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Aug 02, 2011
| ISBN 9781592406371
Aug 05, 2010
| ISBN 9781101458921
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Aug 02, 2011 | ISBN 9781592406371
Aug 05, 2010 | ISBN 9781101458921
A mesmerizing look at sports in the 1980s – when athletes became superstars, mavericks replaced heroes, and sports moved to the forefront of American culture. In the 1980s America sent to the White House an actor and ex-jock who fervently believed in the power of personal mythology, and Americans turned to sports to find their heroes. There was Bo Jackson, the man so strong he could break a baseball bat over his knee, the man whose athletic talents ran so deep that he starred in two sports while becoming a marketing pioneer. There was Jim McMahon, the Punky QB leading his Chicago Bears to Super Bowl glory while tending to his shades, his faux-hawk, and his can of beer. There was Brian Bosworth, terrorizing quarterbacks and averring that the NCAA stood for National Communists Against Athletes. And there was Len Bias, the best college basketball player in America and future of America’s best pro team, off to celebrate his selection as the number two pick in the NBA Draft and the power and money that would soon be his. In Bigger Than the Game, award-winning author Michael Weinreb explores the era when athletes evolved from humble and honest to brash and branded. Weinreb explains how these players lived their lives in America’s living room, thanks to a new outfit called ESPN and the 24- hour news cycle that came of age in the (apostrophe?) 80s. They starred in music videos and in ad campaigns that promised they could do anything. They spurned their coaches, defied expectations, and were loved for it. In an era of “Just Say No,” they said yes to just about everything. An enthralling portrait of a fascinating period and its larger-than- life personalities, Bigger Than the Game recounts how excess, media, and the lust for fame changed American sports forever.
A mesmerizing look at the year when American athletics went corporate, villains replaced heroes, and sports stars became superstars. Greed and excess defined the 1980s, and the sports world was no exception. Shifting from the love of the game to the love of money, athletes made the transition from representing honor and humility to becoming brash and branded. Capturing the stories of headliners who capitalized on this trend, Bigger Than the Game charts the rise (and sometimes spectacular fall) of four athletes over the span of one of the most dramatic eras in sports. Meticulously researched, with stirring, you-are-there reporting, Bigger Than the Game assembles a cast that includes Jim McMahon, who took the Chicago Bears to Super Bowl glory despite his penchant for partying and his aversion to following the game plan; Brian Boswoth, the university of Oklahoma linebacker who mugged for the cameras while calling the NCAA a communist organization; Bo Jackson, who pursued promising careers in both pro football and baseball; and Len Bias, poised to ensure the Boston Celtics’ dominance but died of a cocaine overdose just one day after the draft. Also packed with portraits of folk heroes such as “Refrigerator” Perry and Michael Jordan, Bigger Than the Game offers a riveting ride for every sports fan.
Michael Weinreb’s previous book Game of Kings won the Quill Award and was named one of the best books of the year by Amazon.com. He has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, Newsday, and ESPN.com, as his… More about Michael Weinreb
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