Here are the 47 best sports books of 2019 according to Google. Find your new favorite book from the local library with one click.
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Neville Cardus described how one majestic stroke-maker ‘made music’ and ‘spread beauty’ with his bat. Between two world wars, he became the laureate of cricket by doing the same with words. In The Great Romantic, award-winning author Duncan Hamilton demonstrates how Cardus changed sports journalism for ever. While popularising cricket – while appealing, in Cardus’ words to people who ‘didn’t know a leg-break from the pavilion cat at Lord’s’- he became a star in his own right with exquisite phrase-making, disdain for statistics and a penchant for literary and musical allusions. Among those who venerated Cardus were PG Wodehouse, John Arlott, Harold Pinter, JB Priestley and Don Bradman. However, behind the rhapsody in blue skies, green grass and colourful characters, this richly evocative biography finds that Cardus’ mother was a prostitute, he never knew his father and he received negligible education. Infatuations with younger women ran parallel to a decidedly unromantic marriage. And, astonishingly, the supreme stylist’s aversion to factual accuracy led to his reporting on matches he never attended. Yet Cardus also belied his impoverished origins to prosper in a second class-conscious profession, becoming a music critic of international renown. The Great Romantic uncovers the dark enigma within a golden age.
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS* Eni Aluko: 102 appearances for England women’s national football team. First female pundit on Match of the Day. UN Women UK ambassador. Guardian columnist. First class honors law degree. Now an inspirational author. They Don’t Teach This steps beyond the realms of memoir to explore themes of dual nationality and identity, race and institutional prejudice, success, failure and faith. It is an inspiring manifesto to change the way readers and the future generation choose to view the challenges that come in their life applying life lessons with raw truths of Eni’s own personal experience. ‘A fascinating examination of her multiple identities – British and Nigerian, a girl in a boy’s world, footballer and academic, a kid from an estate with upper-middle-class parents, a God-fearing rebel… Aluko does not hold back – and few people from the football establishment emerge with their reputation intact’ Guardian
*Shortlisted for the 2019 William Hill Sports Book of the Year* Marathons are no longer enough. Pain is to be relished, not avoided. Hallucinations are normal. Ultra running defies conventional logic. Yet this most brutal and challenging sport is now one of the fastest-growing in the world. Why is this? Is it an antidote to modern life, or a symptom of a modern illness? Adharanand Finn travelled to the heart of the sport to find out – and to see if he could become an ultra runner himself. His journey took him from the deserts of Oman to the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies, and on to his ultimate goal, the 105-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. The Rise of the Ultra Runners is the electrifying, inspirational account of what he learned along the way. Through encounters with the sport’s many colourful characters and his experiences of its soaring highs and crushing lows, Finn offers an unforgettable insight into what can be found at the boundaries of human endeavour.
“Taking off on a horse into the Mongolian Steppe sounds like the bracing inverse to an overpopulated, busy urban life, but having the skills and grit to pull it off is another thing entirely. . . . Lara Prior–Palmer attempted the Mongol Derby not really knowing what she was getting into; she ended it knowing much more about herself, and a race champion besides.” ―Estelle Tang, Elle At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior–Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”―an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty–five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. On a whim, she decided to enter the race. As she boarded a plane to East Asia, she was utterly unprepared for what awaited her. Riders often spend years preparing to compete in the Mongol Derby, a course that re–creates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan. Many fail to finish. Prior–Palmer had no formal training. She was driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses. She raced for ten days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she decided she had nothing to lose. Each dawn she rode out again on a fresh horse, scrambling up mountains, swimming through rivers, crossing woodlands and wetlands, arid dunes and open steppe, as American television crews chased her in their jeeps. Told with terrific suspense and style, in a voice full of poetry and soul, Rough Magic captures the extraordinary story of one young woman who forged ahead, against all odds, to become the first female winner of this breathtaking race. “Think the next Educated or Wild. Palmer’s memoir of beating the odds to become a horse champion is an inspiring saga of perseverance—and a classic underdog tale.” —Entertainment Weekly
‘HILARIOUS AND OUTRAGEOUS’ CHRIS EVANS THE HILARIOUS FULL-THROTTLE MEMOIR FROM ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHARACTERS IN UK MOTOR RACING Two-time championship-winning and record-breaking racing driver, Jason Plato is a living, breathing example of what you shouldn’t do if you want to become a professional racing driver: DO NOT: · Steal a JCB in Monaco and end up in prison there – twice · Kill Bernie Ecclestone (almost) · Choose fags and booze over the gym · Give Prince Charles the finger on the M42 · Make enemies with a 6ft 6″ rival who is a black belt in everything Since joining the Williams Touring Car team in 1997 he has had more race wins than Lewis Hamilton and Stirling Moss, competed in more races than Jenson Button and set the largest number of fastest laps ever. But he’s also a rule breaker who has had more than his fair share of near-death experiences, drunken escapades and more. There is nothing sensible, predictable or considered about Jason. But this is how he became a racing legend. ______ LONGLISTED FOR THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AUTOBIOGRAPHY AWARD ‘As entertaining as watching him drive, a cracking read!’ Sir Chris Hoy ‘Jason Plato is one of the most gifted racing drivers of his generation!’ Damon Hill
***SHORTLISTED FOR THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2020 – CYCLING BOOK OF THE YEAR*** ***LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019*** ‘A joy.’ – Ned Boulting Every nation shapes sport to test the character traits it most admires. In The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman, committed Belgophile and road cycling obsessive Harry Pearson takes you on a journey across Flanders, through the lumpy horizontal rain, up the elbow juddering cobbled inclines, past the fans dressed as chickens and the shop window displays of constipation medicines, as he follows races big, small and even smaller through one glorious, muddy spring. Ranging over 500 years of Flemish and European history, across windswept polders, along back roads and through an awful lot of beer cafes, Pearson examines the characters, the myths and rivalries that make Flanders a place where cycling is a religion and the riders its lycra-clad priests.
Winner of the Daily Telegraph Rugby Book of the Year 2020 The Sunday Times bestselling rugby book of the year 2020 Brilliant, honest, combative – Eddie Jones is a true legend of world rugby and remains an enigmatic figure in the game. In My Life and Rugby he tells his story for the first time, including the full inside account of England’s 2019 World Cup campaign. He describes his experience growing up in a tough working-class area of Sydney, where he first played rugby, and how he learnt from the extreme highs and lows of his own playing career – the numerous successes but also the painful disappointment of never playing for Australia. He tells how he then embarked on a coaching career that has seen him become one of the most experienced and decorated coaches in Rugby Union, spanning four World Cups and three finals. His successes have included masterminding England’s spectacular victory over New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup and engineering the sport’s most stunning upset when Japan beat South Africa in 2015. My Life and Rugby is the story of one of the most compelling and singular figures in rugby. Told with unflinching honesty, this is the ultimate book for all fans of the sport. Written with Donald McRae, twice winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award and three-time Sports Feature Writer of the Year, My Life and Rugby is the story of one of the most compelling and singular figures in rugby. Told with unflinching honesty, this is the ultimate rugby book for all fans of the sport. A Best Book of the Year – Daily Mail, Sunday Times, The Times
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Reilly pokes more holes in Trump’s claims than there are sand traps on all of his courses combined. It is by turns amusing and alarming.” — The New Yorker “Golf is the spine of this shocking, wildly humorous book, but humanity is its flesh and spirit.” — Chicago Sun-Times “Every one of Trump’s most disgusting qualities surfaces in golf.” — The Ringer An outrageous indictment of Donald Trump’s appalling behavior when it comes to golf — on and off the green — and what it reveals about his character. Donald Trump loves golf. He loves to play it, buy it, build it, and operate it. He owns 14 courses around the world and runs another five, all of which he insists are the best on the planet. He also claims he’s a 3 handicap, almost never loses, and has won an astonishing 18 club championships. How much of all that is true? Almost none of it, acclaimed sportswriter Rick Reilly reveals in this unsparing look at Trump in the world of golf. Based on Reilly’s own experiences with Trump as well as interviews with over 100 golf pros, amateurs, developers, and caddies, Commander in Cheat is a startling and at times hilarious indictment of Trump and his golf game. You’ll learn how Trump cheats (sometimes with the help of his caddies and Secret Service agents), lies about his scores (the “Trump Bump”), tells whoppers about the rank of his courses and their worth (declaring that every one of them is worth $50 million), and tramples the etiquette of the game (driving on greens doesn’t help). Trump doesn’t brag so much, though, about the golf contractors he stiffs, the course neighbors he intimidates, or the way his golf decisions wind up infecting his political ones. For Trump, it’s always about winning. To do it, he uses the tricks he picked up from the hustlers at the public course where he learned the game as a college kid, and then polished as one of the most bombastic businessmen of our time. As Reilly writes, “Golf is like bicycle shorts. It reveals a lot about a man.” Commander in Cheat “paints a side-splitting portrait of a congenital cheater” (Esquire), revealing all kinds of unsightly truths Trump has been hiding.
A New York Times bestseller. Foreword by Doris Kearns Goodwin The longtime Commissioner of Major League Baseball provides an unprecedented look inside professional baseball today, focusing on how he helped bring the game into the modern age and revealing his interactions with players, managers, fellow owners, and fans nationwide. More than a century old, the game of baseball is resistant to change—owners, managers, players, and fans all hate it. Yet, now more than ever, baseball needs to evolve—to compete with other professional sports, stay relevant, and remain America’s Pastime it must adapt. Perhaps no one knows this better than Bud Selig who, as the head of MLB for more than twenty years, ushered in some of the most important, and controversial, changes in the game’s history—modernizing a sport that had remained unchanged since the 1960s. In this enlightening and surprising book, Selig goes inside the most difficult decisions and moments of his career, looking at how he worked to balance baseball’s storied history with the pressures of the twenty-first century to ensure its future. Part baseball story, part business saga, and part memoir, For the Good of the Game chronicles Selig’s career, takes fans inside locker rooms and board rooms, and offers an intimate, fascinating account of the frequently messy process involved in transforming an American institution. Featuring an all-star lineup of the biggest names from the last forty years of baseball, Selig recalls the vital games, private moments, and tense conversations he’s shared with Hall of Fame players and managers and the contentious calls he’s made. He also speaks candidly about hot-button issues the steroid scandal that threatened to destroy the game, telling his side of the story in full and for the first time. As he looks back and forward, Selig outlines the stakes for baseball’s continued transformation—and why the changes he helped usher in must only be the beginning. Illustrated with sixteen pages of photographs.
The NFL icon who first brought show business to sports shares his life lessons on fame, fatherhood, and football. Three days before the 1969 Super Bowl, Joe Namath promised the nation that he would lead the New York Jets to an 18-point underdog victory against the seemingly invincible Baltimore Colts. When the final whistle blew, that promise had been kept. Namath was instantly heralded as a gridiron god, while his rugged good looks, progressive views on race, and boyish charm quickly transformed him – in an era of raucous rebellion, shifting social norms, and political upheaval – into both a bona fide celebrity and a symbol of the commercialization of pro sports. By 26, with a championship title under his belt, he was quite simply the most famous athlete alive. Although his legacy has long been cemented in the history books, beneath the eccentric yet charismatic personality was a player plagued by injury and addiction, both sex and substance. When failing knees permanently derailed his career, he turned to Hollywood and endorsements, not to mention a tumultuous marriage and fleeting bouts of sobriety, to try and find purpose. Now 74, Namath is ready to open up, brilliantly using the four quarters of Super Bowl III as the narrative backbone to a life that was anything but charmed. As much about football and fame as about addiction, fatherhood, and coming to terms with our own mortality, All the Way finally reveals the man behind the icon.
An exhilarating, splendidly illustrated, entirely new look at the history of baseball: told through the stories of the vibrant and ever-changing ballparks where the game was and is staged, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic. From the earliest corrals of the mid-1800s (Union Grounds in Brooklyn was a “saloon in the open air”), to the much mourned parks of the early 1900s (Detroit’s Tiger Stadium, Cincinnati’s Palace of the Fans), to the stadiums we fill today, Paul Goldberger makes clear the inextricable bond between the American city and America’s favorite pastime. In the changing locations and architecture of our ballparks, Goldberger reveals the manifestations of a changing society: the earliest ballparks evoked the Victorian age in their accommodations–bleachers for the riffraff, grandstands for the middle-class; the “concrete donuts” of the 1950s and ’60s made plain television’s grip on the public’s attention; and more recent ballparks, like Baltimore’s Camden Yards, signal a new way forward for stadium design and for baseball’s role in urban development. Throughout, Goldberger shows us the way in which baseball’s history is concurrent with our cultural history: the rise of urban parks and public transportation; the development of new building materials and engineering and design skills. And how the site details and the requirements of the game–the diamond, the outfields, the walls, the grandstands–shaped our most beloved ballparks. A fascinating, exuberant ode to the Edens at the heart of our cities–where dreams are as limitless as the outfields.
**The Instant National Bestseller** The standout memoir from NBA powerhouse Andre Iguodala, the indomitable sixth man of the Golden State Warriors. Andre Iguodala is one of the most admired players in the NBA. And fresh off the Warriors’ fifth Finals appearance in five years, his game has never been stronger. Off the court, Iguodala has earned respect, too—for his successful tech investments, his philanthropy, and increasingly for his contributions to the conversation about race in America. It is no surprise, then, that in his first book, Andre, with his cowriter Carvell Wallace, has pushed himself to go further than he ever has before about his life, not only as an athlete but about what makes him who he is at his core. The Sixth Man traces Andre’s journey from childhood in his Illinois hometown to his Bay Area home court today. Basketball has always been there. But this is the story, too, of his experience of the conflict and racial tension always at hand in a professional league made up largely of African American men; of whether and why the athlete owes the total sacrifice of his body; of the relationship between competition and brotherhood among the players of one of history’s most glorious championship teams. And of what motivates an athlete to keep striving for more once they’ve already achieved the highest level of play they could have dreamed. On drive, on leadership, on pain, on accomplishment, on the shame of being given a role, and the glory of taking a role on: This is a powerful memoir of life and basketball that reveals new depths to the superstar athlete, and offers tremendous insight into most urgent stories being told in American society today.
The Boston Red Sox are one of the most iconic teams in Major League Baseball, with eight World Series championships and countless greats who have donned the Sox uniform. In If These Walls Could Talk: Boston Red Sox, former player and longtime broadcaster Jerry Remy provides insight into the team’s inner sanctum as only he can. Readers will gain the perspective of players, coaches, and personnel in moments of greatness as well as defeat, making for a keepsake no fan will want to miss.
A candid and nostalgic father-son memoir by Dale Berra, providing a unique perspective on his legendary Hall of Fame dad, the inimitable and highly quotable Yogi Berra. Everyone knows Yogi Berra. The American icon was the backbone of the New York Yankees through ten World Series Championships, managed the National League Champion New York Mets in 1973, and had an ingenious way with words that remains an indelible part of our lexicon. But no one knew him like his family did. My Dad, Yogi is Dale Berra’s chronicle of his unshakeable bond with his father, as well as an intimate portrait of one of the great sports figures of the 20th Century. When Yogi wasn’t playing or coaching, or otherwise in the public eye, he was home in the New Jersey suburbs, spending time with his beloved wife, Carmen, and his three boys, Larry, Tim, and Dale. Dale presents — as only a son could — his family’s history, his parents’ enduring relationship, and his dad’s storied career. Throughout Dale’s youth, he had a firsthand look at the Major Leagues, often by his dad’s side during Yogi’s years as a coach and manager. The Berra’s lifelong family friends included Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Whitey Ford. It’s no coincidence that all three Berra sons were inspired to play sports constantly, and that all three became professional athletes, following in their dad’s footsteps. Dale came up with the Pittsburgh Pirates, contributing to their 1979 championship season and emerging as one of baseball’s most talented young players. After three strong seasons, Dale was traded to New York, briefly united with his dad in the Yankee dugout. But there was also an extraordinary challenge developing. Dale was implicated in a major cocaine scandal involving some of the biggest names in the sport, and his promising career was ultimately cut short by his drug problem. Yogi supported his son all along, eventually staging the intervention that would save Dale’s life, and draw the entire family even closer. My Dad, Yogi is Dale’s tribute to his dad — a treat for baseball fans and a poignant story for fathers and sons everywhere.
The definitive and revealing biography of Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks, one of America’s most iconic, beloved, and misunderstood baseball players, by acclaimed journalist Ron Rapoport. Ernie Banks, the first-ballot Hall of Famer and All-Century Team shortstop, played in fourteen All-Star Games, won two MVPs, and twice led the Major Leagues in home runs and runs batted in. He outslugged Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Mickey Mantle when they were in their prime, but while they made repeated World Series appearances in the 1950s and 60s, Banks spent his entire career with the woebegone Chicago Cubs, who didn’t win a pennant in his adult lifetime. Today, Banks is remembered best for his signature phrase, “Let’s play two,” which has entered the American lexicon and exemplifies the enthusiasm that endeared him to fans everywhere. But Banks’s public display of good cheer was a mask that hid a deeply conflicted, melancholy, and often quite lonely man. Despite the poverty and racism he endured as a young man, he was among the star players of baseball’s early days of integration who were reluctant to speak out about Civil Rights. Being known as one of the greatest players never to reach the World Series also took its toll. At one point, Banks even saw a psychiatrist to see if that would help. It didn’t. Yet Banks smiled through it all, enduring the scorn of Cubs manager Leo Durocher as an aging superstar and never uttering a single complaint. Let’s Play Two is based on numerous conversations with Banks and on interviews with more than a hundred of his family members, teammates, friends, and associates as well as oral histories, court records, and thousands of other documents and sources. Together, they explain how Banks was so different from the caricature he created for the public. The book tells of Banks’s early life in segregated Dallas, his years in the Negro Leagues, and his difficult life after retirement; and features compelling portraits of Buck O’Neil, Philip K. Wrigley, the Bleacher Bums, the doomed pennant race of 1969, and much more from a long-lost baseball era.
In recent years “recovery” has become a sports and fitness buzzword. Anyone who works out or competes at any level is bombarded with the latest recovery products and services: from drinks and shakes to compression sleeves, foam rollers, electrical muscle stimulators, and sleep trackers.In Good to Go, acclaimed FiveThirtyEight science writer Christie Aschwanden takes readers on an entertaining and enlightening tour through this strange world. She investigates whether drinking Gatorade or beer after training helps or hinders performance, she examines the latest trends among athletes–from NFL star Tom Brady’s infrared pajamas to gymnast Simone Biles’ pneumatic compression boots to swimmer Michael Phelps’s “cupping” ritual–and she tests some of the most controversial methods herself, including cryochambers, floatation tanks, and infrared saunas.At a time when the latest recovery products and services promise so much, Good to Go seeks answers to the fundamental question: do any of them actually help the body recover and achieve peak performance?
From the New York Times baseball columnist, an enchanting, enthralling history of the national pastime as told through the craft of pitching, based on years of archival research and interviews with more than three hundred people from Hall of Famers to the stars of today The baseball is an amazing plaything. We can grip it and hold it so many different ways, and even the slightest calibration can turn an ordinary pitch into a weapon to thwart the greatest hitters in the world. Each pitch has its own history, evolving through the decades as the masters pass it down to the next generation. From the earliest days of the game, when Candy Cummings dreamed up the curveball while flinging clamshells on a Brooklyn beach, pitchers have never stopped innovating. In K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches, Tyler Kepner traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the ten major pitches. Each chapter highlights a different pitch, from the blazing fastball to the fluttering knuckleball to the slippery spitball. Infusing every page with infectious passion for the game, Kepner brings readers inside the minds of combatants sixty feet, six inches apart. Filled with priceless insights from many of the best pitchers in baseball history including twenty-two Hall of Famers–from Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Nolan Ryan to Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera, and Clayton Kershaw–K will be the definitive book on pitching and join such works as The Glory of Their Times and Moneyball as a classic of the genre.
New York Times Bestseller Fame. Sex. Pain. Drugs. Death. Booze. Money. Addiction. Redemption. Dizzying heights. Rock-bottom depths. Desperation and elation—sometimes in the same hour. Not to mention power . . . and the struggle for it. The world knows Lamar Odom as a two-time NBA world champion who rocketed to uncharted heights of fame thanks to being a member of both the storied Los Angeles Lakers and the ubiquitous Kardashian empire. But who is Lamar, really? Fans have long praised his accessibility and genuine everyman quality—he is a blinding talent who has suffered a series of heartaches, setback, and loss. But until now, his most candid moments have remained behind closed doors . . . sometimes face-down on the floor. In Darkness to Light, Lamar gives readers an intimate look into his life like never before. His exclusive and revealing memoir recounts the highs and lows of fame and his struggle with his demons along the way to self-discovery and redemption. From the pain of his unraveled marriage to Khloé Kardashian to the harmful vices he used to cope—and the near-death experience that made him rethink everything about his life—this is Lamar as you have never before seen him. Lamar brings basketball fans directly into the action of a game during the Lakers championship years. He shares his personal account of the lifelong passion that started as one shining light in a childhood marked by loss and led to his international fame as one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time. In this profoundly honest book, Lamar invites you to walk with him through the good times and bad, while looking ahead to a brighter future.
Forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
In time for the 50th anniversary of the Mets’ miraculous 1969 World Series win, right fielder Ron Swoboda tells the story of that amazing season, the people he played with and against (sometimes at the same time), and what life was like as an Every Man ballplayer. Ron Swoboda wasn’t the greatest player the Mets ever had, but he made the greatest catch in Met history, saving a game in the 1969 World Series, and his RBI clinched the final game. By Met standards that makes him legend. The Mets even use a steel silhouette of the catch as a backing for the right field entrance sign at Citi Field. In this smart, funny, insightful memoir, which is as self-deprecating as a lifetime .249 hitter has to be, he tells the story of that magical year nearly game by game, revealing his struggles, his triumphs and what life was like for an every day, Every Man player, even when he was being platooned. He shows what it took to make one of the worst teams in baseball and what it was like to leave one of the best. And when he talks about the guys he played with and against, it’s like you’re sitting next to him on the team bus, drinking Rheingold. Here’s the Catch is a book anyone who loves the game will love as much.
The author reveals the story of the rise of daily fantasy sports and the brilliant entrepreneurs disrupting the way fans consume sports.
The wildly entertaining narrative of the outrageous 1981 Dodgers from the award-winning author of Dynastic, Fantastic, Bombastic and The Baseball Codes In the Halberstam tradition of capturing a season through its unforgettable figures, They Bled Blue is a sprawling, mad tale of excess and exuberance, the likes of which could only have occurred in that place, at that time. That it culminated in an unlikely World Series win–during a campaign split by the longest player strike in baseball history–is not even the most interesting thing about this team. The Dodgers were led by the garrulous Tommy Lasorda–part manager, part cheerleader–who unyieldingly proclaimed devotion to the franchise through monologues about bleeding Dodger blue and worshiping the “Big Dodger in the Sky,” and whose office hosted a regular stream of Hollywood celebrities. Steve Garvey, the All-American, All-Star first baseman, had anchored the most durable infield in major league history, and, along with Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, and Ron Cey, was glaringly aware that 1981 would represent the end of their run together. The season’s real story, however, was one that nobody expected at the outset: a chubby lefthander nearly straight out of Mexico, twenty years old with a wild delivery and a screwball as his flippin’ out pitch. The Dodgers had been trying for decades to find a Hispanic star to activate the local Mexican population; Fernando Valenzuela was the first to succeed, and it didn’t take long for Fernandomania to sweep far beyond the boundaries of Chavez Ravine. They Bled Blue is the rollicking yarn of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ crazy 1981 season.
The “beautifully written” biography of the first African American player to be drafted by the NFL, “a must read for any sports fan” (Warren Rogan, host of the podcast Sports’ Forgotten Heroes). As the first African American to play quarterback, George Taliaferro was a trailblazer whose athletic prowess earned him accolades throughout his football career. Instrumental in leading Indiana University to an undefeated season and undisputed Big Ten championship in 1945, Taliaferro was a star when many major universities had no black players on their rosters and others were stacking black players behind white starters. George Taliaferro would later rack up impressive statistics while playing professionally for the New York Yanks, Dallas Texans, Baltimore Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles. His athletic prowess did little to prevent him from facing segregation and discrimination on a daily basis, but his popularity as an athlete also gave him a platform. Playing professionally gave Taliaferro more opportunity to use football to fight oppression and to interact with other important trailblazers, like Joe Louis, Nat King Cole, Muhammad Ali, and Congressman John Lewis. Race and Football in America tells Taliaferro’s story and profiles the experiences of other athletes of color who were recognized for their athleticism yet oppressed for their skin color, as they fought (and continue to fight) for equal rights and opportunities. Together these stories provide an insightful portrait of race in America. “A portrait of a young man who overcame the obstacles of racism, the military draft, and the death of his father. His vehicle for climbing over obstacles was athletic prowess and inner strength.” —Jim Baumgartner, College Football Hall of Fame
Bold and inspiring profiles of the pioneers, champions and future heroines of women’s soccer around the world. Women’s soccer has come a long way. The first organized games on record — which took place three hundred years ago in the Scottish Highlands — were exhibition matches, where single women played against married women while available men looked on, seeking a potential mate. Today, champions like Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Brazil’s Marta and China’s Sun Wen, have inspired girls around the world to pick up the beautiful game for love of the sport. Inevitably, given the hardships and discrimination they face, women who play soccer professionally are so much more than elite athletes. They are survivors, campaigners, political advocates, feminists, LGBTQ activists, working moms, staunch opponents of racial discrimination and inspirational role models for many. Based on original interviews with over 50 current and former players and coaches, this book celebrates these remarkable women and their achievements against all odds.
A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER “One of the best insider-football books ever written.” —Douglas Brinkley A riveting chronicle of Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh era, and “an unprecedented look at the inner workings” (Sporting News) of a big-time college football program For the past year, John U. Bacon has received rare access to Jim Harbaugh’s University of Michigan football team: coaches, players, and staffers, in closed-door meetings, locker rooms, meals, and classes. Overtime captures this storied program at the crossroads, as the sport’s winningest team battles to reclaim its former glory. But what if the price of success today comes at the cost of your soul? Do you pay it, or compete without compromising? In the spirit of HBO’s Hardknocks, Overtime delivers a deeply reported human portrait that follows the Wolverine coaches, players, and staffers through the 2018 season, including Harbaugh, offensive stars Shea Patterson and Karan Higdon, NFL-ready defensive standouts Rashan Gary, Devin Bush Jr., and Chase Winovich, second-stringers striving to find their place on the team, and their parents’ reactions to it all. Bacon met with them every week during a season that saw the Wolverines ride a ten-game winning streak to #4 in the nation, then take a beating at the hands of arch-rival Ohio State, led by controversial coach Urban Meyer, Harbaugh’s foil. Overtime also previews the crucial 2019 campaign ahead. Above all, this is a human story. In Overtime we not only discover what these public figures are like behind the scenes, we learn what the experience means to them as they go through it – the trials, the triumphs, and the unexpected answers to a central question: Is it worth it? From the “poet laureate of Michigan football” (according to New York Times’s Joe Drape), and one of the keenest observers of college football, Overtime offers a window into a legendary program and the sport itself that only John U. Bacon could deliver.
Visionary American running coach Bob Larsen assembled a mismatched team of elite California runners . . . the start of his decades-long quest for championships, Olympic glory, and pursuit of “the epic run.” In the dusty hills above San Diego, Bob Larsen became America’s greatest running coach. Starting with a ragtag group of high school cross country and track runners, Larsen set out on a decades-long quest to find the secret of running impossibly fast, for longer distances than anyone thought possible. Himself a former farm boy who fell into his track career by accident, Larsen worked through coaching high school, junior college, and college, coaxing talented runners away from more traditional sports as the running craze was in its infancy in the 60’s and 70’s. On the arid trails and windy roads of California, Larsen relentlessly sought the ‘secret sauce’ of speed and endurance that would catapult American running onto the national stage. The Epic Run is a riveting account of Larsen’s journey, and his quest to discover the unorthodox training secrets that would lead American runners (elite and recreational) to breakthroughs never imagined. New York Times Deputy Sports Editor Matthew Futterman interweaves the dramatic stories of Larsen’s runners with a fascinating discourse of the science behind human running, as well as a personal running narrative that follows Futterman’s own checkered love-affair with the sport. The result is a narrative that will speak to every runner, a story of Larsen’s triumphs–from high school cross-country meets to the founding of the cult-favorite 70’s running group, the Jamul Toads, from national championships to his long tenure as head coach at UCLA, and from the secret training regimen of world champion athletes like Larsen’s protégé, American Meb Keflezighi, to victories at the New York and Boston Marathons as well as the Olympics. The Epic Run is a page-turner . . . a relentless crusade to run faster, farther.
In 2012, Derrick Rose was on top of the world.After growing up in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, Rose achieved an improbable childhood dream: being selected first overall in the NBA draft by his hometown Chicago Bulls. The point guard known to his family as “Pooh” was a phenom, winning the Rookie of the Year award and electrifying fans around the world. In 2011, he became the youngest MVP in league history. He and the Bulls believed the city’s first berth in the NBA Finals since the Jordan era was on the horizon. Rarely had a bond between a player and fans been so strong, as the city wrapped its arms around the homegrown hero.Six years and four knee surgeries later, he was waived by the Utah Jazz, a once surefire Hall of Fame career seemingly on the brink of collapse. Many speculated his days in the NBA were over.But Derrick Rose never doubted himself, never believed his struggles on and off the court were anything other than temporary setbacks. Rather than telling the world he had more to give, he decided to show them.I’ll Show You is an honest, intimate conversation with one of the world’s most popular athletes, a star whose on-court brilliance is matched only by his aversion to the spotlight. Written with New York Times bestselling author Sam Smith, Rose opens himself up to fans in a way they’ve never seen before, creating a document that is as unflinching—and at times as uncomfortable—as a personal diary.Detailing his childhood spent in one of his city’s most dangerous neighborhoods; his relationships with both opponents and teammates; the pain and controversies surrounding his career-altering injuries; his complicated relationship to fame and fortune; and his rise, fall, and reemergence as the player LeBron James says is “still a superhero,” I’ll Show You is one of the most candid and surprising autobiographies of a modern-day superstar ever written.
“Alex Speier spins a compelling narrative about how great scouting and player development created a perennial contender in baseball’s toughest division, without losing sight of the people at the heart of his story.” — Keith Law The captivating inside story of the historic 2018 Boston Red Sox, as told through the assembly and ascendancy of their talented young core—the culmination of nearly a decade of reporting from one of the most respected baseball writers in the country. The 2018 season was a coronation for the Boston Red Sox. The best team in Major League Baseball—indeed, one of the best teams ever—the Sox won 108 regular season games and then romped through the postseason, going 11-3 against the three next-strongest teams baseball had to offer. As Boston Globe baseball reporter Alex Speier reveals, the Sox’ success wasn’t a fluke—nor was it guaranteed. It was the result of careful, patient planning and shrewd decision-making that allowed Boston to develop a golden generation of prospects—and then build upon that talented core to assemble a juggernaut. Speier has covered the key players—Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Jackie Bradley Jr., and many others—since the beginning of their professional careers, as they rose through the minor leagues and ultimately became the heart of this historic championship squad. Drawing upon hundreds of interviews and years of reporting, Homegrown is the definitive look at the construction of an extraordinary team. It is a story that offers startling insights for baseball fans of any team, and anyone looking for the secret to building a successful organization. Why do many highly touted prospects fail, while others rise out of obscurity to become transcendent? How can franchises help their young talent, in whom they’ve often invested tens of millions of dollars, reach their full potential? And how can management balance long-term aims with the constant pressure to win now? Part insider’s account of one of the greatest baseball teams ever, part meditation on how to build a winner, Homegrown offers an illuminating look into how the best of the best are built.
Known as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indy 500 humbly began in 1911. Labeled as the first speedway, this two-and-a-half-mile oval is now home to many of today’s top races, including the Brickyard 400, the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the SportsCar Vintage Racing Association, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, and its most famous race, the Indianapolis 500. In The Indianapolis 500: Inside the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, speedway tour guide and racing afficionado James Craig Reinhardt shares what makes the legendary racetrack special. He reveals the speedway’s unbelievable history, fast-flying action, notorious moments, and its secrets, including facts about the beginning of the brickyard, why the drivers kiss the finish line, how milk became the drink of choice, and much more. The perfect gift for the veteran or rookie, The Indianapolis 500 is a must-have for all race fans.
The triumphant true story of the native Hawaiian cowboys who shocked America at the 1908 world rodeo championships “An inspiring and impeccably crafted story of against-all-odds triumph.” —Simon Winchester “Groundbreaking. … Not only a must-read, but an essential addition. … One of the best single volumes on the rise and diversity of the North American cattle industry and the cowboy culture.” —True West In August 1908, three unknown riders arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, their hats adorned with wildflowers, to compete in the world’s greatest rodeo. Steer-roping virtuoso Ikua Purdy and his cousins Jack Low and Archie Ka’au’a had travelled 4,200 miles from Hawaii, of all places, to test themselves against the toughest riders in the West. Dismissed by whites, who considered themselves the only true cowboys, the native Hawaiians would astonish the country, returning home champions—and American legends. An unforgettable human drama set against the rough-knuckled frontier, David Wolman and Julian Smith’s Aloha Rodeo unspools the fascinating and little-known true story of the Hawaiian cowboys, or paniolo, whose 1908 adventure upended the conventional history of the American West. What few understood when the three paniolo rode into Cheyenne is that the Hawaiians were no underdogs. They were the product of a deeply engrained cattle culture that was twice as old as that of the Great Plains, for Hawaiians had been chasing cattle over the islands’ rugged volcanic slopes and through thick tropical forests since the late 1700s. Tracing the life story of Purdy and his cousins, Wolman and Smith delve into the dual histories of ranching and cowboys in the islands, and the meteoric rise and sudden fall of Cheyenne, “Holy City of the Cow.” At the turn of the twentieth century, larger-than-life personalities like “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Theodore Roosevelt capitalized on a national obsession with the Wild West and helped transform Cheyenne’s annual Frontier Days celebration into an unparalleled rodeo spectacle, the “Daddy of ‘em All.” The hopes of all Hawaii rode on the three riders’ shoulders during those dusty days in August 1908. The U.S. had forcibly annexed the islands just a decade earlier. The young Hawaiians brought the pride of a people struggling to preserve their cultural identity and anxious about their future under the rule of overlords an ocean away. In Cheyenne, they didn’t just astound the locals; they also overturned simplistic thinking about cattle country, the binary narrative of “cowboys versus Indians,” and the very concept of the Wild West. Blending sport and history, while exploring questions of identity, imperialism, and race, Aloha Rodeo spotlights an overlooked and riveting chapter in the saga of the American West.
Spanning seven decades, the notorious loss of Super Bowl III, and an historic undefeated season with the Dolphins, Shula is the definitive biography of a coaching legend. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997, Don Shula remains the winningest coach of all time with 347 career victories and the only undefeated season in NFL history. But before he became the architect of the Dolphins dynasty, Shula was a hardworking kid selling fish on the banks of Lake Erie, the eldest of six children born during the Depression to Hungarian immigrant parents. As acclaimed sports biographer Mark Ribowsky shows, Shula met serious resistance at home when he asked to play high school football, but when his parents finally relented, they discovered that their son, though perhaps short on the physical gifts of the truly blessed, had an unmatched mind for the game’s strategy and a stomach for its brutality. With rugged determination, the jut-jawed Shula started as a defensive back in the 1950s, later beginning his thirty-two-year coaching career as the then-youngest coach ever with the Baltimore Colts. The Colts had several successful years, but Shula never quite recovered from the historic loss to the upstart New York Jets in Super Bowl III, and when a lucrative job opened in Miami, he took his talents to South Beach, where he led the Dolphins to the first perfect season in NFL history. Tracing Shula’s singular rise from his blue-collar origins to his glory days in the Miami heat, Ribowsky reveals a man of grit and charisma who never lost sight of a simple creed: “All I’ve ever done is roll up my sleeves, figure out what to do, and start doing it.”
A dual biography of two coaching legends — Bear Bryant and Nick Saban — who built the Alabama Crimson Tide into a true football dynasty. Both Bear Bryant and Nick Saban are undeniable kings of college football, two coaches at Alabama who have each won more national championships — six apiece — than anyone else in the history of the game. Chasing the Bear examines how they did it, revealing along the way their similarities in style, background, football philosophy, and recruiting methods, while providing readers a rare inside look at two of the greatest leaders in the history of sports. Bear Bryant and Nick Saban never met, but they have more in common than either of them realize. Both grew up in small towns — Bryant in Moro Bottom, Arkansas, a dot on the map, and Saban from Monongah, West Virginia, population five hundred. As a child, Saban pumped gas at his father’s service station, washing and waxing cars and doing anything he could to help the business. Bryant’s father suffered from multiple physical ailments, which forced Bryant to work to keep the family farm going. Both men knew the value of hard work from the time they were young boys, and both understood that there were no shortcuts to success. But both dreamed of escaping their hometowns, and both used football as the means to do so. Separated by two generations, Bear Bryant and Nick Saban are mythic figures linked by a school, a town, and a barroom debate centering on one question: Which is the greatest college coach of all time?
The instant New York Times bestseller! From one of America’s most beloved sportswriters and the bestselling author of Pappyland, a collection of true stories about the dream of greatness and its cost in the world of sports. “Wright Thompson’s stories are so full of rich characters, bad actors, heroes, drama, suffering, courage, conflict, and vivid detail that I sometimes thinks he’s working my side of the street – the world of fiction.” – John Grisham There is only one Wright Thompson. He is, as they say, famous if you know who he is: his work includes the most read articles in the history of ESPN (and it’s not even close) and has been anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing series ten times, and he counts John Grisham and Richard Ford among his ardent admirers (see back of book). But to say his pieces are about sports, while true as far as it goes, is like saying Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove is a book about a cattle drive. Wright Thompson figures people out. He jimmies the lock to the furnaces inside the people he profiles and does an analysis of the fuel that fires their ambition. Whether it be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Pat Riley or Urban Meyer, he strips the away the self-serving myths and fantasies to reveal his characters in full. There are fascinating common denominators: it may not be the case that every single great performer or coach had a complex relationship with his father, but it can sure seem that way. And there is much marvelous local knowledge: about specific sports, and times and places, and people. Ludicrously entertaining and often powerfully moving, The Cost of These Dreams is an ode to the reporter’s art, and a celebration of true greatness and the high price that it exacts.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE ‘One of the most captivating boxing writers on the planet’ Barry McGuigan ‘A superb tale…His inspirational story celebrates peace and reconciliation’ Daily Telegraph Multi-award-winning author Donald McRae’s stunning new book is a powerful tale of hope and redemption across the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland – thanks to boxing. At the height of the Troubles, Gerry Storey ran the Holy Family gym from the IRA’s heartland territory of New Lodge in Belfast. Despite coming from a family steeped in the Republican movement, he insisted that it would be open to all. He ensured that his boxers were given a free pass by paramilitary forces on both Republican and Loyalist sides, so they could find a way out of the province’s desperate situation. In the immediate aftermath of the 1981 Hunger Strikes, Storey would also visit the Maze prison twice a week to train the inmates from each community, separately. In itself, this would be a heroic story, but Storey went further than that: he became the trainer for world champion Barry McGuigan and Olympian Hugh Russell, who became one of the most famous photographers to document the Troubles. Even with all his success and the support of both sides, Storey still found himself subjected to three bomb attacks from those who were implacably hostile to any form of reconciliation. He also worked with the Protestant boxer Davy Larmour, who fought two bloody battles in the ring against Russell, his Catholic friend. At the same time, in Derry, the British and European lightweight champion Charlie Nash fought without bitterness after his brother was killed and his father was shot on Bloody Sunday – the most infamous day of the conflict. Now, Donald McRae reveals the extraordinary tale of those troubled times. After years of research and intimate interviews with the key characters in this story, he shows us how the violent business of boxing became a haven of peace and hope for these remarkable and compassionate men. In Sunshine or in Shadow is an inspirational story of triumph over adversity and celebrates the reconciliation that can take place when two fighters meet each other in the ring, rather than outside it. ‘[An] outstanding and important book, Don McRae’s powerful storytelling shows the courage of the people of the North’ Andy Lee
In 2007, pitcher Barry Zito signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the San Francisco Giants. At that time, it was the largest contract ever given to a pitcher. He was at the top of his game, in peak physical condition, and had the kind of financial security most people can only dream of. He was also miserable. And it began to show. Zito’s career declined over the next few years until he hit rock bottom—watching from the bench as his team won the World Series in 2010. In the months that followed, Zito came face-to-face with the destructiveness of his own ego—his need to be viewed as the best. He also came face-to-face with God and with the truth that he was loved no matter what he achieved. In Curveball, Zito shares his story with honesty and transparency. The ups and the downs. The wins and losses. By sharing his experiences as a man who had everything except happiness, Zito offers readers a path through adversity and toward a life defined by true success.
With the passing of Title IX, a Chicago high school girls’ basketball team becomes pioneers as they play for the championship in this sports memoir. Set against a backdrop of social change during the 1970s, State is a compelling first-person account of what it was like to live through both traditional gender discrimination in sports and the joy of the very first days of equality—or at least the closest that one high school girls’ basketball team ever came to it. In 1975, freshman Melissa Isaacson—along with a group of other girls who’d spent summers with their noses pressed against the fences of Little League ball fields, unable to play—entered Niles West High School in suburban Chicago with one goal: make a team, any team. For “Missy,” that turned out to be the basketball team. Title IX had passed just three years earlier, prohibiting gender discrimination in education programs or activities, including athletics. As a result, states like Illinois began implementing varsity competition—and state tournaments—for girls’ high school sports. At the time, Missy and her teammates didn’t really understand the legislation. All they knew was they finally had opportunities—to play, to learn, to sweat, to lose, to win—and an identity: they were athletes. They were a team. And in 1979, they became state champions. With the intimate insights of the girl who lived it, the pacing of a born storyteller, and the painstaking reporting of a veteran sports journalist, Isaacson chronicles one high school team’s journey to the state championship. In doing so, Isaacson shows us how a group of “tomboys” found themselves and each other, and how basketball rescued them from their collective frustrations and troubled homes, and forever altered the course of their lives. Praise for State “A beautiful story of basketball and life.” —Steve Kerr, head coach, Golden State Warriors “Isaacson perfectly captures the birth of Title IX and a time when high school girls were starting to gain equality in sports and in the classroom, showing us how opportunities on the court can light a path for girls to become their authentic selves in all aspects of their lives.” —Billie Jean King, founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative “The book is special because Isaacson captures the special bond that formed among the female athletes. Not only were they teammates, they were pioneers of a sort . . . . A wonderful book that is both eye-opening history and a moving and deeply personal memoir.” —Booklist, starred review “An intimate, at times inspiring account.” —Kirkus Reviews
A powerful memoir from an NHL heavyweight champion who moved from the dressing room to the courtroom. NHL tough guys all tell the same story. They all grew up dreaming of skating in the big league as stars. Then one day, a coach tells them the only way to make it is to drop the gloves. And every guy says the same thing: I’ll do whatever it takes to play in the NHL. Not Stu Grimson, though. When he was offered a contract to patrol the ice for the Calgary Flames, he said no thanks, and went to university instead. And that’s the way Grimson has approached his career and his life: on his own terms. He stared down the toughest players on the planet for seventeen years, while working on his first university degree. He retired on his own terms, and went on to practice law, including a stint as in-house counsel for the NHLPA. This has put him in a unique position when it comes to commenting on the game. He’s seen it from the trenches, and he’s seen it from the courtroom. This puts him in the eye of the storm surrounding fighting and concussions. And he handles that the way he does everything: on his own terms. When Don Cherry called him out on televison, it was the seemingly indominable Cherry who backed down. Hockey fans will be fascinated by his data-driven defence of fighting. But in the end, this is not a book about fighting and locker-room stories. It’s the story of a young man who ultimately took on the toughest role in pro sports and came out the other side. Where many others have not.
Fueled by faith and powered by a strong work ethic, Tyler Lockett’s debut book of poetry is a reflective and uplifting journey through topics such as identity, sports, race, relationships, and how to live a purposeful life. As an NFL All-Pro wide receiver and return specialist for the Seattle Seahawks, Lockett draws on his unique perspective as a professional athlete to address life’s many challenges, temptations, and rewards. From reminding young people to pursue their dreams, to pleading with a friend not to take his own life, Lockett’s poetry encourages readers to stay positive even when confronting impossible odds. In addition to never-before-published poems, Reflection also includes workshop questions, notes, and inspirational messages that give readers an opportunity to reflect on their own lives as well.
Whether they’re threading a barrel or shredding a swell, these amazing women are making enormous waves in the world of surfing. If you thought surfing was a male-dominated sport, think again. The thirty women surfers profiled in this thrilling collection can rip a wave with the best of them. Hailing from all over the world, each surfer is featured in spectacular photography and with their own inspirational words. There’s American professional surfer Lindsay Steinriede on how her father’s death has inspired her career; French board shaper Valerie Duprat on how she got her start “sculpting foam”; Conchita Rossler, founder of Mooana Retreat in Portugal, on connecting mind, body, and spirit; and Australian photographer Cait Miers on empowering women. You’ll also meet surfers who are over sixty, who surf while pregnant, who captain boats, teach yoga, and make movies. Breathtaking photography captures these women from every angle, on and off the waves, in some of the world’s most visually stunning locations. The perfect gift for surfing enthusiasts, this unique compilation of stunning pictures and hard-won wisdom proves that the thrill of catching a wave, riding it, and kicking out belongs to everyone.
Teemu Selanne, nicknamed the Finnish Flash, exploded in his rookie season for the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, scoring a record 76 goals, tying for the league lead, winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie and making the all-star team. Far from fading in his sophomore season, Selanne proved to be no flash in the pan, scoring more than a point a game, and going on to score 684 goals and 1,457 points over his astonishing 21-year career with the Jets, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche. He scored another 44 goals and 88 points in the playoffs, winning the Stanley Cup with Anaheim. Selanne still holds the record for most goals and assists by a rookie in NHL history and the most points in a season. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017—only the second Finn (after Jari Kurri) ever elected to the Hall. Teemu Selanne is unquestionably hockey royalty, having won countless accolades during his storied career. This deep dive into the life of a unique superstar, top athlete and family man shows that such success and longevity have not come without their hurdles. How did a young man from Helsinki mature into a world-class player, one of the all-time best? What kind of personal obstacles did Selanne encounter, and how did he manage the immense pressure of representing his country and striving for his sport’s top prizes? Featuring never-before-told stories from Selanne’s NHL years with the Winnipeg Jets, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche, as well as rare colour photos from his personal collection, this is an essential read for all hockey fans.
Young Tom Morris, the son of the legendary pioneer of golf, Tom Morris, was golfs first superstar. Born at a pivotal moment in history, just as the new and inexpensive gutty ball was making golf affordable and drawing thousands of new players to the game, his genius and his swashbuckling personality would set a game that had been frozen in amber for four centuries on the pathway to becoming worldwide spectator sport we know today. Exhaustively researched and beautifully illustrated, Monarch of the Green is a stirring and evocative history of Tommys life (which also includes, for the first time, a compilation of his competitive record in stroke-play tournaments, singles matches, and foursomes) and demonstrates how, in one dazzling decade, this young superstar dominated the sport like few others have ever done.
… People say to me be careful of the money, don’t blow it. If the money becomes a problem, I’ll get rid of it. I’ve been planning to get to this stage for a long, long time and I won’t let anything stop me. Honestly.’ The year is 2013, and Ewan MacKenna is sitting in McDonald’s with Conor McGregor as he enjoys his weekly coffee, a treat in the eyes of a dedicated fighter. The Crumlin born mixed martial arts fighter has not yet cashed his €60,000 prize money after his maiden UFC victory over Marcus Brimage, a first-round stoppage, but he knows the importance of it – only recently has he found himself in the social welfare queue. Five years on and McGregor is late for his press conference with Khabib Nurmagomedov ahead of their showdown at UFC 229. By the time he arrives his opponent has gone, but it doesn’t stop him from launching into a diatribe against him before reverting to a sales pitch for his own whiskey, ‘Proper No. 12.’ Somewhere along the line, the fighter became a stranger to his art, increasingly drawn to the circus that surrounds him. But what is McGregor? A wonderful rags-to-riches tale? Dedicated athlete? Cultural phenomenon? Troubled soul? Out-of-control kid? Confused young man? Narcissist? Arrogant thug? Sporting icon? McGregor is any and all but, crucially, more than most sporting stars, he is also a mirror of society. In Chaos is a Friend of Mine, MacKenna takes in both Las Vegas in 2018 and Dublin in 2019 in order to examine McGregor’s journey, from his upbringing in the Irish capital, to his early days as a wide-eyed, prodigiously talented martial arts obsessive, to his recent antics outside the ring which have seem him grow bigger than the sport itself but spiral out of control.
The Dublin Marathon was founded in 1980; since then, ‘Marathon Weekend’ – at the October Bank holiday – has become a fixture on the Irish running calendar as thousands of runners race the 26.2 mile route through the streets of Dublin, while the city turns out to support them. Since the first 2,100 runners signed up in 1980, hundreds of thousands of runners from Ireland and around the world have taken part. This book celebrates the 40th running of the Dublin Marathon and is a true celebration of a unique Irish sporting and cultural event. Covering the history of the race, the heart-warming and inspirational stories of Irish marathoners – from the elites to the club runners, charity runners and recreational runners – the various routes the marathon has taken over the years, famous Irish marathoners, anecdotes from the thirteen runners who’ve completed every Dublin Marathon, the organisation and the army of volunteers – and of course the amazing supporters and the people of Dublin who make the marathon what it is. Including a list of the course records and an Introduction by Dick Hooper, three-time Olympian and winner of the very first Dublin Marathon back in 1980. Illustrated with hundreds of photographs and memorabilia from the 1980s to the present day.
Discover a story that defies belief: National Velvet meets Downton Abbey with a splash of The Leopard. * LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR * Czechoslovakia, October 1937. Vast crowds have gathered to watch the Grand Pardubice steeplechase, Europe’s most blood-curdling sporting test of manhood. With war looming, the race has a brutal political significance. The Nazis have sent the SS’s all-conquering paramilitary horsemen to crush – yet again – the ‘subhuman Slavs’. But Lata Brandisova, a silver-haired countess on a little golden mare, has other ideas… ‘Heart-stopping reading’ Clover Stroud, Daily Telegraph
‘Woodward’s story is one of the most important of recent years…heartbreakingly powerful’ THE TIMES ‘Harrowing, brave, hugely important book’ HENRY WINTER ‘Haunting’ SUNDAY TIMES SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL AWARD AND THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARD 2020 A brave and moving account by football’s first whistle blower, breaking the silence on the scandal of sexual abuse in youth clubs and junior teams. Andy Woodward was a wide eyed, hopeful footballer playing for Stockport Boys, when Barry Bennell first noticed him. Andy was 11 years old, and Bennell a youth coach with a big reputation for spotting and nurturing young footballing talent. The clubs Bennell worked for and the parents of the boys he coached, trusted and believed in him, inviting him into their lives and their homes. But behind the charismatic mask was a profoundly evil man willing to go to any lengths to satisfy his own dark appetites. Andy has been heralded a hero for speaking up about his horrific experiences at the hands of Bennell, but also at going further to expose the long hidden abuse buried within our nations’ best loved sport. His story is only the tip of the iceberg. Andy’s childhood was shattered by what happened to him and by the fear and silence that surrounded it. His youthful dreams of playing the game he loved were utterly broken, and years of living with the terrible secret and shame all but destroyed him. He hopes that by coming forward he might encourage others in similar situations to find the courage to speak out. A compelling and relevant story of the dark secret at the heart of football and another chapter in the ongoing expose of institutionalised corruption.
When a career-ending injury saw former Ireland and Millwall striker Richie Sadlier retire from football at age 24, his life spiralled out of control. Without structure or a sense of purpose, and fuelled by a dependency on alcohol, he spent years running from the dark memories and feelings that had haunted him since childhood. Until one day he hit rock bottom and decided to confront his demons. Recovering written with Dion Fanning is about a life shaped by efforts to escape, and how it is possible to rebuild that life, piece by piece, with the right help. Inspiring and ground-breaking, it is an important reflection on the need to move away from perceptions of shame in our discussions about mental health, sex, relationships and addiction.
Last updated on October 17, 2021