Author: Paul Zimmerman
Publisher: Triumph Books
During his nearly 50 years of sportswriting, including 28 at Sports Illustrated, readers of Dr. Z came to expect a certain alchemical, trademark blend: words which were caustic and wry, at times self-deprecating or even puzzling, but always devilishly smart with arresting honesty. In 2008, Zimmerman had nearly completed work on his personal memoirs when a series of strokes left him largely unable to speak, read, or write. Compiled and edited by longtime SI colleague Peter King, these are the stories he still wants to see told. Dr. Z's memoir is a rich package of personalities, stories never shared about such characters as Vince Lombardi, Walter Payton, Lawrence Taylor, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, and Hunter S. Thompson.
Author: Paul Gallico
Publisher: Open Road Media
One of Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 Sports Books of All Time: A classic collection by one of the twentieth century’s most influential sportswriters From 1923 to 1937, New York Daily News columnist Paul Gallico’s dispatches from ringside, rink-side, the sidelines, and the grandstand were a must-read for every American sports fan. Where else could one discover what it was really like to box heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey? To tee off against golfing legend Bobby Jones? To strap on a glove and try to catch Dizzy Dean’s ferocious fastball? Gallico went where no other reporter dared, and for that he earned a permanent place in the pantheon of great American sportswriters alongside Ring Lardner, Red Smith, and Roger Kahn. Then, like a pitcher hanging up his cleats after throwing a perfect game, Gallico walked away to pursue other authorial interests, including the fiction that earned him his greatest renown. His parting gift to his devoted readers was Farewell to Sport, a collection of twenty-six of his finest pieces. In these bulletins from the golden age of sports, Gallico profiles icons such as Babe Ruth, Bill Tilden, and Gene Tunney. He exposes the scripted drama of professional wrestling and the hypocrisy of big-time college football. And in feats of daring that went on to inspire a whole new school of journalism, he sacrifices his pride to meet the greatest athletes of the day on their own turf. A brilliant snapshot of a fascinating era in sports history and a masterwork remarkably ahead of its time, Farewell to Sport is a fitting testament to the legacy of Paul Gallico.
Author: Tony Dungy
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
The New York Times bestseller is now in softcover with a bonus chapter on how the “Dare to Be Uncommon” movement is reaching schools, teams, and families across the country and an update on Tony’s life since retiring as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. What does it take to live a life of significance? When Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy took home the trophy in Super Bowl XLI, fans around the world looked to him as the epitome of success. Athletic victory, professional excellence, fame and celebrity, awards and honors—he had it all. But even in that moment, he knew those achievements had little to do with his ultimate significance as a man. Coach Dungy still passionately believes that there is a different path to significance—a path characterized by attitudes, ambitions, and allegiances that are all too rare but uncommonly rewarding. In the New York Times best seller Uncommon, Dungy reveals secrets to achieving significance that he has learned from his remarkable parents, his athletic and coaching career, his mentors, and his walk with God.
Author: Chad Millman, Shawn Coyne
A stirring portrait of the decade when the Steelers became the greatest team in NFL history, even as Pittsburgh was crumbling around them. In the 1970s, the city of Pittsburgh was in need of heroes. In that decade the steel industry, long the lifeblood of the city, went into massive decline, putting 150,000 steelworkers out of work. And then the unthinkable happened: The Pittsburgh Steelers, perennial also-rans in the NFL, rose up to become the most feared team in the league, dominating opponents with their famed "Steel Curtain" defense, winning four Super Bowls in six years, and lifting the spirits of a city on the brink. In The Ones Who Hit the Hardest, Chad Millman and Shawn Coyne trace the rise of the Steelers amidst the backdrop of the fading city they fought for, bringing to life characters such as: Art Rooney, the owner of the team so beloved by Pittsburgh that he was known simply as "The Chief"; Chuck Noll, the headstrong coach who used the ethos of steelworkers to motivate his players; Terry Bradshaw, the strong-armed and underestimated QB; Joe Green, the defensive tackle whose fighting nature lifted the franchise; and Jack Lambert, the linebacker whose snarling, toothless grin embodied the Pittsburgh defense. Every story needs a villain, and in this one it's played by the Dallas Cowboys. As Pittsburgh rusted, the new and glittering metropolis of Dallas, rich from the capital infusion of oil revenue, signaled the future of America. Indeed, the town brimmed with such confidence that the Cowboys felt comfortable nicknaming themselves "America's Team." Throughout the 1970s, the teams jostled for control of the NFL-the Cowboys doing it with finesse and the Steelers doing it with brawn-culminating in Super Bowl XIII in 1979, when the aging Steelers attempted to hold off the Cowboys one last time. Thoroughly researched and grippingly written, The Ones Who Hit the Hardest is a stirring tribute to a city, a team, and an era.
Author: Daniel Barbarisi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
“Hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the characters, compulsions, and chaos inside the fantasy sports gold rush.” –Jason Gay, author of Little Victories As Bringing Down the House did for card counters and Positively Fifth Street did for poker players, Daniel Barbarisi does for Daily Fantasy Sports fans in this leap down the rabbit hole of America’s latest obsession. Daniel Barbarisi quits his job as the New York Yankees beat writer for The Wall Street Journal and begins a quest: to join the top one percent of Daily Fantasy Sports (“DFS”) players, the so-called “sharks,” and figure out whether DFS is on the level—while maybe cashing in along the way. DFS is fantasy sports on steroids. It’s the domain of bitter rivals FanDuel and DraftKings, online juggernauts who turned a legal loophole into a billion-dollar industry by allowing sports fans bet piles of cash constructing fantasy teams. Yet as Barbarisi quickly realized, what should have been a fun companion to casual sports viewing was instead a ferocious environment infested with sharks, a top tier of pros wielding complex algorithms, drafting hundreds of lineups, and wagering six figures daily as they bludgeon unsuspecting amateur “fish.” Barbarisi embeds himself inside the world of DFS, befriending and joining its rogue’s gallery as he tries to beat them at their own game. In a work equal parts adventure and rigorously reported investigation, Barbarisi wades into this chaotic industry at the very moment its existence is threatened by lawmakers sick of its Wild West atmosphere and pushy advertising. All their money made FanDuel and DraftKings seem invincible; but, as Barbarisi reports, they made plenty of dubious—perhaps even scandalous—moves as they vied for market supremacy. In Dueling with Kings, Barbarisi uncovers the tumultuous inside story of DFS, all while capturing its peculiar cast of characters, from wide-eyed newly minted millionaires, to sun-starved math geeks, to bros living an endless frat party of keggers and Playboy Bunnies. Can he outwit them all and make it to the top?
Author: Sean Deveney
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
On October 28, 1986, just one day after winning one of the most thrilling World Series in history, the New York Mets were feted by more than two million fans with a parade through the city. In news accounts of the event, there was a small aside, as this one in the New York Times: "Notable in his absence was the pitcher Dwight Gooden, who Mets officials later said had overslept." No, the Mets' twenty-one-year-old phenom had not slept too late. He had not slept at all, in fact. For Gooden, his postgame champagne celebration kicked off a cocaine binge that took him to a club in Long Island and wound up with him, wired, watching his teammates roll through the streets as he sat with strangers in a public housing project. Such were the 1980s in New York City, a gilded era buttressed by fast money from a real estate boom and the explosion of Wall Street wealth. The Mets and Giants, bolstered by lightning-rod personalities like Gooden and Lawrence Taylor, brought the city sporting glory while its celebrity wealthy added a tabloid-friendly touch of intrigue and national envy. Iconoclastic real estate developer Donald Trump gained national celebrity for his deal-making skill and the flaunting of his outsize ego. Even mayor Ed Koch had gained coast-to-coast fame and mention as a potential future president. Beneath the opulence was a tenuous foundation, one that collapsed spectacularly over the last half of the decade. Away from the cameras focused on the city's nouvelle riches, New York was beset by crisis after crisis--homelessness, AIDS, crack cocaine, organized crime. The swell of outrage over the unwillingness of the city elite to address those problems took years to finally reach a tipping point. Through interviews and detailed research, Greed and Glory gives the narrative of New York during these times, tracing the arc of its sports heroes and celebrities of that era, from their memorable highs to their ultimate lows.
Author: Bill Contz
Publisher: Triumph Books
The 1982 Penn State national championship team was not only one of Joe Paterno’s best, it was one of the best teams college football has ever seen. In When the Lions Roared, Bill Contz, one of the squad's offensive tackles, details that special season and the experience of playing for a legendary coach. Featuring dozens of interviews with former players, this book provides anecdotes from the epic contests of that season while also proving statistically why this Nittany Lions team stands up against all of the talented teams that came before and after. Also featuring a foreword and reflections by Todd Blackledge, Penn State's 1982 starting quarterback, this is an essential read for Nittany Lions faithful.
Author: Sam Toperoff
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
A week-by-week chronicle of the disastrous 1988 season of the Pittsburgh Steelers examines the causes of the slide--from the death of owner Art Rooney to the team's losing streak--and analyzes the impact of the team's fate on the city of Pittsburgh and it
Author: Gary Myers
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
From the New York Times bestselling author of Brady vs. Manning and dean of football writers - a book that explores the many interesting facets to NFL quarterbacks and their relationships with their fathers. Tom Brady's father is an estate planner. Jim Harbaugh's father had a long career as a college coach. Archie Manning played fourteen years in the NFL and never made the playoffs, but his sons Peyton and Eli won a combined four Super Bowls. Joe Montana is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time, but his two sons bounced around college football with limited success. Jameis Winston's father supported his family working overnight highway construction in Alabama. Derek Carr's father moved the family to Houston after Derek's older brother, David, was drafted by the Texans. MY FIRST COACH goes behind the scenes to explore the unique relationship between these and other quarterbacks and their fathers, as well as investigate various approaches to parenting through their stories. Can young athletes overcome helicopter parents? How did the kids with NFL aspirations deal with their fathers who'd already made it? What kind of pressure did they have to overcome? What kind of pressure did the father who succeeded put on his son to be an athlete? Would the expectations be lower and the results greater if the father was an attorney or doctor? Was it better for the fathers to be overbearing, or borderline disinterested? MY FIRST COACH tells the compelling, real-life stories of some of the country's most famous quarterbacks and how they took advantage of or overcame their relationships with their fathers.
Author: Wayne Stewart
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
This book tells the story of professional football in the 1950s and 60s through the words of the players themselves. The chapters are full of anecdotes and reflections on the best and toughest players of the era, while two additional chapters include humorous quotes and the players’ thoughts on how the game has changed since their heyday.
Author: Upton Bell, Ron Borges
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
To understand how the NFL became the sports phenomenon it is today, you can study its history or you can live its history as an active participant. Upton Bell grew up at the knee of the NFL’s first great commissioner, his father, the legendary Bert Bell, who not only saved the game from financial ruin after World War II but was one of its greatest innovators. Coining the phrase “On any given Sunday,” Bert invented the pro football draft and proposed sudden death rules. Present at the Creation details Bell’s firsthand experiences, which started as he watched his father draw up the league schedule each year at the kitchen table using dominoes. There he learned the importance of parity, which is a hallmark of the league’s success, and also how to create it. Over the past fifty-three years, Bell has been an owner, a general manager, a personnel executive, a scouting director for two Super Bowl teams, a television commentator and analyst, and a talk-radio host. He has seen the NFL from the inside and has experienced many of the most important moments in NFL history. Bell was player personnel director for the Baltimore Colts when the team played in three championship games and appeared in two Super Bowls (1968 and 1970). At thirty-three, he became the youngest general manager in NFL history when he joined the Patriots in that role in 1971. He left the NFL in 1974 to compete against it, joining the upstart World Football League as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, which lasted just two years. In 1976 Bell began his forty‐year career as a radio and TV talk-show host, yet he remains a football guy who was in the middle of the game’s most significant moments and knows that half the story has never been told, until now. Watch a book trailer.
Author: Scott Raab
Scott Raab's big-hearted companion to his darkly comic "sports-jeremiad-slash-memoir" The Whore of Akron follows the first two years of LeBron James’s return to Cleveland, where everybody just loves a good story of forgiveness—especially when you fulfill your promise and bring home an NBA Championship, the first major title for a Cleveland team since 1964. "If I had a chance to return to Cleveland, and those fans welcomed me back, that’d be a great story." —LeBron James in 2010, days after "The Decision" In 2010, when LeBron James announced to the world that he was leaving for Miami, he broke the collective heart of his native city and destroyed the hopes of an entire tortured generation. As LeBron headed south, unofficial spokesman Scott Raab sent him off with a middle-finger salute of his own—a deliciously obscene aria of sports fandom, Jewishness, and weight gain that became infamous as The Whore of Akron. Four years—and two NBA championships later—LeBron came home to the Rust Belt faithful who had vilified him mercilessly, none more so than Raab. You’re Welcome, Cleveland is the story of both LeBron’s and Scott’s redemption as they pursue the one thing they crave more than anything in life—an NBA title for the city that made them men. LeBron is back. So is Scott Raab. It’s a great story. You’re Welcome, Cleveland.
Author: Amy Trask, Michael Freeman
Publisher: Triumph Books
The Princess of Darkness. Former NFL team executive Amy Trask has held many titles during her career - including chief executive, analyst, and author - but this nickname is what she is first and foremost known by to Raiders fans. Trask joined the Raiders as an intern during law school after the team moved from Oakland to Los Angeles - the position the result of a cold call she made to the team. From there, she worked her way up through the ranks of the organization, to the post she would eventually hold as chief executive. Along the way, Trask worked extremely closely with the late Al Davis, a man who treated her and others on his team without regard to gender, race, and age. Trask may have been the highest-ranking female executive in the NFL during her tenure with the Raiders, but in You Negotiate Like a Girl: Reflections on a Career in the National Football League, she shares how she found success by operating without regard to gender. Replete with insider tales about being part of the Raiders' front office, behind the closed doors of NFL owners meetings, and Davis himself, Trask's book is a must-read not only for football fans, but anyone who wants to succeed in business.
Author: Mike Magnuson
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
A few years ago, the closest Mike Magnuson thought he would get to participating in a sporting event was sitting in the local bar, slamming pitchers of beer and watching the NFL playoffs on TV. He was thirty-eight years old, smoked a pack a day, drank a case or two of beer a week, and carried 250 pounds of weight on his five-foot-ten-inch frame. Getting on a bicycle for a peddle around the block could have been dangerous in his condition, let alone trying to keep up with a group of racer-fit riders for forty-five miles at a clip, but that is just what Mike decided to do. He was sick of it all—the booze, the cigarettes, and the heft. He could have been seriously hurt. But he wasn’t. In Mike’s words, he was merely “handed his proverbial fat ass on a platter” three times a week and kept coming back for more. Heft on Wheels charts in hilarious detail every curve in Mike Magnuson’s 180-degree journey from the big guy at the back of the pack to the lean, mean racing machine setting the pace for the group. Along the way we meet his friends, colleagues, and family and learn how even a healthy obsession can have its uphill climbs. For a start there’s the starvation diet and the nicotine patches, not to mention the skin-tight XXL cycling outfit and the insanely unrealistic goal of completing the Bridge to Bridge Incredible Cycling Challenge—proudly billed as “100 Miles of Pure Hill”—within the year. Yet, through it all, Mike never loses his sense of humor (though after having a quick conversation with God on one particularly grueling hill, he does believe he has come within spitting distance of losing his mind). Filled with triumph, heartbreak, and hilarity, Heft on Wheels is an unforgettable book about getting from one place to another, in more ways than one. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Jenny Lawson
The #1 New York Times bestselling (mostly true) memoir from the hilarious author of Furiously Happy. “Gaspingly funny and wonderfully inappropriate.”—O, The Oprah Magazine When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father and a morbidly eccentric childhood. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame-spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it. In the irreverent Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments—the ones we want to pretend never happened—are the very same moments that make us the people we are today. For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives. Readers Guide Inside