Christmas shopping may be tough, but here’s a list of 10 books for that hard to buy for athlete not in your life:
(1)New Approaches to Preventing Suicide by Louis Appleby
Football had gotten boring, but that all changed after an attempted overdose on painkillers by Terrell Owens as he continued his trend of grabbing headlines. After a training camp filled with pulled hamstrings and a Tour de France uniform, Owens apparently was rushed to the hospital after his publicist removed pills from his mouth. The spin started the next day when that very same publicist attributed the hospital trip to a bad reaction to the pills. Turns out the body doesn’t react so well to painkillers when you eat an entire bottle of them.
(2) The Code: The Unwritten Rules Of Fighting And Retaliation In The NHL by Ross Bernstein
The most alarming aspect of the fight in Madison Square Garden was the conduct of one Carmelo Anthony. ‘Melo projects an image of a badass from Baltimore, and does it fairly well. In the midst of the brawl, Anthony landed a sucker punch the likes of which can be seen in any bar fight on any given Saturday night. After his punch, Anthony showed that he had potential to play DB at Syracuse when he did his Donovan Darius impression and backpedaled across the court. I haven’t seen anyone backpedal that fast since Archer outfitted his D with ice-skates against Central Michigan.
(3) The John Elway Story by Bob Rosato
In admittedly the only professional soccer game I’ve ever fully watched, the second half of the World Cup Finals was made interesting only after the now infamous Zinedine Zidane headbutt. Zidane’s career was coming to a storybook ending as he was playing for his country in the World Cup final but chose to instead be red-carded (ejected for you non futbol fans). Unlike our friend John Elway who rode into the sunset a legend, Zidane apparently decided he wanted to change the stereotype of French people in one decleating headbutt.
(4) Game of Shadows by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams
Lance Armstrong was always pestered by doping accusations during his Tour de France run, so why were we surprised when Floyd Landis was stripped of his title? Not that anyone really cares about competitive bike riding, but the Landis scandal seemingly will never end until a Frenchman wins le Tour.
(5) My Prison Without Bars by Pete Rose
Every sport has its legend, and Wayne Gretzky has been doing his best to tarnish his reputation. Gretzky, whose Coyotes are on the bottom on the NHL standings, let his wife pull a Pete Rose and bet on hockey. His spot in the Hall of Fame will never be touched, but it makes one wonder, is The Great One giving his woman a little too much room to run wild?
(6) The Motorcycle Helmet: The 1930s-1990s by Rin Tanaka
Apparently, Ben Roethlisberger has never heard of Jason Williams, Jamie Henderson or Kellen Winslow, because he chose to ride his Hog without the benefit of a helmet. He wears a helmet when 250lb linebackers run at him, and that seems to work, but it seems his skull and concrete didn’t need the aid of a sissy helmet.
(7) The Godfather by Mario Puzo
In what is arguably the most bizarre story of the year, Maurice Clarett was arrested with what is apparently a tie to the Israeli Mob. How an overrated rated running back that only played half a year of college football is now in jail for owing a mobster money is a story that will undoubtedly be a book of its own. Oye vey.
(8) The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow by John C. Maxwell
How Miami let itself get into a brawl with a powerhouse like Florida International is beyond me, but more interestingly is the conduct of team captain Brandon Meriweather. They say a team is only as good as its leaders, so I guess if there was a contest for head stomping, Larry Coker would still have a job.
(9) Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Sports always has a way of making you laugh, and this was the case when Lions Defensive Line coach Joe Cullen was arrested for driving through a drive-thru in the nude. Can you imagine being the Taco Bell girl whose shift is about to end when a grown man comes to your window without clothes? About as good as a cheesy gordita crunch I’m sure. A DUI within the same week makes you think Cullen is the wrong kinda crazy to be coaching D-Line.
(10) How March Became Madness: How the NCAA Tournament Became the Greatest Sporting Event in America by Eddie Einhorn and and Ron Rapoport
The BCS started strong in 2006. USC was slated to defend its glass ball and try to complete its unique Three-Pete Carroll against Texas in what was one of the best college football games ever. At last, this system worked! Well, a broken clock is right twice a day, and like clockwork, the BCS failed us again for the ’07 National Championship game.