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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. 2.5 hrs • 7/8/2016 • Unabridged

    Bestselling author and NBA all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar takes listeners on a tour through the segregated days of early basketball. Along the way, hoops icons like Charles Barkley, Julius Erving, and John Wooden share their thoughts, while broadcast legend Bob Costas narrates.

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    On the Shoulders of Giants, Vol. 3

    2.5 hrs • 7/8/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 7/5/2016 • Unabridged

    A fascinating cultural history of fitness, from Greek antiquity to the era of the “big-box gym” and beyond, exploring the ways in which human exercise has changed over time—and what we can learn from our ancestors. We humans have been conditioning our bodies for more than 2,500 years, yet it’s only recently that treadmills and weight machines have become the gold standard of fitness. For all this new technology, are we really healthier, stronger, and more flexible than our ancestors? Where Born to Run began with an aching foot, Lift begins with a broken gym system—one founded on high-tech machinery and isolation techniques that aren’t necessarily as productive as we think. Looking to the past for context, Daniel Kunitz crafts an insightful cultural history of the human drive for exercise, concluding that we need to get back to basics to be truly healthy. Lift takes us on an enlightening tour through time, beginning with the ancient Greeks, who made a cult of the human body—the word gymnasium derives from the Greek word for “naked”—and following Roman legions, medieval knights, Persian pahlevans, and eighteenth-century German gymnasts. Kunitz discovers the seeds of the modern gym in nineteenth-century Paris, where weight lifting machines were first employed, and takes us all the way up to the game-changer: the feminist movement of the 1960s, which popularized aerobics and calisthenics classes. This ignited the first true global fitness revolution, and Kunitz explores how it brought us to where we are today. Once a fast-food inhaler and substance abuser, Kunitz reveals his own decade-long journey to becoming ultra-fit using ancient principals of strengthening and conditioning. With Lift, he argues that, as a culture, we are finally returning to this natural ideal—and that it’s to our great benefit to do so.

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    Lift

    7/5/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 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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  5. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    15.1 hrs • 2/16/2016 • Unabridged

    The New York Times columnist and bestselling coauthor of All The Devils Are Here offers a fresh analysis of what’s really wrong with the NCAA, and the legal push to bring down this morally corrupt and hypocritical organization. For more than half a century, the NCAA has been one of the most powerful, and impregnable, institutions in America, a cartel that acted to prevent the athletes from receiving any money from their labors, while enriching everyone else involved in college sports. The athletes had signed up for indentured servitude to chase their dreams of pro glory, with the NCAA as their overlords. Wrapping itself in the mantle of “amateurism,” the NCAA was ruthless in its application of its rules that prevented players from receiving anything for their talents aside from their scholarships. A scholarship that didn’t necessarily guarantee an education or a diploma. But in 2000, three West Coast economists decided to take on this cartel, and laid the groundwork for a major lawsuit. At around the same time, a former UCLA football player named Ramogi Huma began an organization to help and represent college athletes. A college quarterback decided to try to unionize his team. And a former sneaker marketer, Sonny Vaccaro, who was the first to pay college coaches to get their teams to wear his sneakers, quit his job and began to crusade against the NCAA. Indentured is the story of how this small band of renegades, working sometimes in concert and sometimes alone, took on the NCAA, nearly bringing it to its knees.

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    Indentured

    15.1 hrs • 2/16/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 8.8 hrs • 2/2/2016 • Unabridged

    This Is Your Brain on Sports is the book for sports fans searching for a deeper understanding of the games they watch and the people who play them. Sports Illustrated executive editor and bestselling author L. Jon Wertheim teams up with Tufts psychologist Sam Sommers to take readers on a wild ride into the inner world of sports. Through the prism of behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychology, they reveal the hidden influences and surprising cues that inspire and derail us—on the field and in the stands—and by extension, in corporate board rooms, office settings, and our daily lives. In this irresistible narrative romp, Wertheim and Sommers usher us from professional football to the NBA to Grand Slam tennis, from the psychology of athletes self-handicapping their performance in the boxing ring or the World Series, to an explanation of why even the glimpse of a finish line can lift us beyond ordinary physical limits. They explore why Tom Brady and other starting NFL quarterbacks all seem to look like fashion models; why fans of teams like the Cubs, Mets, and any franchise from Cleveland love rooting for a loser; why the best players make the worst coaches; why hockey goons (and fans) would rather fight at home than on the road; and why the arena t-shirt cannon has something to teach us about human nature. This Is Your Brain on Sports is an entertaining and thought-provoking journey into how psychology and behavioral science collide with the universe of wins-and-losses, coaching changes, underdogs, and rivalry games.

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    This Is Your Brain on Sports

    8.8 hrs • 2/2/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 14.8 hrs • 10/27/2015 • Unabridged

    For readers of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat comes the inspirational, untold story of impoverished children who transformed themselves into world-class swimmers.In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians. They faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The children were Japanese-American, were malnourished and barefoot and had no pool; they trained in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains into the sugarcane fields. Their future was in those same fields, working alongside their parents in virtual slavery, known not by their names but by numbered tags that hung around their necks. Their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, was an ordinary man whose swimming ability didn’t extend much beyond treading water. In spite of everything, including the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment of the late 1930s, in their first year the children outraced Olympic athletes twice their size; in their second year, they were national and international champs, shattering American and world records and making headlines from LA to Nazi Germany. In their third year, they’d be declared the greatest swimmers in the world, but they’d also face their greatest obstacle: the dawning of a world war and the cancellation of the Games. Still, on the battlefield, they’d become the twentieth century’s most celebrated heroes, and in 1948, they’d have one last chance for Olympic glory. They were the Three-Year Swim Club. This is their story.

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    The Three-Year Swim Club

    14.8 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. 13.2 hrs • 10/20/2015 • Unabridged

    A story of risk, adventure, and daring as four Americans race to win the gold medal in the most dangerous competition in Olympic history. In the 1930s, as the world hurtled toward war, speed was all the rage. Bobsledding, the fastest and most thrilling way to travel on land, had become a sensation. Exotic, exciting, and brutally dangerous, it was the must-see event of the 1932 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, the first Winter Games on American soil. Bobsledding required exceptional skill and extraordinary courage—qualities the American team had in abundance. There was Jay O’Brien, the high-society playboy; Tippy Grey, a scandal-prone Hollywood has-been; Eddie Eagan, world champion heavyweight boxer and Rhodes Scholar; and the charismatic Billy Fiske, the true heart of the team, despite being barely out of his teens. In the thick of the Great Depression, the nation was gripped by the story of these four men, their battle against jealous locals, treacherous US officials, and the very same German athletes they would be fighting against in the war only a few short years later. Billy, in fact, went on to talk his way into the Royal Air Force—despite their Brits-only policy—and was there to fight the Nazis during the Battle of Britain. King of speed to the end, he would become the first American fighter pilot killed in WWII. The exploits of Billy and his teammates make up a story that spans the globe, from Golden Age Hollywood to seedy New York gambling dens, to the most fashionable European resorts, the South Seas, and beyond. Evoking the glamour and recklessness of the Jazz Age, Speed Kings will thrill readers to the last page.

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    Speed Kings

    13.2 hrs • 10/20/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 5.7 hrs • 10/6/2015 • Unabridged
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    The Top of His Game

    5.7 hrs • 10/6/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 5.6 hrs • 9/8/2015 • Unabridged

    The #1 New York Times bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.

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  12. 9.2 hrs • 8/20/2015 • Unabridged

    Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament—the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa together. After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks—long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule—to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela’s miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.

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    Invictus

    9.2 hrs • 8/20/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
    11.9 hrs • 7/7/2015 • Unabridged

    “I can lick any son-of-a-bitch in the world.” So boasted John L. Sullivan, the first modern heavyweight boxing champion of the world, a man who was the gold standard of American sports for more than a decade and the first athlete to earn more than a million dollars. He had a big ego, a big mouth, and even bigger appetites. His womanizing, drunken escapades, and chronic police-blotter presence were godsends to a burgeoning newspaper industry. The larger-than-life boxer embodied the American dream for late nineteenth-century immigrants as he rose from Boston’s Irish working class to become the most recognizable man in the nation. In the process, the “Boston Strong Boy” transformed boxing from outlawed bare-knuckle fighting into the gloved spectacle we know today. Strong Boy tells the story of America’s first sports superstar, a self-made man who personified the power and excesses of the Gilded Age. Everywhere John L. Sullivan went, his fists backed up his bravado. Sullivan’s epic brawls, such as his seventy-five-round bout against Jake Kilrain, and his cross-country barnstorming tour in which he literally challenged all of America to a fight are recounted in vivid detail, as are his battles outside the ring with a troubled marriage, wild weight and fitness fluctuations, and raging alcoholism. Strong Boy gives readers ringside seats to the colorful tale of one of the country’s first Irish American heroes and the birth of the American sports media and the country’s celebrity obsession with athletes.

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    Strong Boy by Christopher Klein

    Strong Boy

    11.9 hrs • 7/7/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
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  14. 2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
    12.5 hrs • 5/15/2015 • Unabridged

    The 1914 Giro d’Italia was the most difficult bike race in history; eighty-one riders started and only eight finished. Now Tim Moore is going to attempt it himself, and he’s committed to total authenticity. Twelve years after Tim Moore toiled around the route of the Tour de France, he senses his achievement being undermined by the truth about “Horrid Lance.” His rash response is to take on a fearsome challenge from an age of untarnished heroes: the notorious 1914 Giro d’Italia. History’s most appalling bike race was an ordeal of 400-kilometer stages filled with cataclysmic storms, roads strewn with nails, and even the loss of an eye by one competitor—and it was all on a diet of raw eggs and red wine. Of the eighty-one riders who rolled out of Milan, only eight made it back. To truly capture the essence of what these riders endured a century ago, Tim acquires the ruined husk of a gearless, wooden-wheeled 1914 road bike, some maps, and an alarming period outfit topped off with a pair of blue-lensed welding goggles. As Moore rides up and over the Alps and then down to the Adriatic (with only wine corks for brakes), Gironimo! is an adventure that is by turns bold, beautiful, and madly inspiring.

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    Gironimo! by Tim Moore

    Gironimo!

    12.5 hrs • 5/15/15 • Unabridged
    2 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (2)
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  15. 20.3 hrs • 5/5/2015 • Unabridged

    The incredible inside story of power, money, and baseball’s last twenty yearsIn the fall of 1992, America’s national pastime is in crisis and already on the path to the unthinkable: cancelling a World Series for the first time in history. The owners are at war with each other, their decades-long battle with the players has turned America against both sides, and the players’ growing addiction to steroids will threaten the game’s very foundation.It is a tipping point for baseball, a crucial moment in the game’s history that catalyzes a struggle for power by three strong-willed men: Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and union leader Don Fehr. It’s their uneasy alliance at the end of decades of struggle that pulls the game back from the brink and turns it into a money-making powerhouse that enriches them all. This is the real story of baseball, played out against a tableau of stunning athletic feats, high-stakes public battles, and backroom political deals—with a supporting cast that includes Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, Joe Torre and Derek Jeter, George Bush and George Mitchell, and many more.Drawing from hundreds of extensive, exclusive interviews throughout baseball, The Game is a stunning achievement: a rigorously reported book and the must-read, fly-on-the-wall, definitive account of how an enormous struggle for power turns disaster into baseball’s Golden Age.

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    The Game

    20.3 hrs • 5/5/15 • Unabridged
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  16. 11.2 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    The true story of the game that never should have happened Something was happening to basketball. In the wartime fall of 1943, at the little-known North Carolina College for Negroes, Coach John McLendon was on the verge of changing the game forever. Within six months, his Eagles would become the highest scoring college basketball team in America, a fast-breaking, hard-pressing juggernaut that would shatter its opponents by as many as sixty points per game. The last student of James Naismith, basketball’s inventor, McLendon had opened the door to its future. Across town at Duke University, the best basketball squad on campus wasn’t the Blue Devils but was an all-white military team from the Duke medical school. Comprised of former college stars from across the country, they dismantled every team they faced, including the Duke varsity. They were prepared to play anyone—that is, until an audacious invitation arrived, one that was years ahead of anything the South had ever seen before. Based on years of research, The Secret Game is a story of courage and determination and of an incredible, long-buried moment in the nation’s sporting past. The riveting true account of a remarkable season, it is the story of how a handful of forgotten college basketball players not only changed the game forever but also helped to usher in a new America.

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    The Secret Game

    11.2 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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