The Quarterback Whisperer: How to Build an Elite NFL Quarterback

By Bruce Arians and Lars Anderson

Book Cover: The Quarterback Whisperer: How to Build an Elite NFL Quarterback

What is an elite NFL QB and what separates that player from the others? One answer is the coach they share. In the recent history of the biggest game on earth, one man is the common thread that connects several of the very best in the sport: Peyton Manning; Ben Roethlisberger; Andrew Luck; and the resurgent Carson Palmer. That coach is Bruce Arians.

A larger than life visionary who trained under the tutelage of Bear Bryant, Arians has had a major impact on the development and success of each of these players. For proof beyond the stats, go to the sources.

Bruce is gonna love you when you need some loving, but he's gonna jump on you when you're not doing right. - Peyton Manning

He coaches the way players want to be coached. - Ben Roethlisberger

He made players comfortable around him and let everybody have their own personality. He didn't force anybody to be someone they weren't. It may sound a little corny or cheesy, but there's merit to that. I felt comfortable being myself and I felt he had my back. - Andrew Luck

We're a resilient group. It trickles down from the head coach. I think good teams, really good teams, and hopefully great teams take on their coach's mentality. I think that's what B.A. brings... - Carson Palmer

Known around the game as the 'quarterback whisperer', Arians has an uncanny ability to both personally connect with his quarterbacks and to locate what the individual triggers are for that player to succeed. No two quarterbacks are the same. And yet with Arians they always share success. In this book Arians will explain how he does it.

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Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection

By George Karl

Book Cover: Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection

The most outspoken and combative coach in NBA history—and one of the most successful, amassing more than 1,175 victories, the sixth best winning record ever—reflects on his life, his career, and his battles on and off the basketball court in this no-holds-barred memoir

A man of deep passion and intensity, George Karl earned his bad boy reputation while playing at the University of North Carolina, a rap that continued through the five years he spent with the San Antonio Spurs—and long after he stopped playing.

Karl’s beery nights, fistfights, and barking followed him into a thirty-five-year coaching career. In a game defined by big stakes and bigger egos, rabid fans and an unforgiving media, Karl was hired and fired a dozen times. After leading a team beset by injuries and with no superstar to its best season of all time—an achievement that earned Karl the title NBA Coach of the Year—he was dumped by the Denver Nuggets in 2013. Less than a year and a half later, Karl was at the helm of the Sacramento Kings, snarling and bellowing on the sidelines before being cut loose in May 2016.

Intense, obstinate, and loud, Karl has never backed down from a confrontation, whether with management, officials, or star players, as NBA legends from Allan Iverson to Gary Payton to Carmelo Anthony to Demarcus Cousins can attest. Telling his story, Karl holds nothing back as he speaks out about the game that has defined his life, including the greed, selfishness, and ass-covering he believes are characteristic of the modern NBA player, and the rampant corruption that leads all the way to the office of the NBA commissioner, David Stern. Karl also reveals how he’s learned to deal with the personalities, the pressure, and the setbacks with a resilience he acquired from his three bouts with cancer.

Raw, hard-hitting, and brutally honest, Furious George is as thrilling, unpredictable, and entertaining as the game that has defined Karl’s life.

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The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, and Baseball’s Most Historic Record

By John Eisenberg

Book Cover: The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, and Baseball's Most Historic Record

The fascinating story of baseball’s most legendary “Iron Men,” Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig, who each achieved the coveted and sometimes confounding record of most consecutive games played

When Cal Ripken Jr. began his career with the Baltimore Orioles at age twenty-one, he had no idea he’d beat the historic record of playing 2,130 games in a row set by Lou Gehrig, the fabled “Iron Horse” of the New York Yankees. When Ripken beat that record by 502 games, the baseball world was floored. Few feats in sports history have generated more acclaim. But the record spawns an array of questions. Was his streak or Gehrig’s the more difficult achievement? Who owned the record before Gehrig? When did someone first think it was a good idea to play in so many games without taking a day off?

Through probing research, meticulous analysis, and colorful parallel storytelling, The Streak delves into this impressive but controversial milestone, unraveling Gehrig’s at times unwitting pursuit of that goal and Ripken’s fierce determination to play the game his way. Along the way Eisenberg dives deep into the history of the record and offers a portrait of the pastime in different eras, going back more than a century.

The question looms: Was it harder for Ripken or Gehrig to play every day for so long? The length of seasons, the number of teams in the major leagues, the inclusion of non-white players, travel, technology, and even media are all part of the equation. Larger than all of this, however, is a book that captures the deeply American appreciation—as seen in the sport itself—for that workaday mentality and that desire to be there for the game they love, the job they are paid to do.

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Game of Shadows

Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada

Book Cover: Game of Shadows

This is the complete inside story of the BALCO steroids scandal from the award-winning reporters who broke the news nationally. In the summer of 1998, as baseball was still struggling to regain popularity lost during the contentious 1994 players’ strike that caused the World Series to be canceled, a race to break the home-run record transfixed the nation. Over the next three seasons, baseball players across the country hit home runs at unprecedented rates. Although sportswriters pointed to suspicions of "juiced" baseballs and small parks being responsible, there were whispers that illegal performance-enhancing drugs were being used. But home runs were big business, and baseball carried on with a weak performance-drug testing regime.

In December of 2004, after more than a year of investigation, San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams broke the story that in a federal investigation of a nutritional supplement company called BALCO, Barry Bonds and fellow slugger Jason Giambi had admitted to taking steroids. Immediately the issue of steroids in baseball became front-page news. In Game of Shadows, Fainaru-Wada and Williams expose the secrets of BALCO, illuminating how professional athletes risked their health for a competitive edge.

Timeless Swing

Tom Watson with Nick Seitz

Book Cover: Timeless Swing

Tom Watson, a few months short of his sixtieth birthday, led the 2009 British Open with one hole to play and came within an unlucky bounce of winning it for the sixth time. His stunning performance electrified the golf world and showcased a swing that has endured as a model of good mechanics, rhythm, and repeatability.

In The Timeless Swing, Watson draws on all the knowledge and expertise he has accumulated over the course of his extraordinary career, imparting lessons that will help golfers of any age play to the best of their abilities and enjoy the game more. From fundamentals like learning the proper grip to advanced shotmaking techniques such as swinging in wind, he breaks down the full swing into all its parts and explains with his trademark easy voice the most effective ways for mastering each. Watson complements these lessons with time-tested drills and also offers a variety of tips and exercises to help golfers continue to swing well as they get older. And for the first time ever, he reveals the two key concepts he considers the most important of all—concepts that can enable players of all levels to attain a timeless swing.

The Timeless Swing is illustrated with stunning photographs by award-winning Golf Digest photographer Dom Furore, and Watson carefully draws the reader’s eye to what is essential in each photo, providing the kind of easy-to-understand guidance usually found only in private lessons. With a foreword by Jack Nicklaus and archival highlights of Tom Watson’s most memorable shots and tournaments, this is an indispensable guide from a consummate teacher and one of the most respected and admired players in the game.

Knuckler

Tim Wakefield and Tony Massarotti

Book Cover: Knuckler

Tim Wakefield is an enigma. At forty-four years old, he is the longest-serving member of one of baseball’s most popular franchises. He has pitched more games than any other player in Red Sox history, and in 2011 he reached the milestone of 200 career victories. Yet few realize the full measure of his success. In fact, that his career can be characterized by such words as longevity and consistency defies all odds, because he has achieved all of this with the game’s most mercurial weapon—the knuckleball.

Knuckler is the story of how a struggling position player risked his future on a fickle pitch that would eventually define his career, making him one of the most respected players in the game. It is also a lively and entertaining meditation on the dancing pitch, its history, its mechanics, its mystique, and the inevitable ironies it brings to bear.

One Breath: Death, Free Diving, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits

Adam Skolnick

Book Cover: One Breath: Death, Free Diving, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits

Competitive freediving—a sport built on diving as deep as possible on a single breath—tests the limits of human ability in the most hostile environment on earth. The unique and eclectic breed of individuals who freedive at the highest level regularly dive hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface, reaching such depths that their organs compress, light disappears, and one mistake could kill them.

Even among freedivers, few have ever gone as deep as Nicholas Mevoli. A handsome young American with an unmatched talent for the sport, Nick was among freediving’s brightest stars. He was also an extraordinary individual, one who rebelled against the vapid and commoditized society around him by relentlessly questing for something more meaningful and authentic, whatever the risks. So when Nick Mevoli arrived at Vertical Blue in 2013, the world’s premier freediving competition, he was widely expected to challenge records and continue his meteoric rise to stardom.

Instead, before the end of that fateful competition Nick Mevoli had died, a victim of the sport that had made him a star, and the very future of free diving was called into question. With unparalleled access and masterfully crafted prose, One Breath tells his unforgettable story, and of the sport which shaped and ultimately destroyed him.

On Par

Bill Pennington

Book Cover: On Par

Bill Pennington, author of the beloved and widely read “On Par” golf column for the New York Times, knows how to interpret the experts and pros for the rest of us. For years, he has traveled the globe in search of golf’s essentials—those basic principles, those elusive truths (and who are we kidding, any trick or quick fix he can pick up along the way) that will improve anyone’s game. He has consulted the world’s leading golf instructors as well as countless caddies, groundskeepers, parking lot attendants, and bartenders. He has played rounds with Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, and Justin Timberlake. He has sought the advice of psychiatrists, physicists, economists, zen masters. And on a particularly bad golf outing, he has even discussed the fickleness of golf with a quite helpful raccoon.

On Par captures it all: From equipment and instruction, to the rules and language of golf, to camaraderie and psychology, to the short game/long game debate, Pennington informs and entertains as he gets to the essence of this mercurial game, including golf’s holy grail, the hole in one.

Part instruction, part education, part therapy, and shot through with Pennington’s trademark wit, this is a book for everyone who has ever felt the game’s distinct pull—and slice.

Once a Runner

John L. Parker, Jr.

Book Cover: Once a Runner

Originally self-published in 1978, Once a Runner captures the essence of competitive running—and of athletic competition in general—and has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever published.

Inspired by the author’s experience as a collegiate champion, the story focuses on Quenton Cassidy, a competitive runner at fictional Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. He is less than a second away when the turmoil of the Vietnam War era intrudes into the staid recesses of his school’s athletic department. After he becomes involved in an athletes’ protest, Cassidy is suspended from his track team. Under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, Bruce Denton, a graduate student and former Olympic gold medalist, Cassidy gives up his scholarship, his girlfriend, and possibly his future to withdraw to a monastic retreat in the countryside and begin training for the race of his life against the greatest miler in history.

A rare insider’s account of the incredibly intense lives of elite distance runners, Once a Runner is an inspiring, funny, and spot-on tale of one man’s quest to become a champion.