By John Eisenberg
Today, the NFL is the world's most popular sports league, a towering, distinctly American colossus spewing out $10 billion in annual revenues. Given its current dominance, most fans could never imagine professional football's dismal early years, or how five men of varied backgrounds and talents managed to keep the sport alive. The rise of the NFL is one of the most improbable tales in sports, and in The League, John Eisenberg gives us this story in all of its drama and color. Rooney, Halas, Mara, Marshall, and Bell-their names are enshrined in Canton and in the minds of fans across the country. When they started out, however, they were gamblers, bookies, and prodigal sons. And when they came together in the 1920s to create a new league, they faced the kind of long odds only a horseplayer could love. At the time, America's sports fans cared more about baseball, college football, horse racing, and boxing. Pro football was widely ignored, even mocked as only slightly more serious than the circus. The Great Depression and rival leagues almost put the fledgling enterprise out of business. Through it all, Rooney and company expanded, devising new ways of bringing fans to the sport as well as new tactics on the field. Finally, in the 1950s, with the advent of TV and the creation of the wildly entertaining spread attack, the game truly arrived.Taking us from the smoke-filled rooms where the founders plotted their rise to the dirt fields on which their game first flourished, Eisenberg shows that the league survived only because each man brought to it a particular skill. Marshall had a nose for business, Halas the innovative football mind, Rooney the gambler's eye for the main chance, Mara the chutzpah, and Bell the managerial talent. Together they did it all-finding the stadiums and the crowds to fill them, coaching the teams (and even taking the field in a pinch), marketing their product, even while squabbling among themselves, over matters of profit and prestige. At once a history of a sport and a great American success story, The League is an absolute must-read for any fan of the true national pastime.
Life Is Short, Don't Wait to Dance
By Valorie Kondos Field, Steve Cooper
How did a professional ballerina become one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history? Valorie Kondos Field has never even turned a cartwheel, but she has won six NCAA gymnastics championships as coach of the UCLA women's gymnastics team. In LIFE IS SHORT, DON'T WAIT TO DANCE, "Miss Val" shares her secrets to success, such as Drop the Act, Do You; Triumph Over Adversity; Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal; Coach Wooden's Missing Brick; Guts Are Louder Than Whistles; and Confident Enough to Collaborate, which began when she realized she'd never win by mimicking other top coaches. She had to embrace and hone her own uniqueness. The results have been stunning for her and for the student athletes, including Olympians Simone Biles and Kyla Ross, who have thrived under her tutelage. Curiosity, creativity, attention to detail, and unwavering care for the overall well-being of her athletes are the hallmarks of Miss Val's success, and they can be applied to business and life as well as to sports. As a breast cancer survivor, Miss Val, who says the year she was diagnosed was actually one of the best of her life, has learned that success is about choreographing your life and owning the choices you make.Many of Miss Val's timeless philosophies were shaped by her mentor, legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and she weaves stories of her time with him into this remarkable narrative of a 35-year career, that in 2016 was immortalized by being named the PAC-12 "Gymnastics Coach of the Century." LIFE IS SHORT, DON'T WAIT TO DANCE is packed with brutally honest advice delivered in an inspirational tone Miss Val is known for, and will help readers live a more fulfilling and intentional life.
By Legends of Lucha Libre
The Language of the Game
By Laurent Dubois
Just in time for the 2018 World Cup, a lively and lyrical guide to appreciating the drama of soccerSoccer is not only the world's most popular sport; it's also one of the most widely shared forms of global culture. The Language of the Game is a passionate and engaging introduction to soccer's history, tactics, and human drama. Profiling soccer's full cast of characters--goalies and position players, referees and managers, commentators and fans--historian and soccer scholar Laurent Dubois describes how the game's low scores, relentless motion, and spectacular individual performances combine to turn each match into a unique and unpredictable story. He also shows how soccer's global reach makes it an unparalleled theater for nationalism, international conflict, and human interconnectedness.Filled with perceptive insights and stories both legendary and little known, The Language of the Game is a rewarding read for anyone seeking to understand soccer better.
A Life in Football: My Autobiography
By Ian Wright
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'Wrighty's characteristic honesty means his book is far more engrossing than most bland football memoirs' Sunday TimesIan Wright, Arsenal legend, England striker and TV pundit extraordinaire, is one of the most interesting and relevant figures in modern football.His journey from a South London council estate to national treasure is everybody's dream. From Sunday morning football directly to Crystal Palace; from 'boring, boring Arsenal' to inside the Wenger Revolution; from Saturday afternoons on the pitch to Saturday evenings on primetime television; from a week in prison to inspiring youth offenders, Ian will reveal all about his extraordinary life and career.Ian will also frankly discuss how retirement affects footballers, why George Graham deserves a statue, social media, why music matters, breaking Arsenal's goal-scoring record, racism, the unadulterated joy of playing alongside Dennis Bergkamp and, of course, what he thinks of Tottenham.Not a standard footballer's autobiography, Ian Wright's memoir is a thoughtful and gripping insight into a Highbury Hero and one of the greatest sports stars of recent years.
The Last Best League, 10th anniversary edition
By Jim Collins
Every summer, in ten small towns across Cape Cod, the finest college baseball players in the country gather in hopes of making it to "The Show." The hopes are justifiably high: The Cape Cod Baseball League is the best amateur league in the world, producing one out of every six major league players.Ten years ago, Jim Collins chronicled a season in the life of one team: the Chatham A's, perhaps the most celebrated team in the league. Set against the backdrop of a resort town on the bend of the outer Cape, the story charted the changing fortunes of a handful of players battling slumps and self-doubt in their effort to make the league playoffs and, more importantly, impress the major league scouts.Over the last decade, baseball's hard truths became evident for the Chatham stars who went on to play professionally, and the final chapter of their story can now be written. In a new afterword for the tenth anniversary, Collins explores questions that sports literature rarely touches: What does it mean to devote your life to an almost impossible goal and almost but not quite make it? Or make it only briefly before it slips away? What does a dream look like in retrospect? How does the game look now?
By James Kerr
Champions do extra. They sweep the sheds. They follow the spearhead. They keep a blue head. They are good ancestors. In Legacy, best-selling author James Kerr goes deep into the heart of the world's most successful sporting team, the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand, to reveal 15 powerful and practical lessons for leadership and business. Legacy is a unique, inspiring handbook for leaders in all fields, and asks: What are the secrets of success - sustained success? How do you achieve world-class standards, day after day, week after week, year after year? How do you handle pressure? How do you train to win at the highest level? What do you leave behind you after you're gone? What will be your legacy?
A Life Without Limits
By Chrissie Wellington
Chrissie Wellington is the world's No 1 female Ironman triathlete, a four times World Champion, having recently won the her fourth title in October 2011 and the World Record holder. In 2009 she was voted 'Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year' and in 2010 was awarded the MBE.She is the undefeated champion of Triathlon, having won thirteen Ironman titles from thirteen races. She set a new World Record of 8 hours19:13 at Quelle Roth Germany in 2010, which slashed over 14 minutes from the previous record and where she was only beaten by six men. She went on to improve this time by another minute in the 2011 race. She also set a new world record for the fastest ever Ironman sanctioned event at Ironman South Africa in April 2011.Chrissie has displayed unprecedented levels of stamina, strength and competitiveness in becoming Ironman World Champion in only her second event at Ironman level. Her victory in Kona, Hawaii in 2007 finishing five minutes ahead of her nearest rival was described as the 'biggest upset in Ironman history' and 'a remarkable feat, deemed to be near impossible task for any athlete racing as a rookie at their first Ironman World Championships'. She defended her World title in Hawaii in 2008 and again in 2009. However a bout of severe sickness on the eve of the 2010 event meant she was unable to make the start line to defend her title. She bounced back in 2011 to retain her title in her most fiercely competitive race to date, which adds another fantastic chaper to her extraordinary sporting career.This is the remarkable story of how a Norfolk girl - a 'sporty kid, swimming, playing hockey, running, but never excelling and always more interested in the social side of the sports scene' - became a world champion.
Letters to a Young Gymnast
By Nadia Comaneci
In Letters to a Young Gymnast , Nadia Comaneci tells how she found the inner strength to become a world-class athlete at such a young age. Now a woman of tremendous poise and self-assurance, she offers unique insights into the mind of a top competitor. From how to live after you've realized your dream to the necessity of a spirit forged with mettle," Comaneci's thoughts on athleticism and sacrifice are eye-opening.
The Lure of Long Distances
By Robin Harvie
Robin Harvie was a fairly ordinary runner. He ran his first marathon after a bet. Then he found that although he couldn't run fast, he could run long distances- very long. A casual hobby turned into a 120-miles-a-week obsession, and a training route along the River Thames morphed into a promise to himself that he would tackle the oldest and toughest footrace on earth: the Spartathlon from Athens to Sparta. This race, a recreation of Pheidippides's legendary journey, is 150 miles long, crosses two mountain ranges, and is the toughest race on the ultradistance runner's calendar. It isn't at all ordinary. p class="MsoNormal"Harvie's experience- from the mundanity of daily training routes to the extreme tests of the desert's scorching heat and the darkest hours of the night- reveals the profoundly intoxicating experience of running, and the ways in which every mile taken is both a step further into the unknown and a pace deeper into the self.
Living On The Black
By John Feinstein
Pitchers are at the heart of baseball. Each has the potential to make his team a winner or, very quickly, a loser. The pressure is huge. In the end, only those with both the arm and the heart and the ability to manage extraordinary stress will emerge as champions. John Feinstein looks into this complex side of the game through the events of one nerve-racking season and through the eyes of two great pitchers trying to perform at the highest possible level in the twilight of their careers in the biggest media fishbowl in America. Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina have seen it all in the Major Leagues, remarkable highs and heartbreaking lows. Both entered the 2007 season in search of individual milestones and one more shot at the World Series--Glavine with the Mets, Mussina a few miles and one borough away with the Yankees. Despite their proximity, they experienced very different seasons--one pitching for a team dealing with the pressure of trying to qualify for the World Series for the first time in seven years; the other with a legendary team, expected to be there every year.Feinstein captures the rollercoaster that was the 2007 season for both teams through the experiences of two pitchers at the center of it all. John Feinstein provides a true insider's look into the most intensely watched and scrutinized position in sports-Major League starting
By Charles Lindsay
Charles Lindsay's photographs offer a humorous and inquisitive foray into the hazards of lost golf balls - rough, woods, bunkers and wetlands - as well as unexpected encounters with wildlife on and off the green. An avid golfer, he photographs his way to the heart of the matter with a light touch and an eye for telling details. In the process he discovers balls ravaged by golfers, 'gators and foxes. Lindsay even comes face to face with what is believed to be the world's oldest golf ball - unearthed in a cellar in the Netherlands alongside a primitive club - and the infamous spot in the tall grass where Tiger Woods lost a ball that cost him the British Open. There are photographs from golf courses all over the world. The Foreword by John Updike is a celebration of golf and nature and why the two are not always compatible. A humorous anecdote by Greg Norman and quotes from other well-known golfers and celebrities also appear throughout the book.
Letters to a Young Golfer
By Bob Duval, Carl Vigeland
Since his own boyhood growing up on the links in upstate New York, Bob Duval has lived the life of golf in all its incarnations- as student, mentor, teacher, playing professional, and, more recently, as proud parent of a star player on the PGA Tour. Whether telling a story about his son David playing with Tiger Woods or revealing the secret of hitting a long bunker shot, he has always shown a remarkable ability to find an emotional and highly personal resonance when communicating with other people. This book celebrates that ability with an inspirational collection of letters about golf and the joy and passions it arouses.In Letters to a Young Golfer, Duval writes to David, sharing not only his wisdom as a golfer and a father but also expressing his bond with David as a friend and fellow professional. Other letters address golfers of every age and ability who seek to improve their game, from Sunday amateurs to seasoned Tour professionals. With stories from his own career playing with and observing golfers both famous and unknown, Duval goes beyond the sport and explores what it means to live a fuller life. Finally, he writes to his deceased father and probes the spiritual mysteries of golf, this sometimes maddening, always exhilarating game that has been a healing force in his life. New in the Art of Mentoring Series From Letters to a Young Golfer:The first time I played in a Senior PGA Tour major championship, I cold-topped my first drive. The ball landed in a cactus plant, where it was unplayable, so I had to retrieve it. As I walked back to hit another drive, the starter raised his voice to the gallery: "Now at the first tee- for the second time- Bob Duval."When I was teaching David to play golf, I used to tell him, "Your score is just a succession of numbers. Don't add them up until your round is done." I say the same to you: Don't dwell on the past. Play the next shot.
The Lost Explorer
By Conrad Anker, David Roberts
In 1999, Conrad Anker found the body of George Mallory on Mount Everest, casting an entirely new light on the mystery of the lost explorer. On 8 June 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine were last seen climbing towards the summit of Everest. The clouds closed around them and they were lost to history, leaving the world to wonder whether or not they actually reached the summit - some 29 years before Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay. On 1 May 1999, Conrad Anker, one of the world's foremost mountaineers, made the momentous discovery - Mallory's body, lying frozen into the scree at 27,000 feet on Everest's north face. Recounting this day, the authors go on to assess the clues provided by the body, its position, and the possibility that Mallory had successfully climbed the Second Step, a 90-foot sheer cliff that is the single hardest obstacle on the north face. This is a remarkable story of a charming and immensely able man, told by an equally talented modern climber.