Full of inspirational, interesting, funny, and heart-warming stories from the world of sports. Sports can often be a metaphor for life.
The most personally relevant and valuable quote in the book wasn't even given by an athlete or sports journalist:
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena, whose face is marred by duct and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt
Being a Canadian, of course my favourite essay was by Paul Henderson (scorer of the winning goal in the 1972 hockey Summit Series vs. USSR). It was about the various stories people told him about where they were when he scored the goal. Possibly the best is about a separated couple in Toronto, Ontario who were about to divorce when the woman came over to the man's house to pick up the last of her stuff. The game was on TV and when Henderson scored they jumped up and hugged in their excitement. When they looked into each other's eyes as they held each other, they realized they still loved each other, and they're still together today. The woman wrote Henderson a letter to thank him for saving her marriage. Another great story is about a speech being given by an American at a conference in Kingston, Ontario at the same time as the game was on. Unbeknownst to him, most of the Canadians in the audience were not paying attention to him and instead listening to the game on their transistor radios. When Henderson scored the goal the room erupted in cheering and elation to the confusion of the speaker. Needless to say, someone soon informed him of the situation and probably took the wind out of his sails if he had thought that his speech had been the source of their enthusiasm...ha ha ha :-)
I picked up a Chinese version of this with typos on a book trade shelf in Dali, Yunnan. A book about American sports is the LAST thing I'd expect to find there!...Continua