Jeanne Marie Laskas first met the young forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu in 2009, while reporting a story for GQ that would go on to inspire the movie Concussion. Omalu told her about a day in September 2002, when, in a dingy morgue in downtown Pittsburgh, he picked up a scalpel and made a discovery that would rattle America in ways he'd 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 ever to 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 Webster's brain--proof that Iron Mike's mental deterioration was no accident but a disease caused by blows to the head that could affect everyone playing the game--was the one truth the NFL wanted to ignore. Taut, gripping, and gorgeously told, Concussion is the stirring story of one unlikely man's decision to stand up to a multibillion-dollar colossus, and to tell the world the truth. Praise for Concussion
"A gripping medical mystery and a dazzling portrait of the young scientist no one wanted to listen to . . . a fabulous, essential read."--Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks "The story of Dr. Bennet Omalu's battle against the NFL is classic David and Goliath stuff, and Jeanne Marie Laskas--one of my favorite writers on earth--makes it as exciting as any great courtroom or gridiron drama. A riveting, powerful human tale--and a master class on how to tell a story."--Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit "Bennet Omalu forced football to reckon with head trauma. The NFL doesn't want you to hear his story, but Jeanne Marie Laskas makes it unforgettable. This book is gripping, eye-opening, and full of heart."--Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones
In between Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan there was Joe Namath, one of the very few sports heroes who transcended their game. The son of a Hungarian immigrant, Namath left the steel country of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, for the Deep South, where he played quarterback for Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. Almost four years later, he signed a $427,000 contract with the New York Jets that changed football forever, transforming a crude, violent game into show business. Namath became the most glamorous athlete in America his fame nurtured by the age of television, the point spread, and the sexual revolution. His hair, his draft deferment, and his white shoes became symbols for a generation. But it was his ?guarantee? of victory in Super Bowl III that ensured his legend.
In the tradition of Richard Ben Cramer's "Joe DiMaggio," David Maraniss's "A Life of Vince Lombardi," and Nick Tosches's "Dino," Mark Kriegel details Namath's journey from steeltown pool halls to the upper reaches of American celebrity and beyond. He renders Namath as an athlete and a man, a brave champion and a wounded soul. Here are Namath's complex relationships with pain and fame plus his appearances in pantyhose ads, on "The Simpsons," and Nixon's Enemies List. "Namath" is not just for football fans, but for any reader interested in the central role of sports in American culture.
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.
During the past three decades the University of Nebraska football program has set the pace for successful conditioning. Now, two members of the Cornhuskers' strength and conditioning staff present the same program used by Nebraska to power its way to national championships.
The book includes 98 proven position-specific exercises that help players at all levels improve speed, agility, power, and endurance. The guide covers basic training principles of adaptation, specificity, overload, and periodization. It also lists which drills are beneficial for some players but not for others, and includes guidelines for proper rest and balanced nutrition.
The authors explain how to test and evaluate each player by position, using eight skills or factors that separate starters from second-stringers.
The book also includes:
- guidelines for 6 warm-up drills and 9 flexibility and mobility exercises,
- illustrated lifting technique for 37 strength training exercises,
- 26 speed drills for honing acceleration, and
- 58 agility drills that apply principles of acceleration.
The authors include a chapter with sample workouts for offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, running backs, receivers, and defensive backs. They also provide base, development, peak, and in-season training programs for beginning, intermediate, and advanced players.
Players and coaches alike will love the specific, detailed approach of Complete Conditioning for Football. Find out what's behind "Husker Power" by using the book to gain the performance edge.
"In this book, Ben doesn't allow injury, setbacks, and disappointments to define him. His faith and love for his family provide perspective in the midst of challenging circumstances." --Tony Dungy, Hall of Fame Coach and author of Quiet Strength"I strongly encourage every parent, every child, and every person who plays or plans to play football and other high impact contact sports to read this book and become enlightened and empowered by Ben's powerful story." --Dr. Bennet Omalu, featured in the movie Concussion After five major concussions, NFL tight-end Ben Utecht of the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals 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. 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 a devastating way. After at least five major concussions--and an untold number of micro-concussions--Ben suffered multiple mild traumatic brain injuries that have erased 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 recorded his memories for them to hold on to 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 to speaking about the long-term effects of concussions before Congress, and how his faith keeps him strong and grounded as he looks toward an uncertain 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.
After an astonishing career-first in Scotland, and then over 27 years with Manchester United Football Club- Sir Alex Ferguson delivers Leading, in which the greatest soccer coach of all time will analyze the pivotal leadership decisions of his 38 years as a manager and, with his friend and collaborator Sir Michael Moritz, draw out lessons anyone can use in business and life to generate long-term transformational success.From hiring practices to firing decisions, from dealing with transition to teamwork, from mastering the boardroom to responding to failure and adversity, Leading is as inspiring as it is practical, and a go-to reference for any leader in business, sports, and life.
From its inauspicious beginnings as "The First World Championship Game between the AFL and NFL" in 1967 to the raucous worldwide cultural event that was Super Bowl 50, Allan Maki and Dave Naylor count down the greatest moments in each staging of the first 50 Super Bowls.
Be it Joe Namath's guaranteed victory in Super Bowl III or the Miami Dolphins' perfect ending in Super Bowl VII or David Tyree's helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII, all the iconic moments are recounted here, and more
MVP performances and game-changing plays are all included in this action packed book, filled with photos, informative stat boxes and essays that deliver a complete picture of how the biggest game in sports played out, year by year.
One-name heroes like Brady, Montana and Bradshaw share top billing with lesser-known, big-time contributors, like: Max McGee, Timmy Smith and Rod Martin. And what compendium of Super Bowl stories would be complete without a mention of the media moments, famous commercials and controversial plays that sometimes shared center stage with the on-field heroics?
From the highest highs to the lowest lows, Maki and Naylor cover it all in 50 Super Bowls.
- 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.