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Books on the History of Sport including Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey
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Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
by Laura Hillenbrand
Turtleback from Turtleback Books Distributed by Demco Media
ISBN: 0606290087

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit s fortunes:
Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.
Author Laura Hillenbrand brilliantly re-creates a universal underdog story, one that proves life is a horse race.
From the Hardcover edition.

He didn't look like much. With his smallish stature, knobby knees, and slightly crooked forelegs, he looked more like a cow pony than a thoroughbred. But looks aren't everything; his quality, an admirer once wrote, "was mostly in his heart." Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of the horse who became a cultural icon in Seabiscuit: An American Legend.

Seabiscuit rose to prominence with the help of an unlikely triumvirate: owner Charles Howard, an automobile baron who once declared that "the day of the horse is past"; trainer Tom Smith, a man who "had cultivated an almost mystical communication with horses"; and jockey Red Pollard, who was down on his luck when he charmed a then-surly horse with his calm demeanor and a sugar cube. Hillenbrand details the ups and downs of "team Seabiscuit," from early training sessions to record-breaking victories, and from serious injury to "Horse of the Year"--as well as the Biscuit's fabled rivalry with War Admiral. She also describes the world of horseracing in the 1930s, from the snobbery of Eastern journalists regarding Western horses and public fascination with the great thoroughbreds to the jockeys' torturous weight-loss regimens, including saunas in rubber suits, strong purgatives, even tapeworms.

Along the way, Hillenbrand paints wonderful images: tears in Tom Smith's eyes as his hero, legendary trainer James Fitzsimmons, asked to hold Seabiscuit's bridle while the horse was saddled; critically injured Red Pollard, whose chest was crushed in a racing accident a few weeks before, listening to the San Antonio Handicap from his hospital bed, cheering "Get going, Biscuit! Get 'em, you old devil!"; Seabiscuit happily posing for photographers for several minutes on end; other horses refusing to work out with Seabiscuit because he teased and taunted them with his blistering speed.

Though sometimes her prose takes on a distinctly purple hue ("His history had the ethereal quality of hoofprints in windblown snow"; "The California sunlight had the pewter cast of a declining season"), Hillenbrand has crafted a delightful book. Wire to wire, Seabiscuit is a winner. Highly recommended. --Sunny Delaney

 
Friday Night Lights Mass Market TV Tie-in
Friday Night Lights Mass Market TV Tie-in
by H. G. Bissinger
Mass Market Paperback from Da Capo Press
ISBN: 030681529X
Return once again to the enduring account of life in the Mojo lane, to the Permian Panthers of Odessa -- the winningest high school football team in Texas history. Odessa is not known to be a town big on dreams, but the Panthers help keep the hopes and dreams of this small, dusty town going. Socially and racially divided, its fragile economy follows the treacherous boom-bust path of the oil business. In bad times, the unemployment rate barrels out of control; in good times, its murder rate skyrockets. But every Friday night from September to December, when the Permian High School Panthers play football, this West Texas town becomes a place where dreams can come true. With frankness and compassion, Bissinger chronicles one of the Panthers' dramatic seasons and shows how single-minded devotion to the team shapes the community and inspires-and sometimes shatters-the teenagers who wear the Panthers' uniforms. Includes Reader's Group Guide inside. Now a an NBC TV weekly drama series.Secular religions are fascinating in the devotion and zealousness they breed, and in Texas, high school football has its own rabid hold over the faithful. H.G. Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, enters into the spirit of one of its most fervent shrines: Odessa, a city in decline in the desert of West Texas, where the Permian High School Panthers have managed to compile the winningest record in state annals. Indeed, as this breathtaking examination of the town, the team, its coaches, and its young players chronicles, the team, for better and for worse, is the town; the communal health and self-image of the latter is directly linked to the on-field success of the former. The 1988 season, the one Friday Night Lights recounts, was not one of the Panthers' best. The game's effect on the community--and the players--was explosive. Written with great style and passion, Friday Night Lights offers an American snapshot in deep focus; the picture is not always pretty, but the image is hard to forget.
 
Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman s Quest to Make a Difference
Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference
by Warren St. John
Paperback from Spiegel & Grau
Media Published: 2009-
ISBN: 0385522045

The extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town
Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world's war zones--from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston's streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston's refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees.
Set against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment, Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach. Warren St. John documents the lives of a diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also drawing a fascinating portrait of a fading American town struggling to accommodate its new arrivals. At the center of the story is fiery Coach Luma, who relentlessly drives her players to success on the soccer field while holding together their lives--and the lives of their families--in the face of a series of daunting challenges.
This fast-paced chronicle of a single season is a complex and inspiring tale of a small town becoming a global community--and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.
From the Hardcover edition.
 
Secretariat
Secretariat
by William Nack
Paperback from Hyperion
Media Published: 2010-
ISBN: 1401324010

"Secretariat is an elegantly crafted, exhilarating tale of speed and power, grace and greatness, told with such immediacy that the reader is lost in the rush of horses and the clatter and ring of the grandstand."
--Laura Hillenbrand, bestselling author of Seabiscuit

Updated with a new preface by the author

In 1973, Secretariat, the greatest champion in horse-racing history, won the Triple Crown. The only horse to ever grace the covers of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated in the same week, he also still holds the record for the fastest times in both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. He was also the only non-human chosen as one of ESPN's "50 Greatest Athletes of the Century." The tale of "Big Red" is an enduring and inspiring classic, more than thirty years after its initial publication.

 
The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever
The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever
by Mark Frost
Hardcover from Hyperion
Media Published: 2007-
ISBN: 1401302785

"It's difficult to beat a good golf book, be it a good yarn or a picture book . . . The golf is spectacular, the course more so, the descriptions luminous."
--USA Today

"The untold story of golf's greatest money match, featuring Hogan and Nelson at Cypress Point, comes to life in . . . Mark Frost's gripping new book, The Match."
--Golf magazine

"Frost weaves an exceptional narrative . . . It's a gripping tale--as good as James Patterson, John Grisham, or any other contemporary novelist could create. And all true. The match comes down to the 18th hole, and you'll be the winner once you turn the last page."
--Met Golfer

"Frost masterfully puts the reader not just on the scene, but in the time, too, with terrific storytelling."
--The State (South Carolina)

"Frost captures an elusive magic in this improbable matchup and what it meant for those who played and witnessed it."
--Publishers Weekly

"The Match was a dream I never thought would come true. If I hadn't been there I wouldn't believe it myself, and if you know anything about sports or the game of golf, once you pick up this book you won't put it down. No one will ever see an event like this again. Fiction can't touch it."
--Ken Venturi

The year: 1956. Four decades have passed since Eddie Lowery came to fame as the ten-year-old caddie to U.S. Open Champion Francis Ouimet. Now a wealthy car dealer and avid supporter of amateur golf, Lowery has just made a bet with fellow millionaire George Coleman. Lowery claims that two of his employees, amateur golfers Harvie Ward and Ken Venturi, cannot be beaten in a best-ball match. Lowery challenges Coleman to bring any two golfers of his choice to the course at 10 a.m. the next day to settle the issue.

Coleman accepts the challenge and shows up with his own power team: Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, the game's greatest living professionals, with fourteen major championships between them.

In Mark Frost's peerless hands, complete with the recollections of all the participants, the story of this immortal foursome and the game they played that day--legendarily known in golf circles as the greatest private match ever played--comes to life with powerful, emotional impact and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

 
The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
by Bill Simmons
Hardcover from ESPN
Media Published: 2009-
ISBN: 034551176X

There is only one writer on the planet who possesses enough basketball knowledge and passion to write the definitive book on the NBA.* Bill Simmons, the from-the-womb hoops addict known to millions as ESPN.com's Sports Guy, is that writer. And The Book of Basketball is that book.
Nowhere in the roundball universe will you find another single volume that covers as much in such depth as this wildly opinionated and thoroughly entertaining look at the past, present, and future of pro basketball.
From the age-old question of who actually won the rivalry between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain to the one about which team was truly the best of all time, Simmons opens-and then closes, once and for all-every major pro basketball debate. Then he takes it further by completely reevaluating not only how NBA Hall of Fame inductees should be chosen but how the institution must be reshaped from the ground up, the result being the Pyramid: Simmons's one-of-a-kind, five-level shrine to the ninety-six greatest players in the history of pro basketball. And ultimately he takes fans to the heart of it all, as he uses a conversation with one NBA great to uncover that coveted thing: The Secret of Basketball.
Comprehensive, authoritative, controversial, hilarious, and impossible to put down (even for Celtic-haters), The Book of Basketball offers every hardwood fan a courtside seat beside the game's finest, funniest, and fiercest chronicler.

* More to the point, he's the only one crazy enough to try to pull it off.

Amazon Best of the Month, October 2009: The Book of Basketball is a 700-page work of hoops genius that would make Dr. James Naismith beam proudly - and probably blush. Author Bill Simmons, best known as ESPN.com's "The Sports Guy," explores the NBA with hilarious insight, brilliant analysis, and a bevy of irreverent footnotes. Simmons is a fan first - a fact best explained in an entertaining foreword by Malcolm Gladwell - and writes from the stands, not the press room. His knowledge and passion for the game provide him with few peers, yet his voice represents those who stick by their teams through thick and thin. As a result, The Book of Basketball is not just a tribute to hardwood heroes, but also a celebration of yelling at TV sets, revering lucky jerseys, and holding our breath until the final buzzer sounds. Throw in pages of nearly-insane statistical breakdowns (including a projected boxscore from the movie Teen Wolf), and it's easy to see why fans of all levels should clear shelf space for this instant classic. --Dave Callanan

 
The Gipper: George Gipp, Knute Rockne, and the Dramatic Rise of Notre Dame Football
The Gipper: George Gipp, Knute Rockne, and the Dramatic Rise of Notre Dame Football
by Jack Cavanaugh
Kindle Edition from Skyhorse Publishing
Media Published: 2010-
 
 

The incredible story of how a small Indiana Catholic school emerged as a
college football powerhouse.
Win one for The Gipper. Has there ever been a better-known
and widely-used exhortative phrase in sports? Not likely. But
who was the "Gipper," this mythical-like sports figure whose nickname has aroused, in turn, awe, wonderment, curiosity, and amusement since the second decade of the twentieth century, and why is
his story important? Answering those questions is the formidable
task taken on here by veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh, whose
Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of boxing legend Gene Tunney was referred to as "impressively researched and richly detailed"
by Sports Illustrated.
More than eight decades after his death, George Gipp is still
regarded by football historians as Notre Dame's best all-around
player. And it was Gipp and his legendary coach, Knute Rockne,
who were largely responsible for putting the small Midwestern all-male school on the map.
Like Cavanaugh's other critically acclaimed books, The Gipper is
also a period piece, with a considerable focus on the era before,
during, and immediately after WWI. It details the changes that
the country underwent during that time, including the onset of
Prohibition and the gangs that it spawned in the Midwest such as
those active in the South Bend area and in nearby Chicago, headed
by the notorious Al Capone. 25 black-and-white photographs

The incredible story of how a small Indiana Catholic school emerged as a
college football powerhouse.
Win one for The Gipper. Has there ever been a better-known
and widely-used exhortative phrase in sports? Not likely. But
who was the "Gipper," this mythical-like sports figure whose nickname has aroused, in turn, awe, wonderment, curiosity, and amusement since the second decade of the twentieth century, and why is
his story important? Answering those questions is the formidable
task taken on here by veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh, whose
Pulitzer Prize-nominated biography of boxing legend Gene Tunney was referred to as "impressively researched and richly detailed"
by Sports Illustrated.
More than eight decades after his death, George Gipp is still
regarded by football historians as Notre Dame's best all-around
player. And it was Gipp and his legendary coach, Knute Rockne,
who were largely responsible for putting the small Midwestern all-male school on the map.
Like Cavanaugh's other critically acclaimed books, The Gipper is
also a period piece, with a considerable focus on the era before,
during, and immediately after WWI. It details the changes that
the country underwent during that time, including the onset of
Prohibition and the gangs that it spawned in the Midwest such as
those active in the South Bend area and in nearby Chicago, headed
by the notorious Al Capone. 25 black-and-white photographs

 
Successful Coaching - 3rd Edition
Successful Coaching - 3rd Edition
by Rainer Martens
Paperback from Human Kinetics
ISBN: 0736040129

Being a successful coach is not just about Xs and Os and winning games. It's about coaching young people to become successful athletes--and successful human beings. But unless you already have the teaching skills of an educator, the training expertise of a physiologist, the administrative leadership of a business executive, and the counseling wisdom of a psychologist, you will rely on this third edition of Successful Coaching to discover how to excel as a coach.
Successful Coaching offers an in-depth introduction to the coaching profession and is specifically written for the high school and serious club coach. Integrating the latest sport science research with practical knowledge acquired by highly experienced coaches, this book features new sections on sportsmanship, coaching diverse athletes, managing athletes' behavior, preventing and addressing drug and alcohol abuse, and coaching using the games approach. Five sections serve as the foundation for the book: 
  • Principles of Coaching emphasizes the value of a coaching philosophy and how to achieve the three major objectives of coaching: create a team of winners; help young people have fun; and motivate young people to develop physical, psychological, and social skills. Featured is a new chapter devoted to coaching diverse athletes, in which coaches learn about developmental differences in youth, cultural and gender differences, and differences in physical and mental abilities. Also new are specific guidelines on sexual harassment, sexual relations, and homosexuality in sport, making Successful Coaching the first book to offer written guidelines that address these issues.
  • Principles of Behavior discusses how to communicate and motivate players, as well as manage problem behaviors among athletes, using a positive discipline approach.
  • Principles of Teaching introduces the games approach to coaching and details how to incorporate this new approach into teaching technical and tactical skills. Coaches will learn how to develop an instructional plan for each practice and for the entire season.
  • Principles of Physical Training includes five new chapters on training basics, training for energy fitness, training for muscular fitness, nutrition, and battling drugs. Coaches will learn to develop training programs for better sport performance and to ensure the health and safety of their athletes.
  • Principles of Management covers the interpersonal and administrative basics required for building a solid coaching foundation that emphasizes team, relationship, and risk management. Helpful advice on working with fellow coaches, administrators, officials, medical personnel, parents, and the media is also included.
With more than 500,000 copies sold since the release of the first edition, Successful Coaching is the best-selling general coaching book ever published. Produced by the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) and written by ASEP founder Rainer Martens, Successful Coaching serves as the text for ASEP's Coaching Principles course. This course is used by many colleges and universities and endorsed by numerous state high school associations and other sport organizations as the preferred professional development program for their coaches. Each year, more than 25,000 coaches take this course to further their professional development and meet coaching certification requirements.
Successful Coaching, Third Edition, was reviewed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE) and complies with the NASPE National Standards for Sport Coaches and the NCACE Guidelines for Accreditation of Coaching Education.
 
A History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education: From Ancient Civilizations to the Modern World
A History and Philosophy of Sport and Physical Education: From Ancient Civilizations to the Modern World
by Robert Mechikoff
Paperback from McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
ISBN: 0073376493

This engaging and informative text will hold the attention of students and scholars as they take a journey through time to understand the role that history and philosophy have played in shaping the course of sport and physical education in Western and selected non-Western civilizations. From Mesoamerica and Ancient Greece to the 2008 Olympic Games, the book touches on religion, politics, social movements, and individuals as they contributed to the development of sport and physical education. An extensive array of pedagogical tools--including timelines, comprehensive lists of chapter objectives, suggested websites, and discussion questions--aids the learning experience.
 
High Strung: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Untold Story of Tennis s Fiercest Rivalry
High Strung: Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, and the Untold Story of Tennis's Fiercest Rivalry
by Stephen Tignor
Hardcover from Harper
Media Published: 2011-
ISBN: 0062009842

The golden age of tennis came crashing down suddenly at the 1981 U.S. Open. Bjorn Borg, the stoical Swede who had become the richest and most famous player in the sport's history, had just lost to his brash young rival, John McEnroe, in the final at Flushing Meadows. After his last shot floated out, Borg walked to the net, shook McEnroe's hand in silence, and disappeared from the game he had dominated for the last decade.

No one realized it at the time, but the era that Borg and the three other semifinalists at that year's Open--McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, and Vitas Gerulaitis--had helped define had also ended. For nearly a century, the lawns of tennis had been reserved for wealthy amateurs--gentlemen, in the original British parlance--but in 1968, the game was opened to professionals and was forever changed. The 1970s were boom years for tennis. Thanks to charismatic young players and dramatic matches, participation skyrocketed in the United States and brought the game to a new peak of global popularity. In the ensuing decade, the sport would be taken further from its genteel roots than anyone thought possible.

Through the lens of that era's final tournament, the 1981 U.S. Open, High Strung chronicles the lives and careers of the men who made those Wild West days of tennis so memorable. The Swede known as "Ice Borg," who secretly harbored an inner madman. McEnroe, the tortured, bratty genius who was destined to slay his idol. Connors, the blue-collar kid who tore the cover off the ball--and the game itself--becoming a beloved antihero. Ilie Nastase, the Romanian clown who tested the outer limits of acceptable behavior and taste. Gerulaitis, the New York charmer and Studio 54 regular who was friend to them all. And Ivan Lendl, the robotic Czech who became a harbinger of tennis's high-powered future.

The struggles these men shared were as compelling off the court as they were on. Some thrived, some survived, some were destroyed, but none has ever been forgotten.

 

 
 
 
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