A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction of 2011 title
Jim Dent, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Junction Boys, returns with a powerful Texas story which transcends college football, displaying the courage and determination of one of the game's most valiant players.
Freddie Steinmark was an under-sized but scrappy young man when he arrived in Austin as a freshman at the University of Texas in 1967. Despite the pronouncement by many coaches that he was too small to play football at the college level, Freddie was a tenacious competitor who vowed to start every game as a varsity Longhorn.
By the start of the 1969 season, Freddie was making his mark on the college gridiron and national stage as UT's star safety, but he'd also developed a crippling pain in his thigh that worried his high school sweetheart, Linda. Despite the increasingly debilitating pain, Freddie continued to play throughout the season, helping the Longhorns to rip through opponents like pulpwood. His final game was for the national championship at the end of 1969, when the Longhorns rallied to beat Arkansas in a legendary game that has become known as "the Game of the Century."
Tragically, bone cancer took Freddie off the field when nothing else could. But nothing could extinguish his irrepressible spirit or keep him away from the game. Although his struggle with cancer would be short-lived, Freddie's fight would inspire the nation as well as thousands of cancer victims, earning him a special citation from President Richard Nixon. Today, a photo of Freddie hangs in the tunnel at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, where players touch it before games en route to the field. With this moving story, a Brian's Song for college football, Jim Dent once again brings readers to cheers and tears with a truly American tale of resolution and bravery in the face of the worst odds.
In this detailed though ultimately disappointing biography, Dent (The Junction Boys) again turns his attention to the glory days of college football, chronicling the sadly truncated life of Freddie Steinmark (1949 1971). As an undersize sophomore starter at safety for the University of Texas, Steinmark possessed intelligence and guts, which made him an invaluable contributor. But as a junior in 1969, Steinmark's play dipped, and everyone couldn't help notice that he walked with a limp. Steinmark completed the regular season in tremendous pain; doctors discovered a bone sarcoma and eventually removed the young man's cancer-ravaged left leg. Dent's biography of a courageous student-athlete grappling with adversity starts promisingly before becoming submerged in country-fried descriptions (a strong-armed quarterback could "throw a football through a car wash without it getting wet"), interminable game recaps, and profiles of seemingly everyone Steinmark ever met.
Best Sports Story
Emotional yet uplifting!
Courage Beyond The Game
What a great book . I have read all your books , an Im telling everyone to read them all . What great stories where every page is a must read .You are truly a great writer an Im waiting for your next book . What else can I say ?
THANK YOU MR. DENT!!!!
& THANK U MR. STEINMARK FOR SHOWING ME A VERY IMPORTANT LESSON, & THAT IS: IT DOESN'T MATTER IF SOMEONE IS 7 FT TALL, OR IF THEY'RE SHORTER THEN 5 FT. IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU CAN BENCH-PRESS 400 OR 150. AS LONG AS YOU HAVE "THE DRIVE" TO SUCCEED, THERE IS NOTHING STOPPING YOU FROM ACCOMPLISHING YOUR GOALS.
Thank you Mr. Dent for a FANTASTIC/INSPIRATIONAL read, & Thank you Mr. Steinmark for showing me that even though somebody might be under-sized, that YOU can still "PACK A PUNCH"!!!