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Football

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  1. 13.6 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Love them or hate them, what the New England Patriots have been able to do over the past fifteen years is nothing short of remarkable. In addition to their four Super Bowl championships, the Patriots have the best coach in the league, a smart and savvy front office, and a future Hall of Fame quarterback who is internationally recognized as the face of the NFL. The longer the Patriots continue to dominate on the field as well as in the media and the American pop culture landscape, the harder it becomes for anyone to remember them as something other than a model franchise and the ultimate paradigm of success and accomplishment. Anyone, that is, except for Jerry Thornton. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses for the Patriots; in fact, for the bulk of their existence, it was exactly the opposite. Though difficult to fathom now, the New England Patriots of old weren’t just bad—they were laughably bad. Not so long ago, the Pats were the laughingstock of not only the NFL but also the entire sporting world. From Darkness to Dynasty tells the unlikely history of the New England Patriots as it has never been told before. From their humble beginnings as a team bought with rainy-day money by a man who had no idea what he was doing to the fateful season that saw them win their first Super Bowl, Jerry Thornton shares the wild, humiliating, unbelievable, and wonderful stories that comprised the first forty years of what would ultimately become the most dominant franchise in NFL history. Witty, hilarious, and brutally honest, From Darkness to Dynasty returns to the thrilling, perilous days of yesteryear—a welcome corrective for those who hate the Patriots and a useful reminder for those who love them that all glory is fleeting.

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    From Darkness to Dynasty by Jerry Thornton

    From Darkness to Dynasty

    Foreword by Michael Holley
    13.6 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.6 hrs • 8/30/2016 • Unabridged

    College football’s most colorful, endearing, and successful pioneer, Steve Spurrier, shares his story of a life in football — from growing up in Tennessee to winning the Heisman Trophy to playing and coaching in the pros to leading the Florida Gators to six SEC Championships and a National Championship to elevating the South Carolina program to new heights — and coaching like nobody else. He’s been called brash, cocky, arrogant, pompous, egotistical, and hilarious, but, mostly, he’s known as the Head Ball Coach, a self-ordained term introduced to the lexicon of football by none other than the man, himself, Steve Spurrier. He is the only coach who can claim to be the winningest coach at two different SEC schools, and the only person who has won both the Heisman Trophy as a player and a national championship as a coach. Or who has won a Heisman and coached a Heisman winner.From the beginning, Spurrier didn’t want to sound like other coaches, dress like other coaches, and, especially, coach like other coaches. As a controversial football pioneer, he ushered in a different style of leadership and play. Spurrier’s press conferences were glorious — he refused to lapse into coachspeak and was always entertaining, although he took his football very seriously. He was known for his fierce competitiveness, roaming up and down the sidelines, often throwing his signature visor to the ground in disgust. Now resigned from coaching at age 70 — he doesn’t like to say “retired” yet — Spurrier has calmed down, but don’t mistake that for a lack of fire. He can be just as feisty as the day he set foot on the East Tennessee dirt in Johnson City’s Kiwanis Park, where he grew up to become one of the state’s all-time greatest athletes, and went on to play for Florida where he launched one of sports history’s all-time great careers.In his memoir, Spurrier talks for the first time about the circumstances under which he unexpectedly became a coach and why he resigned at South Carolina. He explains his unique style, the difference between winners and losers, his relationship with the media, why he follows the wisdom of ancient philosophers and warriors, his affinity everything taught by John Wooden, and the reasons behind his relaxed regimen for living well. Spurrier, as always, speaks candidly, bringing together his thoughts about his words, actions, and achievements, while telling countless wonderful anecdotes.

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    Head Ball Coach

    10.6 hrs • 8/30/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7.8 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    After five major concussions, NFL tight-end Ben Utecht of the Indianapolis Colts is losing his memories. This is his powerful and emotional love letter to his wife and daughters—whom he someday may not recognize—and an inspiring message for all to live every moment fully. At the age of thirty-four, Ben Utecht has accumulated a vast treasure of memories: tossing a football in the yard with his father, meeting his wife with whom he’d build a loving partnership and bring four beautiful daughters into the world, writing and performing music, catching touchdown passes from quarterback Peyton Manning, and playing a Super Bowl Championship watched by ninety-three million people. But the game he has built his living on, the game he fell in love with as a child, is taking its toll in the most devastating way. After at least five concussions—and an untold number of micro-concussions—Ben is suffering from multiple traumatic brain injuries that have erased his important memories. Knowing that his wife and daughters could someday be beyond his reach and desperate for them to understand how much he loves them, he penned a secret letter for them to read one day after his essential self is gone. Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away chronicles his remarkable journey from his early days throwing a football back and forth with his father in Minnesota to speaking about traumatic brain injury before Congress, and how his faith keeps him strong and grounded as he waits for a difficult future. Ben recounts the experiences that have shaped his life and imparts the lessons he’s learned along the way. Emotionally powerful, inspiring, and uplifting, Ben’s story will captivate and encourage you to make the most of every day and treasure all of your memories.

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    Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away

    By Ben Utecht and Mark Tabb
    Read by Ben Utecht
    7.8 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 13.6 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    The book that made a legend—and captures America’s sport in detail that’s never been matched, now featuring an introduction by Tom Wolfe and never-before-seen content from the Plimpton archives. George Plimpton was perhaps best known for Paper Lion, the book that set the bar for participatory sports journalism. With his characteristic wit, Plimpton recounts his experiences in talking his way into training camp with the Detroit Lions, practicing with the team, and taking snaps behind center. His breezy style captures the pressures and tensions rookies confront, the hijinks that pervade when sixty high-strung guys live together in close quarters, and a host of football rites and rituals.

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    Paper Lion

    13.6 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 9.0 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    George Plimpton’s follow-up to Paper Lion, one of his personal favorites among his classics—now recorded and including a foreword from Steve Almond. In Mad Ducks and Bears, George Plimpton’s engaging companion to Paper Lion, Plimpton focuses on two of the most entertaining and roguish linemen and former teammates—Alex Karras (“Mad Ducks”) and John Gordy (“Bears”), both of whom went on to achieve brilliant post-football success. A more reflective, less madcap audiobook than Plimpton’s other work, Mad Ducks and Bears is no less truthful and searching. In this fond exploration of football’s values and follies, Plimpton rejoins his two teammates to discuss their careers in this brutal but captivating game. The result is an astute exploration into the fascinating lives and motivations of the players at home, in the locker room, and on the field.

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    Mad Ducks and Bears

    Introduction by Tom Wolfe
    Foreword by Steve Almond
    9.0 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 6.8 hrs • 3/7/2016 • Unabridged

    In Dig Deep, J. C. Watts offers seven powerful maxims that have kept him grounded throughout his roller-coaster career from star college quarterback to US Congressman. The first black Republican ever elected to a leadership position in Congress, Watts resisted the rat-race of Washington and eventually declined reelection. His seven simple principles are a blueprint for living a fulfilling and meaningful life without falling to the temptations of reckless ambition or indulgence. Dig Deep is a powerful, simple guide that will help readers find the courage and faith to live the best life possible.

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    Dig Deep

    6.8 hrs • 3/7/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 9.8 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    Soon to be a major motion picture starring Will Smith, Concussion is the riveting, unlikely story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who made one of the most significant medical discoveries of the twenty-first century, a discovery that challenges the existence of America’s favorite sport and puts Omalu in the crosshairs of football’s most powerful corporation: the NFL. In September of 2002, in a dingy morgue in downtown Pittsburgh, a young forensic neuropathologist named Bennet Omalu picked up a scalpel and made a discovery that would rattle America in ways he never intended. Omalu was new to America, chasing the dream, a deeply spiritual man escaping the wounds of civil war in Nigeria. The body on the slab in front of him belonged to a fifty-year-old named Mike Webster—aka “Iron Mike”—a Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the greatest to ever play the game. After retiring in 1990, Webster had suffered a dizzyingly steep decline. Toward the end of his life, he was living out of his van, Tasering himself to relieve his chronic pain, and fixing his rotting teeth with Super Glue. How did this happen? Omalu asked himself. How did a young man like Mike Webster end up like this? The search for answers would change Omalu’s life forever and put him in the crosshairs of one of the most powerful corporations in America: the National Football League. What Omalu discovered in Mike Webster’s brain—proof that his mental deterioration was no accident, but a disease, caused by relentless blows to the head, that could affect everyone playing the game—was the one truth the NFL would do anything to keep secret. Taut, gripping, and gorgeously told, Concussion is the stirring true story of one unlikely man’s courageous decision to stand up to a multibillion-dollar colossus bent on silencing him, and to tell the world the truth.

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    Concussion

    9.8 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 11.1 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of America’s most beloved sporting event—the Super Bowl—an authoritative collection of the most pivotal plays through the decades, compiled by the legendary Jerry Rice. 50 Years, 50 Moments celebrates five decades’ worth of memories, insights, and personal experiences of Super Sunday. Super Bowl MVP Jerry Rice has compiled his list of the most iconic, strategic, and record-breaking moments in football history from the Super Bowl’s inception to today—from the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I, to the amazing Miami Dolphins championship in Super Bowl VII that capped their seventeen-game undefeated season, to the heart-stopping Super Bowl XXV in which the New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19, and Super Bowl XLIX’s amazing last-second victory by the New England Patriots over defending champion Seattle Seahawks 28-24. A Hall of Fame wide receiver who has played alongside and against some of the greatest players in the NFL, Jerry Rice, joined by accomplished sports researcher and journalist Randy O. Williams, draws on his intimate knowledge and insight of the game to highlight remarkable moments from this greatest game in modern sports. Rice’s access to the NFL means that 50 Years, 50 Moments is chock full of memories and insights directly from the athletes and coaches who were involved in these moments. Pulling together all the catches, the interceptions, the fumbles, and triumphant touchdowns that have made the Super Bowl an unforgettable experience, 50 Years, 50 Moments will feature marquee names like Joe Montana, Vince Lombardi, Roger Staubach, Walter “Sweetness” Payton, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Namath, Lawrence Taylor, “Mean Joe” Greene, as well as Tom Brady. 50 Years, 50 Moments is a must for football fans everywhere and is sure to be treasured for generations to come.

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    50 Years, 50 Moments

    11.1 hrs • 10/27/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 9.5 hrs • 10/20/2015 • Unabridged

    Ray Lewis, legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker and one of the greatest defensive players of his generation, holds nothing back on the state of football as well as his troubled childhood, his rise to athletic greatness, the storm that threatened to ruin his NFL career, and the devastating injury that nearly cost him a final moment of glory. A lot of folks, they know my game, but they don’t know my deal. This book right here, it tells the story of my seventeen-year NFL career. It tells of my two Super Bowls, the mark I was blessed to be able to make on the game, on the city of Baltimore. But it also tells the story of how I grew up—abandoned by my no-account father, raised with my siblings by our God-fearing, hardworking single mother. It tells how I sometimes struggled off the field. It tells of the anguish and controversy that found me away from the game. Mostly, it tells how heartbreak can sometimes lift you to greatness and glory—if you find a way to put your focus in faith, and faith in your focus. When I left the game, confetti raining down on me and my teammates after winning the Super Bowl, I made a promise to myself to show how the game is really played at the highest level. That’s what you’ll find in these pages—a raw, honest look at the business of football and a look behind the scenes at some of the most torturous aspects of the game. The grind of the NFL—that’s what shines through. My deal? That grind is a given. Every player who wears an NFL uniform has to slog through the same battles just to get to the league. But it’s how you prepare for those battles that defines you—and here I hope to show how an unwavering trust in God and an unbreakable sense of purpose can lift you from tragedy to triumph. From strength to strength, man—that’s the deal.

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    I Feel like Going On

    9.5 hrs • 10/20/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
    5.6 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    Fathers, sons, and sports are enduring themes of American literature. Here, in this fresh and moving account, a son returns to his native Mississippi to spend a special autumn with his ninety-five-year-old dad, sharing the unique joys, disappointments, and life lessons of Saturdays with their beloved Ole Miss Rebels. In the fall of 2012, after working on a presidential campaign that suffered a devastating loss, Stuart Stevens, having turned sixty, realized that he and his ninety-five-year-old father had spent little time together for decades. His solution: a season of attending Ole Miss football games together, as they’d done when college football provided a way for his father to guide him through childhood—and to make sense of the troubled South of the time. Now, driving to and from the games, and cheering from the stands, they take stock of their lives as father and son, and as individuals, reminding themselves of their unique, complicated, precious bond. Poignant and full of heart, but also irreverent and often hilarious, The Last Season is a powerful story of parents and children and the importance of taking a backward glance together while you still can.

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    The Last Season by Stuart Stevens

    The Last Season

    5.6 hrs • 9/15/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5 (1)
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  11. 6.3 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    This riveting true story of courage, strength, and football at the height of racial tension in Birmingham, Alabama, inspired the motion picture Woodlawn, and tells the story of Coach Tandy Gerelds, his running back Tony Nathan, and a high school football game that healed a city. In the midst of violent, impassioned racial tensions in Birmingham, Alabama, new football coach, Tandy Gerelds, was struggling to create a winning football team at Woodlawn High School—one of the last schools in Birmingham to integrate. The team he was handed did not have the caliber of players he needed to win—until he saw Tony Nathan run. But Tony was African American and Coach Gerelds knew that putting him in as running back would be like drawing a target on his own back and the back of his soon-to-be star player. But Coach Gerelds saw something in Tony, and he knew that his decision to let him play was about more than football. It was about doing what was right for the school … and the city. Coach Gerelds’ football field became the only place in Birmingham where racial tensions melted away, but Tony was still plagued by chaos and violence in school. With the help of a new school chaplain, Tony learned to look beyond himself and realized that there was more at stake than winning a game. In 1974, Coach Gerelds’s interracial team made Alabama history drawing forty-two thousand fans into the stadium to watch them play. It was this game that triggered the unity and support of the Woodlawn High School Colonels and that finally allowed a city to heal and taught its citizens how to love.

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    Woodlawn

    By Todd Gerelds, with Mark Schlabach
    6.3 hrs • 9/15/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 9.5 hrs • 9/15/2015 • Unabridged

    More than six years after his death David Halberstam remains one of this country’s most respected journalists and revered authorities on American life and history in the years since WWII. A Pulitzer Prize winner for his ground-breaking reporting on the Vietnam War, Halberstam wrote more than twenty books, almost all of them bestsellers. His work has stood the test of time and has become the standard by which all journalists measure themselves. Bill Belichick’s thirty-one years in the NFL have been marked by amazing success—most recently with the New England Patriots. In this groundbreaking book, The Education of a Coach, David Halberstam explores the nuances of both the game and the man behind it. He uncovers what makes Bill Belichick tick both on and off the field.

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    The Education of a Coach

    9.5 hrs • 9/15/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 5.4 hrs • 9/14/2015 • Unabridged

    NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton is a friend of failure. In the 1970s, he brought the Minnesota Vikings to the Superbowl three times—and three times his team was crushed. The first two companies he founded both quickly folded. But by learning how to deal with defeat, Tarkenton discovered the key to success. Now seventy-four-years old and CEO of Tarkenton Companies, Fran Tarkenton shares the most valuable lesson he learned as an athlete and entrepreneur—that failure, devastating as it is, can be an incredible gift.

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    The Power of Failure

    5.4 hrs • 9/14/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 7.1 hrs • 8/20/2015 • Unabridged

    Sportscaster and former National Football League defensive end Tim Green reveals what it’s really like to play in the NFL in The Dark Side of the Game. In this—the Super Bowl champion of tell-all novels—an eight-year NFL veteran exposes the game he loves, warts and all. This audiobook is packed with hard-hitting inside information only a former player could know. From the perfect partnership between the mob and the NFL to the shattered lives of former players, no subject is out of bounds. At the same time, you’ll meet the NFL’s role models and true heroes, including the dazzling Deion Sanders and the superb Steve Young. Whether you’re one of the millions of die-hard fans, or only have a passing interest in the game, veteran narrator Richard Poe’s no-nonsense voice and flair for the drama of the game puts you in the huddle. This unflinching look at the most-watched professional sports league on earth is a must-listen.

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    The Dark Side of the Game

    7.1 hrs • 8/20/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 2.9 hrs • 3/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Donald Sterling. Ray Rice. The Washington Redskins. The Miami Dolphins. NCAA athletes. These names, among countless others, have blanketed the headlines as the media has brought global attention to several recent sports controversies. Now Kenneth L. Shropshire, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania professor of legal studies and business ethics and director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, uses these stories as a prism for exploring the leadership challenges facing team owners, management, players, and fans. In Sport Matters, Shropshire examines the need for diversity, inclusion, respect, and equality in sports, focusing on the need for leadership to embrace and deliver these principles in a real and tangible way within the sports industry. He also introduces the Sports Power Matrix, a framework for understanding power within the sports industry. Sport Matters addresses what the Donald Sterling drama can teach us about race and the need for inclusion at the ownership level, the lessons learned from the NFL and Ray Rice case, the Washington Redskins name and the economics of change, what the Miami Dolphins matter tells us about respect in the workplace and beyond, and compensation and equality in “amateur” sports. Sport Matters, filled with disturbing revelations and uncomfortable truths, also provides hope, revealing how obstacles to achieving an ideal culture of equality and respect within the sports industry can be removed. Shropshire argues that while change matters, continued emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and respect is needed to create true progress.

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    Sport Matters

    2.9 hrs • 3/1/15 • Unabridged
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  16. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    4.8 hrs • 2/17/2015 • Unabridged

    In Against Football, Steve Almond details why, after forty years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he still loves. Using a synthesis of memoir, reportage, and cultural critique, Almond asks a series of provocative questions: Does our addiction to football foster a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia?What does it mean that our society has transmuted the intuitive physical joys of childhood—run, leap, throw, tackle—into a billion-dollar industry?How did a sport that causes brain damage become such an important emblem for our institutions of higher learning? There has never been a book that exposes the dark underside of America’s favorite game with such searing candor.

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    Against Football

    4.8 hrs • 2/17/15 • Unabridged
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