Cover art for League of Denial

League of Denial

3 ratings

Summary

"Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis." So concluded the National Football League in a December 2005 scientific paper on concussions in America's most popular sport. That judgment, implausible even to a casual fan, also contradicted the opinion of a growing cadre of neuroscientists who worked in vain to convince the NFL that it was facing a deadly new scourge: A chronic brain disease that was driving an alarming number of players - including some of the all-time greats - to madness. League of Denial reveals how the NFL, over a period of nearly two decades, sought to cover up and deny mounting evidence of the connection between football and brain damage. Comprehensively, and for the first time, award-winning ESPN investigative reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru tell the story of a public health crisis that emerged from the playing fields of our 21st century pastime. Everyone knew that football is violent and dangerous. But what the players who built the NFL into a $10 billion industry didn't know - and what the league sought to shield from them - is that no amount of padding could protect the human brain from the force generated by modern football; that the very essence of the game could be exposing these players to brain damage. In a fast-paced narrative that moves between the NFL trenches, America's research labs and the boardrooms where the NFL went to war against science, League of Denial examines how the league used its power and resources to attack independent scientists and elevate its own flawed research - a campaign with echoes of Big Tobacco's fight to deny the connection between smoking and lung cancer. It chronicles the tragic fates of players like Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, who was so disturbed at the time of his death he fantasized about shooting NFL executives; and former Chargers great Junior Seau, whose diseased brain became the target of an unseemly scientific battle between researchers and the NFL. Based on exclusive interviews, previously undisclosed documents and private emails, this is the story of what the NFL knew and when it knew it - questions at the heart of crisis that threatens football, from the highest levels all the way down to Pop Warner.

©2013 Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru (P)2013 Random House Audio

Length: 14 hrs and 41 mins
Available on Audible
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Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat

Summary

Drugs in sport are big news and the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport is common. Here, Chris Cooper, a top biochemist at the University of Essex, looks at the science behind drugs in sport. Using the performance of top athletes, Cooper begins by outlining the limits of human performance. Showing the basic problems of human biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy, he looks at what stops us running faster, throwing longer, or jumping higher. Using these evidence-based arguments he shows what the body can, and cannot, do. There is much curiosity about why certain substances are used, how they are detected, and whether they truly have an effect on the body. Cooper explains how these drugs work and the challenges of testing for them, putting in to context whether the 'doping' methods of choice are worth the risk or the effort. Exploring the moral, political, and ethical issues involved in controlling drug use, Cooper addresses questions such as 'What is cheating?', 'What compounds are legal and why?', 'Why do the classification systems change all the time?', and 'Should all chemicals be legal, and what effect would this have on sport?'. Looking forward, he examines the recent work to study the physical limitations of rat and mice behaviour. He shows that, remarkably, simple genetic experiments producing 'supermice' suggest that there may be ways of improving human performance too, raising ethical and moral questions for the future of sport.

©2012 Chris Cooper (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Kieran Phoenix
Author: Chris Cooper
Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
Available on Audible
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The Secret Race

23 ratings

Summary

The Secret Race is a definitive look at the world of professional cycling—and the doping issue surrounding this sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrong—by former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton and New York Times best-selling author Daniel Coyle. Over the course of two years, Coyle conducted more than 200 hours of interviews with Hamilton and spoke candidly with numerous teammates, rivals, and friends. The result is an explosive book that takes us, for the first time, deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to succeed that they would do anything—and take any risk, physical, mental, or moral—to gain the edge they needed to win. Tyler Hamilton was once one of the world’s best-liked and top-ranked cyclists—a fierce competitor renowned among his peers for his uncanny endurance and epic tolerance for pain. In the 2003 Tour de France, he finished fourth despite breaking his collarbone in the early stages—and grinding 11 of his teeth down to the nerves along the way. He started his career with the U.S. Postal Service team in the 1990s and quickly rose to become Lance Armstrong’s most trusted lieutenant and a member of his inner circle. For the first three of Armstrong’s record seven Tour de France victories, Hamilton was by Armstrong’s side, clearing his way. But just weeks after Hamilton reached his own personal pinnacle—winning the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics—his career came to a sudden, ignominious end: He was found guilty of doping and exiled from the sport. From the exhilaration of his early, naïve days in the peloton, Hamilton chronicles his ascent to the uppermost reaches of this unforgiving sport. In the mid-1990s, the advent of a powerful new blood-boosting drug called EPO reshaped the world of cycling, and a relentless, win-at-any-cost ethos took root. Its psychological toll would drive many of the sport’s top performers to substance abuse, depression, even suicide. For the first time ever, Hamilton recounts his own battle with clinical depression, speaks frankly about the agonizing choices that go along with the decision to compete at a world-class level, and tells the story of his complicated relationship with Lance Armstrong. A journey into the heart of a never-before-seen world, The Secret Race is a riveting, courageous act of witness from a man who is as determined to reveal the hard truth about his sport as he once was to win the Tour de France.

©2012 Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle (P)2012 Random House

Narrator: Sean Runnette
Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
Available on Audible
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Slaying the Tiger

Summary

For more than a decade, golf was dominated by one galvanizing figure: Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. But as his star has fallen, a new, ambitious generation has stepped up to claim the crown. Once the domain of veterans, golf saw a youth revolution in 2014. In Slaying the Tiger, Shane Ryan introduces us to the volatile, colorful crop of heirs apparent who are storming the barricades of this traditionally old-fashioned sport. As the golf writer for Bill Simmons' Grantland, Shane Ryan is the perfect herald for the sport's new age. In Slaying the Tiger, he embeds himself for a season on the PGA Tour, where he finds the game far removed from the genteel rhythms of yesteryear. Instead he discovers a group of mercurial talents driven to greatness by their fear of failure and their relentless perfectionism. From Augusta to Scotland, with an irreverent and energetic voice, Ryan documents every transcendent moment, every press tent tirade, and every controversy that made the 2014 tour one of the most exciting and unpredictable in recent memory.

©2015 Shane Ryan (P)2015 Tantor

Narrator: Sean Pratt
Author: Shane Ryan
Length: 13 hrs and 53 mins
Available on Audible
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Toolbox

Summary

Professional wrestling has always been wrapped in mystery. After a century of masquerading as legitimate sport, at last pro-wrestling has begun to show the potential of its form. At its core, it is live combat theatre, and no one has done more to codify and analyze this mesmerizing art form than Mike Quackenbush. To aid a generation of evolving performers to meet the demands of modern audiences, here is Toolbox - Building Better Pro-Wrestling.

©2020 Michael Spillane (P)2020 Michael Spillane

Length: 3 hrs and 10 mins
Available on Audible
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Summer of '68

Summary

The extraordinary story of the 1968 baseball season - when the game was played to perfection even as the country was being pulled apart at the seams. From the beginning, ’68 was a season rocked by national tragedy and sweeping change. Opening Day was postponed and later played in the shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral. That summer, as the pennant races were heating up, the assassination of Robert Kennedy was later followed by rioting at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. But even as tensions boiled over and violence spilled into the streets, something remarkable was happening in major league ballparks across the country. Pitchers were dominating like never before, and with records falling and shut-outs mounting, many began hailing ’68 as “The Year of the Pitcher". In Summer of ’68, Tim Wendel takes us on a wild ride through a season that saw such legends as Bob Gibson, Denny McLain, Don Drysdale, and Luis Tiant set new standards for excellence on the mound, each chasing perfection against the backdrop of one of the most divisive and turbulent years in American history. For some players, baseball would become an insular retreat from the turmoil encircling them that season, but for a select few, including Gibson and the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals, the conflicts of ’68 would spur their performances to incredible heights and set the stage for their own run at history. Meanwhile in Detroit - which had burned just the summer before during one of the worst riots in American history - ’68 instead found the city rallying together behind a colorful Tigers team led by McLain, Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton, and Al Kaline. The Tigers would finish atop the American League, setting themselves on a highly anticipated collision course with Gibson’s Cardinals. And with both teams’ seasons culminating in a thrilling World Series for the ages - one team playing to establish a dynasty, the other fighting to help pull a city from the ashes - what ultimately lay at stake was something even larger: baseball’s place in a rapidly changing America that would never be the same. In vivid, novelistic detail, Summer of ’68 tells the story of this unforgettable season - the last before rule changes and expansion would alter baseball forever - when the country was captivated by the national pastime at the moment it needed the game most.

©2012 Tim Wendel (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Mark Ashby
Author: Tim Wendel
Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
Available on Audible
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Game of Shadows

Summary

This audiobook is the window into the underground world of cheating at the highest levels, which set off a frenzy of activity and hand-wringing in the offices of Major League Baseball and Congress. Through the authors' pursuit of sources and documents, they were able to open for public view a world in which elite athletes trade money and risk their health for the edge that will allow them to run faster, hit harder, and compete longer, and then cash in on the fame and wealth that comes only to those at the very top of their games. What the compelling newspaper articles weren't able to provide is the kind of narrative and inside-baseball look at BALCO that only a book or audiobook could explore. This is the definitive account of the sports story of our times, as written by the journalists who blew it open.

©2006 Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Narrator: Arnie Mazer
Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
Available on Audible
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The Games

Summary

Renowned sportswriter David Goldblatt has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal for writing "with the expansive eye of a social and cultural critic". In The Games, Goldblatt delivers a magisterial history of the biggest sporting event of them all: the Olympics. He tells the epic story of the games from their reinvention in Athens in 1896 to the present day, chronicling classic moments of sporting achievement from Jesse Owens to Nadia Comaneci, the Miracle on Ice to Usain Bolt. He goes beyond the medal counts to explore how international conflicts have played out at the Olympics, including the role of the games in Fascist Germany and Italy, the Cold War, and the struggles of the postcolonial world for recognition. He also tells the extraordinary story of how women fought to be included on equal terms, how the Paralympics started in the wake of World War II, and how the Olympics reflect changing attitudes to race and ethnicity.

©2016 Tobaccoathletic Limited (P)2016 Tantor

Narrator: Napoleon Ryan
Length: 18 hrs and 23 mins
Available on Audible
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Overtime

2 ratings

Summary

For the past year, John U. Bacon has received unprecedented access to Jim Harbaugh’s University of Michigan football team: coaches, players, and staffers, in closed-door meetings, locker rooms, meals, and classes. Overtime captures this storied program at the crossroads, as the sport’s winningest team battles to reclaim its former glory. But what if the price of success today comes at the cost of your soul? Do you pay it, or compete without compromising? Overtime delivers a riveting and revealing insider's account of the Harbaugh era, a deeply reported human portrait of a big-time college football program. In the spirit of HBO’s Hardknocks, Overtime follows the Wolverine coaches, players, and staffers through the 2018 season, including Harbaugh, offensive stars Shea Patterson and Karan Higdon, NFL-ready defensive standouts Rashan Gary, Devin Bush Jr., and Chase Winovich, second-stringers striving to find their place on the team, and their parents’ reactions to it all. Bacon met with them every week during a season that saw the Wolverines ride a 10-game winning streak to number four in the nation, then take a beating at the hands of arch-rival Ohio State, led by controversial coach Urban Meyer, Harbaugh’s foil. Overtime also previews the crucial 2019 campaign ahead. Above all, this is a human story. In Overtime, we not only discover what these public figures are like behind the scenes, we learn what the experience means to them as they go through it - the trials, the triumphs, and the unexpected answers to a central question: Is it worth it? From the "poet laureate of Michigan football" (according to New York Times'Joe Drape), and one of the keenest observers of college football, Overtime offers a window into a legendary program and the sport itself that only John U. Bacon could deliver.

©2019 John U. Bacon (P)2019 HarperAudio

Narrator: Johnny Heller
Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
Available on Audible
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Colombia Es Pasion!

1 rating

Summary

By winning the 2019 Tour de France, Egan Bernal became the race's youngest champion in 110 years and the first from the South American nation of Colombia. His victory brought decades of national yearning to fruition and capped the achievements of a golden generation of Colombian cyclists.

For, in the years before Egan's victory, Nairo Quintana won the Tours of Italy and Spain, even coming within 72 seconds of winning the Tour. Rigoberto Urán, Esteban Chaves, Miguel Ángel López and Fernando Gaviria took stage wins, donned leaders' jerseys and made final podiums at cycling's greatest events. They, and other world-class Colombian talents, made their nation a cycling superpower. 

Colombia has long been the only developing nation not just competing but contending at cycling's highest level. Yet its cycling sons are not the products of a rigorous sports system that spots them in childhood and nurtures them through the ranks to the pinnacle of globalised sport. They come from harder backgrounds that surprise, shock - even, at times, enchant.   

And their attainments are not just sporting. The visibility they have secured their homeland has helped open it to international tourism and trade. After decades of violence, corruption and civil unrest, a new Colombia, revitalised by economic regeneration, a national peace process and the successes of its cyclists, has achieved normalisation in the eyes of the international community.

So rapid has this national transformation been that it has taken place within the lifetimes of these remarkable young sportsmen. Colombia Es Pasión! How a New Generation of Cyclists Changed a Nation explores the lives and dreams of each of Colombia's leading cyclists. Theirs are inspiring stories of overcoming poverty and violence, sickness and corruption - of the emergence of the indigenous to global sporting glory. It portrays the unique sporting microcosm that lies behind Colombia's world-beating riders and how their sporting achievements have spurred a nation to peace, reform and prosperity.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2020 Matt Rendell (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Narrator: Matt Rendell
Author: Matt Rendell
Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
Available on Audible
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Inside the Empire

Summary

New York Times Best Seller A riveting look at what is really said and done behind closed doors with the New York Yankees, the most famous and wealthiest sports franchise in the world Using the 2018 baseball season as the backdrop, Inside the Empire gives listeners the real, unvarnished, “straight-from-the-gut” truth from Brian Cashman, Aaron Boone, Giancarlo Stanton, C.C. Sabathia - even Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine - and many more. This is baseball’s version of HBO’s award-winning NFL series Hard Knocks. Klapisch and Solotaroff take you deep into the Yankees clubhouse, their dugout, and the front office and pull back the curtain so that every fan can see what really goes on. Bottom line? You may think you know everything about the storied franchise of the New York Yankees and what makes them tick. But Inside the Empire will set the record straight, and drop bombshells about iconic figures along the way. There’s never been a baseball book quite like it.

©2019 Bob Klapisch and Paul Solotaroff (P)2019 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Narrator: Bob Klapisch
Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
Available on Audible
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The System

4 ratings

Summary

AN EXPLOSIVE AND REVELATORY PORTRAIT REPORTED FROM DEEP BEHIND THE SCENES OF BIG-TIME NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL: THE PASSION, THE THRILLING ACTION—AND THE SHOCKING REALITIES THAT LIE BENEATH THIS COLOSSAL, MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR BUSINESS College football has never been more popular - or more chaotic. Millions fill 100,000-seat stadiums every Saturday; tens of millions more watch on television every weekend. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama had a viewership of 26.4 million people, second only to the Super Bowl. Billions of dollars from television deals now flow into the game; the average budget for a top-ten team is $80 million; top coaches make more than $3 million a year; the highest paid, more than $5 million. But behind this glittering success are darker truths: “athlete-students” working essentially full-time jobs with no share in the oceans of money; players who often don’t graduate and end their careers with broken bodies; “janitors” who clean up player misconduct; football “hostesses” willing to do whatever it takes to land a top recruit; seven-figure black box recruiting slush funds. And this: Despite the millions of dollars pouring into the game, 90 percent of major athletic departments still lose money. Yet schools remain caught up in an ever-escalating “arms race” - at the expense of academic scholarships, facilities and faculty. Celebrated investigative journalists Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian were granted unprecedented access during the 2012 season to programs at the highest levels across the country at a time of convulsive change in college football. Through dogged reporting, they explored every nook and cranny of this high-powered machine, and reveal how it operates from the inside out. The result: the system through the eyes of athletic directors and coaches, high-flying boosters and high-profile TV stars, five-star recruits and tireless NCAA investigators and the kids on whom the whole vast enterprise depends. Both a celebration of the power and pageantry of NCAA football and a groundbreaking, thought-provoking critique of its excesses, The System is the definitive book on the college game.

©2013 Jeff Benedict, Armen Keteyian (P)2013 Random House

Narrator: Mark Deakins
Length: 17 hrs and 12 mins
Available on Audible
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Start by Believing

1 rating

Summary

The definitive, devastating account of the largest sex abuse scandal in American sports history - with new details and insights into the institutional failures, as well as the bravery that brought it to light. For decades, osteopathic physician Larry Nassar built a sterling reputation as the go-to doctor for America's Olympians while treating countless others at his office on Michigan State University's campus. It was largely within the high-pressure world of competitive gymnastics that Nassar exploited young girls, who were otherwise motivated by fear and intimidation, sexually assaulting hundreds of them under the guise of medical treatment. In Start by Believing, John Barr and Dan Murphy confront Nassar's acts, which represent the largest sex abuse scandal to impact the sporting world. Through never-before-released interviews and documents they deconstruct the epic institutional failures and individuals who enabled him. When warnings were raised, self-serving leaders chose to protect their organizations' reputations over the well-being of young people. Following the paths traveled by courageous women - featuring a once-shy Christian attorney and a brash, outspoken Olympic medalist - Barr and Murphy detail the stories of those who fought back against the dysfunction within their sport to claim a far-from-inevitable victory. The gymnasts' uncommon perseverance, along with the help of dedicated advocates, brought criminals to justice and helped to fuel the #MeToo revolution. Start by Believing reveals the win-at-all-costs culture in elite athletics and higher education that enabled a quarter century of heinous crimes. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 John Barr, Dan Murphy (P)2020 Hachette Books

Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
Available on Audible
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Muck City

Summary

In a town deep in the Florida Everglades, where high school football is the only escape, a haunted quarterback, a returning hero, and a scholar struggle against terrible odds. The loamy black "muck" that surrounds Belle Glade, Florida, once built an empire for Big Sugar and provided much of the nation's vegetables, often on the backs of roving, destitute migrants. Many of these were children who honed their skills along the field rows and started one of the most legendary football programs in America. Belle Glade's high school team, the Glades Central Raiders, has sent an extraordinary number of players to the National Football League - 27 since 1985, with five of those drafted in the first round. The industry that gave rise to the town and its team also spawned the chronic poverty, teeming migrant ghettos, and violence that cripples futures before they can ever begin. Muck City tells the story of quarterback Mario Rowley, whose dream is to win a championship for his deceased parents and quiet the ghosts that haunt him; head coach Jessie Hester, the town's first NFL star, who returns home to "win kids, not championships"; and Jonteria Willliams, who must build her dream of becoming a doctor in one of the poorest high schools in the nation. For boys like Mario, being a Raider is a one-shot window for escape and a college education. Without football, Jonteria and the rest must make it on brains and fortitude alone. For the coach, good intentions must battle a town's obsession to win above all else. Beyond the Friday night lights, this book is an engrossing portrait of a community mired in a shameful past and uncertain future but with the fierce will to survive, win, and escape to a better life.

©2017 Bryan Mealer (P)2017 Random House Audio

Narrator: Dion Graham
Author: Bryan Mealer
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for 12

12

4 ratings

Summary

The incredible story of Tom Brady and the Patriots' tumultuous 2016 season: from national disgrace to the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time. In January 2015, rumors circulated that the New England Patriots - a team long suspected of abiding by the "if you ain't cheating you ain't trying" philosophy - had used under-inflated footballs in their playoff victory against the Indianapolis Colts. As evidence began to build, however, a full on NFL investigation was launched, exploding an unsubstantiated rumor into an intense scandal that would lead news coverage for weeks. As shockwaves rippled throughout the NFL system, the very legitimacy of one of the league's most popular teams and their star quarterback began to erode, even as the Patriots and Brady went on to win that year's Super Bowl.  But as the celebrations gave way to the offseason, the investigation only intensified, reopening old wounds between the Patriots' powerful owner, Robert Kraft, and the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. Brady was devastated and seemingly more nervous in front of a judge than on a game-winning drive.  When the dust settled, Brady would be able to play again - but only after watching the first four games of the 2016 season from his couch. The pressure couldn't have been more intense: Brady's legacy was at stake. If he failed to return to his usual self, all the critics and even the history books would have to put a giant asterisk next to his name, signifying one thing: he was a cheater. 12 is the propulsive story of this gritty comeback. It's a drama that unfolds in the locker room, the court room, and under the brightest lights in all of sports - the Super Bowl. Now for the first time, listeners will have an exclusive look into Tom Brady's experience and the NFL's shocking strangle-hold on their players. With unprecedented access to Brady himself, his teammates, and his lawyers, we will see just how a football legend went up against one of the largest corporations in the world to stage the greatest comeback in NFL history and emerge a god of the gridiron.  PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Casey Sherman, Dave Wedge (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Narrator: Greg Baglia
Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
Available on Audible
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The Mannings

Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Lars Anderson comes a revealing portrait of the first family of American sports. What the Kennedys are to politics, the Mannings are to football. Two generations have produced three NFL superstars: Archie Manning, the Ole Miss hero-turned-New Orleans Saint; his son Peyton, widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game; and Peyton's younger brother, Eli, who won two Super Bowl rings of his own. And the oldest Manning child, Cooper - who was forced to quit playing sports after he was diagnosed at age 18 with a rare spinal condition - might have been the most talented of them all. In The Mannings, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson gives us, for the first time, the never-before-told story of this singular athletic dynasty - a story that shows us how finding strength in the face of catastrophe can be the key to success on and off the playing field. Growing up, the three Manning brothers dream of playing side by side on the gridiron at Ole Miss. But with Cooper forced to the bench before his prime, Peyton must fight to win glory for them both. Meanwhile, Eli is challenged by his college coach to stop trailing in the footsteps of others and forge his own path. With Archie's achievements looming over them, the brothers begin the climb to football history. From the Manning family backyard to the bright lights of Super Bowl 50, The Mannings is an epic, inspiring saga of a family of tenacious competitors who have transfixed a nation.

©2016 Lars Anderson (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
Available on Audible
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The Miseducation of the Student Athlete

Summary

As the revenues generated by big-time college sports continue to skyrocket, virtually all of the debate involves whether (and how much) student-athletes should be paid for play. Kenneth L. Shropshire and Collin D. Williams Jr., argue that "student" has to come first in student-athlete: the focus should be on prioritizing a meaningful education. In The Miseducation of the Student Athlete: How to Fix College Sports, Shropshire and Williams draw on new research to reveal that it has become increasingly difficult for college athletes to balance school and sports, much less a social life, leading to serious economic, professional, and emotional consequences for young people. Given that fewer than two percent of all college men's basketball and football players will play at the professional level, the other 98 percent of student-athletes must be prepared to find and perform well in jobs outside of their respective field of play. In this bold call to action, Shropshire and Williams explain how we got here and what can be done about it. They lay out "The Student-Athlete Manifesto", a roadmap to increase the likelihood that student-athletes can succeed both on and off the field. They also offer a "Meaningful Degree Model", which ensures education pays for everyone, along with stories of success that teach that it is possible to be both a student and an athlete.

©2017 Kenneth L. Shropshire and Collin D. Williams, Jr. (P)2018 Gildan Media

Available on Audible
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What's My Name, Fool?

Summary

Here Edgeofsports.com sportswriter Dave Zirin shows how sports express the worst, as well as the most creative and exciting, features of American society. Zirin explores how Janet Jackson's Super Bowl flash-time show exposed more than a breast, why the labor movement has everything to learn from sports unions, and why a new generation of athletes is no longer content to "play one game at a time" and is starting to get political. What's My Name, Fool! draws on original interviews with former heavyweight champ George Foreman, Olympian and black power saluter John Carlos, NBA basketball player and anti-death penalty activist Etan Thomas, antiwar women's college hoopster Toni Smith, Olympic Project for Human Rights leader Lee Evans and many others. Popular sportswriter and commentator Dave Zirin is editor of The Prince George's Post (Maryland) and writes the weekly column "Edge of Sports" (edgeofsports.com). He is a senior writer at basketball.com. Zirin's writing has also appeared in The Source, Common Dreams, College Sporting News, CounterPunch, Alternet, International Socialist Review, Black Sports Network, War Times, San Francisco Bay View, and Z Magazine.

©2005 Dave Zirin (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Aaron Abano
Author: Dave Zirin
Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
Available on Audible
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Why Football Matters

Summary

Acclaimed essayist Mark Edmundson reflects on his own rite of passage as a high school football player to get to larger truths about the ways America's Game shapes its men.

Football teaches young men self-discipline and teamwork. But football celebrates violence. Football is a showcase for athletic beauty and physical excellence. But football damages young bodies and minds, sometimes permanently. Football inspires confidence and direction. But football instills cockiness, a false sense of superiority. The athlete is a noble figure with a proud lineage. The jock is America at its worst.

When Mark Edmundson's son began to play organized football, and proved to be very good at it, Edmundson had to come to terms with just what he thought about the game. Doing so took him back to his own childhood, when as a shy, soft boy growing up in a blue-collar Boston suburb in the sixties, he went out for the high school football team. Why Football Matters is the story of what happened to Edmundson when he tried to make himself into a football player.

What does it mean to be a football player? At first, Edmundson was hapless on the field. He was an inept player and a bad teammate. But over time, he got over his fears and he got tougher. He learned to be a better player and came to feel a part of the team, during games but also on all sorts of escapades, not all of them savory. By playing football, Edmundson became what he and his father hoped he'd be, a tougher, stronger young man, better prepared for life.

©2014 Mark Edmundson (P)2014 Recorded Books

Narrator: James Jenner
Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for How Fantasy Sports Explains the World

How Fantasy Sports Explains the World

Summary

An entertaining, anecdotal exploration of how the skills used in evaluating fantasy sports talent are one and the same with the skills we all use every day of our lives. The world of fantasy sports is no longer the purview of nerds and stat geeks. In fact, versions of the game are currently played by tens of millions of people worldwide. But while fantasy sports may have begun as a light-hearted diversion, to many of its participants winning or losing is no laughing matter. The book takes readers on a journey from the casinos of Atlantic City to charred Connecticut campgrounds, from the Last Supper to the Constitutional Convention that started our country down the road to democracy, from the back rooms of Wall Street to the jury rooms of our judicial system. In doing so, Mass demonstrates that winning fantasy advice can come from anyone and be found almost anywhere - the wit and wisdom of William Shakespeare, the scientific genius of Stephen Hawking, or the futuristic whimsy of a galaxy far, far away. Ultimately, How Fantasy Sports Explains the World is not a book about how to win your fantasy sports league. Instead, it is a collection of conversation starters and hypothetical scenarios that get right to the core of what makes fantasy games so compelling in the high-speed information age: how to process and make use of the bottomless pile of data presented to us on a daily basis.

©2011 AJ Mass (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Narrator: Todd Ellis
Author: A J. Mass
Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Against Football

Against Football

1 rating

Summary

In Against Football Steve Almond details why, after 40 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.

©2014 Steve Almond (P)2015 Tantor

Narrator: Peter Berkrot
Author: Steve Almond
Length: 4 hrs and 45 mins
Available on Audible