For the 8th day of our Holiday Gift Guide we have selected to give you a run down of our favorite sports books. Many of these titles have come through the What’s Brewin in Sports hallways.
An English Lit major at the University of Tennessee, Dickey is as articulate and thoughtful as any professional athlete in any sport-and proves it page after page, as he provides fresh and honest insight into baseball and a career unlike any other. Fourteen years ago, Dickey was a heralded No. 1 draft choice of the Texas Rangers, only to have an $810,000 signing bonus, and his lifelong dream, ripped away by an X- ray-and the discovery that he did not have an ulna collateral ligament in his right elbow. Five years ago, he gave up a record six home runs in three innings to the Detroit Tigers-and was effectively consigned to the baseball scrap heap.
Sustained by his profound Christian faith, the love of his wife and children, and a relentless quest for self-awareness and authenticity, the immensely likable Dickey details his transformation from a reckless, risk-taking loner to a grounded, life- affirming big leaguer. He emerged as one of the premier pitchers in the National League in 2010-and the knuckleballing embodiment of the wonders that perseverance and human wisdom can produce. Dickey views his story as one of redemption. Readers will come to see it as something more-a uniquely American story of beating back demons, listening to your heart, and overcoming extraordinary odds.
Paterno by Joe Posnanski
Joe Posnanski’s biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach’s personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno’s life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno’s legendary career.
Joe Posnanski, who in 2012 was named the Best Sportswriter in America by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, was with Paterno and his family as a horrific national scandal unfolded and Paterno was fired. Within three months, Paterno died of lung cancer, a tragic end to a life that was epic, influential, and operatic.
Paterno is the fullest description we will ever have of the man’s character and career. In this honest and surprising portrait, Joe Posnanski brings new insight and understanding to one of the most controversial figures in America.
Sports Illustrated Football’s Greatest by Editors of Sports Illustrated
This is the book to end all arguments-and to start many others. Who’s the greatest quarterback of all time, Joe Montana or Tom Brady? Brett Favre? Who was the most dominate linebacker, Lawrence Taylor or Dick Butkus? Was Deion Sanders better than Ronnie Lott? Are the Packers of Steelers the greatest franchise ever? Sports Illustrated has polled its pro football experts to determine the Top 10 in more than 20 categories. The rankings appear alongside stirring photography and classic stories from SI’s archives.
This is the best of the NFL’s best, or more simply, FOOTBALL’S GREATEST.
With traditions, records, and Fighting Irish lore, this lively, detailed book explores the personalities, events, and facts every Notre Dame fan should know. It contains crucial information such as important dates, player nicknames, memorable moments, and outstanding achievements by singular players. This guide to all things Notre Dame covers the game day walk from the Basilica to the Stadium, Joe Montana’s legendary comeback performance in the 1979 Cotton Bowl, and the history of the green jersey tradition.
The football team at the U.S. Military Academy is not like other college football teams. At other schools, athletes are catered to and coddled at every turn. At West Point, they carry the same arduous load as their fellow cadets, shouldering an Ivy League–caliber education and year-round military training. After graduation they are not going to the NFL but to danger zones halfway around the world. These young men are not just football players, they are soldiers first.
New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape takes us inside the world of Army football, as the Black Knights and their third-year coach, Rich Ellerson, seek to turn around a program that had recently fallen on hard times, with the goal to beat Navy and “sing last” at the Army-Navy game in December. The 2011 season would prove a true test of the players’ mettle and perseverance.
Drawing on his extensive and unfettered access to the players and the coaching staff, Drape introduces us to this special group of young men and their achievements on and off the field. Anchoring the narrative and the team are five key players: quarterback Trent Steelman, the most gifted athlete; linebacker Steve Erzinger, who once questioned his place at West Point but has become a true leader; Andrew Rodriguez, the son of a general and the top scholar-athlete; Max Jenkins, the backup quarterback and the second-in-command of the Corps of Cadets; and Larry Dixon, a talented first-year running back. Together with Coach Ellerson, his staff, and West Point’s officers and instructors, they and their teammates embrace the demands made on them and learn crucial lessons that will resonate throughout their lives—and ours.
Out of the Blue by Victor Cruz, Peter Schrager
Victor Cruz, the Super Bowl-winning and record-breaking wide receiver, is best known for his explosive plays and salsa touchdown celebrations. While his meteoric rise in the NFL looked like the result of a magical year, it was actually a lifetime in the making.
Raised in Paterson, New Jersey’s gritty Fourth Ward, Cruz overcame numerous setbacks through hard work, perseverance, and the support of his loving family—from his grandmother who gave him his signature dance moves; to his late father, a former firefighter, who introduced him to football and taught him how to play; to his hard-working, single mother who never let him give up in the face of a challenge. They all helped to keep him on the right path, as did his coaches, but Cruz’s journey was never easy. There were family tragedies, academic struggles, injuries, and more. In this inspiring, never-before-seen account, Cruz pays tribute to the people and places that made him the man he is today, recounts his most defining moments, and illustrates how his hardships ultimately unleashed his impenetrable will to win.
Out of the Blue is a candid and moving reflection of an overlooked and undersized athlete with an uncommon last name in American football that was determined to beat the odds and earn his chance to succeed.
Showcasing one of professional football’s best players, this book spotlights the life and career of gridiron great Tom Brady. More than just a biography, it relates Brady’s story while also establishing his prominent place in NFL history. By examining his skills and statistics in a variety of categories and comparing him to other great quarterbacks—including Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Roger Staubach, and more—the guide makes a strong case for Brady as football’s best signal caller. Along the way, his best moments as a Patriot are revisited, from championship seasons and his favorite receivers to his relationship with legendary coach Bill Belichick. With detailed sidebars on Brady’s celebrity status, fashion sense, much-talked-about hair, and supermodel wife, this is a must-have for faithful New England fans and pro football buffs alike.
The New England Patriot s first Super Bowl championship in 2001, followed by dramatic back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 2003 and 2004, marked the culmination of more than 40 years of spirited competition on the gridiron and the arrival of a football dynasty. Along the way, the Patriots have endured their fair share of trials and tribulations and have forged a proud franchise that featured the talents of legends including Babe Parilli, Nick Buoniconti, Jim Nance, Jim Plunkett, John Hannah, Steve Grogan, Sam Cunningham, Russ Francis, Steve Nelson, Stanley Morgan, Andre Tippett, Irving Fryar, Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Doug Flutie, Willie McGinest, Adam Vinatieri, Randy Moss, and many others.
Total Patriots: The Definitive Encyclopedia of the World-Class Franchise delves into that rich history with an unparalleled enthusiasm for the statistics and stories that comprise one of the most respected franchises in professional sports. Author Bob Hyldburg s meticulous research uncovered a wealth of never-before published data. From the team s early days in the AFL- when the Boston Patriots were led by Butch Songin, Gino Cappelletti, and Babe Parilli to its dynasty days under the leadership of Tom Brady, Troy Brown, and Tedy Bruschi, this book is the ultimate resource for Patriots fans, football historians, and trivia buffs alike.
This illustrated volume contains profiles of the more than 960 players who have worn the uniform, from Rabih Abdullah to Scott Zolak; season-by-season narratives spanning five decades of Patriots football; a battery of statistics and records; and treasure trove of unforgettable moments, anecdotes, and fun facts. Total Patriots is for anyone who considers him- or herself a die-hard Patriots fan, as well as for anyone who loves the game of football enough to appreciate this franchise s unique place in NFL history.
The Ultimate Reference Book for Every Patriots Fan
Total Patriots is the first and only comprehensive New England Patriots encyclopedia. This impressive volume includes games and players statistics, game-story recaps, player profiles, and dramatic photographs that chronicle this legendary franchise s rich history. Test your knowledge in the trivia chapter, or discover the remarkable achievements of your favorite players.
Bob Hyldburg has created a book for football fanatics to savor and help them recall the most memorable moments in Patriots history in amazing detail. It is sure to be a book that every Patriots fan will enjoy and go back to time and time again to recall a special season, game, player or play. Gino Cappelletti, from his foreword