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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Hilarious, and straight talking but also articulate and insightful - I am just hugely fond of this guy' -Eddie Jones 'James Haskell: what a flanker, what a book' -Rugby World 'I'd like to be remembered as a player who showed that you can be incredibly professional but also a lot of fun - a bit of a joker in the changing room, but the ultimate competitor on the pitch. That should have been the subtitle of this book, really...' One of rugby's most ferocious flankers and biggest characters, James Haskell has had an extraordinary, global experience of the game, having played for the Wasps, Northampton and England, and in New Zealand, France and Japan. After seventeen years and with 77 international caps under his sizeable belt, he has a shitload to say about rugby life - from pitch to pub and everywhere in between. In What A Flanker, Haskell sheds fresh light on the dynamics and the day-to-day of the game. Whether he's recalling the most brutal team socials; dispelling the myths surrounding New Zealand's dominance; introducing his Japanese teammates to manscaping or calling out play-acting in the modern game, no subject is off limits. Side-splittingly funny and ruthlessly honest, What A Flanker delves into the touring, drinking, training, eating and sometimes unconscionable antics of the professional rugby player. It's an unforgettable read, even if there are some stories you'd rather forget... [Correction: in the author biography and on p.22 of this book, it is stated in error that the House of Rugby podcast is now known as The Good, The Bad and The Rugby. The House of Rugby podcast continues and The Good, The Bad and The Rugby is a separate podcast.]
True story of how a hoodoo that afflicted the Chicago Cubs for over 100 years was revealed and ultimately---according to the author--exorcized by Cub fans around the world through a series of discoveries, rituals, and hoodoo cleansing events. A story of goats, black cats, Red Sox, White Sox, superstitions and at least one incredible account of voodoo. Ground Zero for Cubs fans near and far.
In the summer of 1932, at the beginning of the turbulent decade that would remake America, baseball fans were treated to one of the most thrilling seasons in the history of the sport. As the nation drifted deeper into the Great Depression and reeled from social unrest, baseball was a diversion for a troubled country-and yet the world of baseball was marked by the same edginess that pervaded the national scene. On-the-field fights were as common as double plays. Amid the National League pennant race, Cubs' shortstop Billy Jurges was shot by showgirl Violet Popovich in a Chicago hotel room. When the regular season ended, the Cubs and Yankees clashed in what would be Babe Ruth's last appearance in the fall classic. After the Cubs lost the first two games in New York, the series resumed in Chicago at Wrigley Field, with Democratic presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt cheering for the visiting Yankees from the box seats behind the Yankees' dugout. In the top of the fifth inning the game took a historic turn. As Ruth was jeered mercilessly by Cubs players and fans, he gestured toward the outfield and then blasted a long home run. After Ruth circled the bases, Roosevelt exclaimed, "Unbelievable!" Ruth's homer set off one of baseball's longest-running and most intense debates: did Ruth, in fact, call his famous home run? Rich with historical context and detail, The Called Shot dramatizes the excitement of a baseball season during one of America's most chaotic summers.
The UK's most downloaded sports title of 2012! The prequel to the Movie Top Dog starring Leo Gregory - Directed by Martin Kemp APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEPTIVE - as As Paul Jarvis of the National Soccer Intelligence Unit is only too well aware. He knows that Billy Evans is no ordinary Cockney lad made good. He's also a thug, a villain and a cop killer. Jarvis just hasn't been able to prove it...Yet. So when Jarvis discovers that Evans is putting together a hooligan 'Super Crew' to follow the England national soccer team to Italy, he feels sure he can finally put Evans behind bars - if only someone can infiltrate the group and get him the proof he needs. But nothing is ever that simple. The Crew believe Evans is just out for a full-on riot. Jarvis thinks he's trafficking drugs. But Billy Evans is always one step ahead. He has another plan. And it will be catastrophic for everyone concerned. EXCEPT HIM.
For most baseball teams, the 2020 season was a strange, short, fanless diversion--but not in Los Angeles. After years of frustrating playoff runs, they finally reclaimed the World Series trophy after more than 30 years, led by their star pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, their electric new outfielder, Mookie Betts, and a bevy of impressive young players assembled by their hard-charging, ingenious team President, Andrew Friedman. The collection of talent that took the field in 2020, and again in 2021, was nothing short of a superteam, on a par with the dynastic Yankees of the 1990s. Yet winning at modern baseball is nothing like it was even 20 years ago. In the years since Billy Beane's famous Moneyball teams, baseball has grown to look less like a sport and more like a Wall Street firm that traded its boiler room for a field. Teams relentlessly exploit inefficiencies, new innovations, and tiny advantages--sometimes without regard for the rules of the game. The result is a sport that has never been played at a higher level, yet has seen its TV ratings and attendance numbers in long, slow decline. And with the league's collective bargaining agreement set to expire at the end of 2021, a labor crisis looms. This fascinating book not only examines the remarkable Dodgers team that won it all, but offers a unique view inside a sport that can't seem to break its addiction to winning at all costs--even when those costs might be the future of the game. From Kershaw's late-career breakthrough to Friedman's machinations, it shows what it takes to win, and what it will take to save the sport.
'It was a harsh intrusion into the peaceful setting of a village cricket match. In the countryside gunshots are not unusual. Farmers are not averse to potting rabbits or scaring birds off their crops. In those circumstances more than one shot would be expected. It might have been a car backfiring. It was the fact that some people thought they had a heard a scream that tended to rule out these explanations.' Fatally Cricket portrays the world of village cricket at its most murderous.
`Magnificent... Freakonomics for football' - Guardian This is the revised and expanded 5th edition of the international bestseller about why Spain, Germany and Brazil win, and why the USA, Japan, Australia - and even Iraq - are destined to become the kings of the world's most popular sport. Football truly is the world's favourite game, followed in over 200 countries by hundreds of millions of people pouring their hearts and souls into supporting their chosen team every week. But behind the passion are questions that all true football aficionados want to know: why do England lose whilst German and Brazil win? How have Spain conquered the world? Why do so many clubs buy the wrong players? Fully revised and updated, Soccernomics is the revolutionary guide from an economist and a sports writer who answer all these questions and more.
Bristol Rovers programme editor Keith Brookman has collaborated with former club photographer Alan Marshall to look back at a decade in the life of Bristol's oldest professional football club. So much happened during those 10 years and the photos contained within these pages offer only a tantalising glimpse of some of the players and events that are now consigned to the club's illustrious past. Keith has researched and added detailed descriptions of all the images to produce a document that charts the highs and lows of life at Bristol Rovers from 1991-2001. A decade that began with the departure of Gerry Francis as manager saw so many changes, not least the move back from Bath to Bristol and, eventually a home they could call their own. Managers and players came and went, there were two relegations and another trip to Wembley and some memorable football along the way.
Billy Cannon's name, his image, and his remarkable athletic career serve as emblems for Louisiana State University, the Southeastern Conference, and college football. LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner, Cannon led the Tigers to a national championship in 1958, igniting a love of the game in Louisiana and establishing a tradition of greatness at LSU. But like many stories of lionized athletes who rise to the status of legend, there was a fall -- and in the case of Billy Cannon, also redemption. For the first time, Charles N. deGravelles reveals in full the thrilling highs and unexpected lows of Cannon's life, in Billy Cannon: A Long, Long Run. Through conversations with Cannon, deGravelles follows the athlete-turned-reformer from his boyhood in a working-class Baton Rouge neighborhood to his sudden rush of fame as the leading high school running back in the country. Personal and previously unpublished stories about Cannon's glory days at LSU and his stellar but controversial career in the pros, as well as details of his indictment for counterfeiting and his post-release work as staff dentist at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, unfold in a riveting biography characterized by uncanny success, deep internal struggles, and a champion's spirit that pushed through it all.
A star athlete shares her trailblazing account of triumph in the face of sexism, self-doubt, and injury, gives a remarkable global tour of the women's soccer world, and presents a stirring call-to-action to secure equal pay and conditions. When Susie Petruccelli won a place on Harvard University's soccer team, she felt on top of the world--talented, strong, and worthy. Unfortunately, after sustaining injuries and developing health problems, she felt her worth slip away. In this remarkable memoir, Petruccelli reveals how she battled her way back onto the field and continued to fight even after she hung up her cleats. She distills the significance of not giving up on oneself and inspires players of all sports who've faced injuries to persevere. She also brings to light the inequities and discrimination female athletes face that she's traveled the world to see and document firsthand, and introduces the international athletes and activists fighting for equal pay and conditions. In so doing, she reveals the progress made, as well as the battles ahead and the force of the movement. Raised a Warrior is the winner of the Vikki Orvice Prize and has been praised by a wide range of sports icons from Pele to Billie Jean King.
Prince Alexander Sergeevich Obolensky made his name on a cold January day at Twickenham in 1936, his achievements captured for posterity by the newsreels of the time. On his England debut, having already scored one exhilarating try, the striking blond winger collected a pass on the right and, path blocked, veered left at such a pace that a line of opponents were left grasping at thin air. It was a historic try, unrivalled in skill and speed - and it inspired England's first ever victory over the All Blacks. Born to a noble family in St Petersburg in 1916, he had been due a life of wealth and privilege, until revolution forced the Obolenskys to flee Russia. Arriving in Britain with just a handful of possessions, they were reduced to relying on handouts, little Alex's very education resting on the charity of others. But as the young boy began his new life in a strange country, it was his natural sporting ability that would bring him lasting fame. The controversial selection for England of a Russian-born prince was a huge story in the press, stirring up xenophobia as well as excitement at the 19-year-old Oxford student's sheer pace. His later exploits on and off the field would keep his name in the papers, yet Alex was destined to win only four international caps, despite touring with the Lions and appearing for the Barbarians. After joining the RAF to serve his adopted king and country, he died at the controls of a Hurricane in March 1940. Bringing a fascinating era to life, The Flying Prince explores the mystery and mythology surrounding Alexander Obolensky, and for the first time tells the full story of the sporting hero who died too young.
THE CROSS SPORTS BOOK AWARDS AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR The Sunday Times bestseller is 'brilliant, gripping, beautifully written, real,' says Jonathan Northcroft. So, you think you know Joey Barton. Think again. No Nonsense is a game-changing autobiography which will redefine the most fascinating figure in British football. It is the raw yet redemptive story of a man shaped by rejection and the consequences of his mistakes. He has represented England, and been a pivotal player for Manchester City, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, Marseille, Burnley and Glasgow Rangers, but his career has featured recurring controversy. The low point of being sent to prison for assault in 2008 proved to be the catalyst for the re-evaluation of his life. No Nonsense reflects Barton's character - it is candid, challenging, entertaining and intelligent. He does not spare himself, in revealing the formative influences of a tough upbringing in Liverpool, and gives a survivor's insight into a game which, to use his phrase, 'eats people alive'. The book is emotionally driven, and explains how he has redirected his energies since the birth of his children. In addition to dealing with his past, he expands on his plans for the future. In this updated edition he speaks frankly about the gambling addiction that has left him facing a hefty ban. The millions who follow his commentaries on social media, and those who witnessed him on BBC's Question Time, will be given another reason to pause, and look beyond the caricature. 'Compelling' Donald McRae, Guardian 'Brilliant' Matt Lawton, Daily Mail
The National Pastime is the annual review of baseball historical research and regional topics published by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Each year the publication focuses on the history of baseball in a different region or city, following the annual SABR convention from one major league territory to another.
If, as a Springbok rugby fan, you have always wondered what goes on behind the scenes – in the dressing room, at practice, in team talks and on tour – this book will provide the answer to those questions, and many, many more. Renowned rugby scribe Gavin Rich has interviewed a wide cross-section of Springboks from the post-isolation era and asked them a variety of questions, including pertinent ones about politics, the exodus of players overseas and about life after rugby.
In Our Blood Is Green, more than 40 Springbok rugby players talk about their careers: how they made it to the top of their profession, what it was like to face the pressures of playing for South Africa’s national team, how they dealt with the media, the officials, and yes, the coaches who didn’t know what they were doing! They answer questions like: is there still a divide between English- and Afrikaans-speaking players, does the ‘quota’ system work, is Bok rugby all about playing for the jersey or is it, as former All Black coach Graham Henry once said, nationalism that drives the South African team? And what is it like to play against the British & Irish Lions, or to face the haka, or sing our national anthem before an international Test …?
By allowing the players to tell their own stories in their own words, Rich offers readers a comprehensive view of the players’ personal experiences, as well as their thoughts on the game today and the way forward for rugby in this country. Our Blood Is Green is a compelling read for rugby fans of all ages.
From Gazza and Cantona to Fergie and Wenger, the early years of the Premier League showcased some of English football's greatest personalities. Shoot: Celebrating the Best of the Premier League Years brings back fond memories of that beloved era - the days of seriously oversized shirts, extravagant goal celebrations, continental entertainers and managerial mind games. This captivating compilation lifts the best articles and funniest features from the 1990s and early 2000s, as Shoot followed English football's transformation into the global powerhouse we know today. An unashamed wallow in football nostalgia, it features all the favourites you'd expect, including the Roy of the Rovers comic strip, the irreverent Over The Top, the always-controversial Greavsie column and more.
'A great, authentic read that serves as a timely reminder that there is "super" to be found in every league' Colin Murray Gus Poyetdeclared it to be the toughest league in England. Neil Warnock believes it to be the tightest division in Europe. Norwich bossDaniel Farkewent further still: 'The Championship, without any doubt, is the toughest league in the world.' The second tier of English football has a well-deserved reputation as the most exciting league in football. Anything can happen, and often does. In The Hard Yards, Nige Tassell - author of the modern classic The Bottom Corner - tells the Championship's hidden stories, taking the reader on an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the 2020-21 season, one like no other. From Bournemouth up to Middlesbrough, Swansea across to Norwich, and all points in between, he interviews players, managers, chairmen, backroom staff, fans and broadcasters to reveal exactly what life is like one step below the Premier League bubble. The groundsman in charge of keeping the pitch in shape, the TV reporter covering several matches every week, the veteran player who lives and breathes the league, the long-suffering supporter - they all have tales about what makes this tier so hard, so gripping, so unpredictable. The Championship is a league brimming with heart and soul, where the divide between triumph and despair, Premier League ecstasy and lower-league agony, couldn't be any narrower. With stakes this high, drama is guaranteed. 'With this enlightening book, Nige Tassell absolutely nails the brilliant and the drama of the Championship. A screamer into the top corner! Chris Sutton 'The F. Scott Fitzgerald of football writing' Ian McMillan
THE CRICKET SOCIETY/MCC BOOK OF THE YEAR and THE BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS CRICKET BOOK OF THE YEAR. Shane Warne dominated airwaves and headlines for twenty years, his actions on and off the field rarely out of the news. In On Warne, Gideon Haigh assesses this greatest of sportsmen as cricketer, character, comrade, newsmaker and international figure. The result is one of the most compelling cricket books ever written that sheds new light on one of the game's most intriguing personalities. 'Australia's finest cricket writer on the greatest and most flamboyant spin bowler in history' The Times 'An affectionate yet judicious study that will probably never be surpassed' Cricinfo 'A characteristically sharp and elegant analysis of the Warne phenomenon' Times Literary Supplement
The Life and Death of Andy Ducat is the fascinating and captivating biography of one of England's earliest sporting heroes. The story starts in the reign of Queen Victoria and ends, tragically, on the hallowed turf of Lord's Cricket Ground during the Second World War. History has not been kind to Andy Ducat, and his untimely death in 1942, while playing at Lord's, is the only fact known by many about this sporting idol. Andy is one of a select band of men to represent England at football and cricket. In football, he captained Aston Villa to FA Cup glory in 1920 and made Arsenal's 'Greatest 50 players'. In cricket, Andy scored more than 23,000 first-class runs and played for Surrey in a team of greats such as Hobbs, Sandham and Fender. Andy was a gifted sportsman with a core philosophy of fair play, which made him universally liked. However, his contribution to English sport in the early years of the 20th century has been forgotten. It is time for a new generation of sports fans to discover Andy's story.
Everyone's image of the ideal cricket ground will be a village field, fringed by trees, the outfield dappled with clovers and buttercups, swallows flitting above... And what of all the other wildlife associated with this most natural of sports? At the Oval these days, Test Match Special's commentators remark on the resident foxes as often as the traditional pigeons. At Teddington Town CC in London's Bushy Park matches are frequently interrupted by incursions of deer; at Lyndhurst in the New Forest by wild ponies. At Kirkby Lonsdale CC in Cumbria the local fungus group found 20 species of waxcap on the outfield. For some reason hoopoes, spectacular orange and black-crested birds from southern Europe, favour cricket grounds on their rare migrations to the UK. This unique, funny, delightful cricket book from left field explores the relationship between cricket grounds and the natural world, from wildlife records to the Edwardian cricket writings of Edmund Blunden, and in many remarkable photos.
A look at the early years of the great Lucas Radebe and Mark Fish, one black and one white footballer. It moves from football played with rolled-up old socks on the dusty veldt, to the glamour and passion of the English Premiership and the World Cup.;It traces the struggle for liberation in the township of Diepklooit and the backlash of apartheid Pretoria to the establishment of a democratic state. We follow Mark and Lucas's efforts on behalf of Bafana Bafana, at times heroic, at times controversial, as they steer their national side from African soccer baby to football giant in less than a decade.
A lot of rucking and mauling has gone on since William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball and ran, but this doughty little book heroically manages to capture the true essence of the daddy of all oval ball games in just 80 minutes (plus 20 minutes of overtime). This is the story of rugby as never been told before: a jinking, weaving compilation of surreal match reports, spoof correspondence and quirky cartoons. From the playing fields of Edwardian England's public schools to the canopied splendour of Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, the game's towering achievements, hilarious happenings and ludicrous coincidences are entertainingly recalled.
Beginning in an era before traffic jams, air-conditioning, and Atlanta's ascension to international fame, Tim Darnell chronicles the emergence of amateur and minor-league baseball in various forms in Atlanta from just after the Civil War through the rise of the Crackers (1901-65).Through never-before-published player interviews, rare illustrations, extensive charts and statistics, and thorough research, Darnell examines the drama and politics that affected the Crackers over the years. Also profiled is the Black Crackers, Atlanta's Negro Southern League franchise whose success and popularity paralleled those of their white counterparts.The Crackers is a light-hearted, fun, and engrossing history of a time, a people, and one very special centerfield magnolia tree whose stories are legend to this day.Includes a Crackers Trivia Quiz, and appendices with records and statistics.
Golf has been around for over 600 years, its origins tracing back to the links in Scotland in the fifteenth century. Since then, the game has spread worldwide, with millions of fans and players from all walks of life. Born on the Links: A Concise History of Golf encompasses the entire history of this popular sport, from the fifteenth century up to the present. It covers the development of golf equipment, rules, and playing fields, and shows how the game changed from a pastime exclusively for the rich to a sport that is played by millions of people of all classes, ages, and backgrounds. In addition, this book details the lives and accomplishments of the many iconic players of the game-including Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Ben Hogan, Charlie Sifford, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, and Tiger Woods-and their greatest moments on the golf course. Additional chapters focus exclusively on the history of African Americans and women in the sport, recognizing their distinct struggles for equality and recognition, as well as their ultimate triumphs. A comprehensive yet readable resource, Born on the Links also features a timeline of golf history, lists of the winners and runners-up of every major professional and amateur golf championship held since 1860, the winner of every major international team and cup competition held since 1922, and more. The most up-to-date history of golf, this book will entertain and inform all fans and historians of the game.
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