so I tried Amazon.

Everything about this man and his family just screamed character and loyalty.Not only was he a fantastic athlete, he was also an honorable man who did not let his abilities and fame turn his head.The books detail on his training was inspiring in that it spoke of his self motivation in detail and how he did not take time off between seasons.Training was too important to him.He also never got tired of his fans and always made time for them.The book is an easy read, it is well laid out and detailed about a man who had very little and made the most of it and never tried to take the spotlight from anyone else.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerfull book from a powerfull player.
This has to be one of the most powerfull books I have ever read. The story of how Walter Payton lived is a great reminder that we all have more in us.
This biography explained how Walter played and why he beleived that he should. This book will be read again.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Story of a True Gridiron Hero.
NEVER DIE EASY is the story of Walter Payton the NFL Superstar, and more importantly, what he was as a man.

The book starts out with Walter's last days fighting cancer. The circumstances leading to his announcement of his illness were brought to light.

Walter, his brother Eddy, and sister Pam shared what it was like attending school before and during integration. Walter's football talent and personality made the process easier in Columbia,MS. On Walter's high school and college career there is a lot of contributions from teammates that played with him.

Walter explained how he approached playing the game of football- "You can't work towards two different goals - individual and team. You have to play for the team goal."

The book has shared insights from Bear backfield mates- Roland Harper, Matt Suhey, and Jim McMahon.

Walter's view of his retirement, and the failed bid for ownership of an NFL franchise were some things that probably aren't common knowledge among fans. The two issues were directly related. That was a big disappointment to Walter Payton - not being part owner of an NFL expansion franchise. He came very close in St. Louis. If he had different partners, he might have fulfilled another of his dreams.

Transcripts of the eulogies were included in the book. His son Jarrett, brother Eddy, Mike Singletary, John Madden, and Mike Ditka all spoke.

This book focused more on the man than the player. There are a lot perspectives from his family members and close friends. "Never Die Easy" described Walter's running style. As great as he was on the field, he was even greater as a private citizen, contributing to charitable causes, often anonymously.
In the days where contract size and celebrity reign in the NFL, Walter Payton was more like the Bears of old who played for the love of the game.
If you want to read about a modern football hero with an "old school" work ethic, this is the book.

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