YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME: LEADERSHIP LESSONS FOR SUCCESS ON AND OFF THE FIELD
By Herm Edwards with Shelley Smith
The McGraw-Hill Companies, 190 pages, $21.95
GIST: The former Eagles cornerback (1977-85) and current Jets coach shares winning secrets.
SAMPLE: "I can teach you to tackle. I can teach you to run. But I can't teach you how hard to tackle or how fast to move your legs. I can read a book about love and relationships, but the book isn't going to be the one making the effort to do things better at home. It has to be inside of you."
SUNDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: GOING DEEP ON THE STRATEGIES, MYTHS, AND MAYHEM OF FOOTBALL
By Phil Simms with Vic Carucci
HarperCollins Publishers, 211 pages, $24.95
GIST: The former Giants QB (1979-93) analyzes what really goes on between the sidelines and in strategy sessions.
SAMPLE: "[A]s you're watching film, the coach says, 'That's the way to hang in there and see down the field.' You'd like to tell him the truth: 'Coach, I really didn't see much. All I think I saw was the top of my receiver's helmet. I knew I was about to get hit, so I thought, What the hell? And I just threw it. And when he caught it, I was the most relieved person in the stadium.' ... What I would end up saying is, 'Thanks, coach.'"
DANTE HALL: X-FACTOR
By Dante Hall with Bill Althaus
Sports Publishing LLC, 176 pages, $24.95
GIST: Autobiography of the undersized kid from Houston who has become the Chiefs' (and the NFL's) most explosive kick returner.
SAMPLE: "I finished that game [a Jan. 11, 2003, loss to Indianapolis] with 208 kickoff return yards. That's a Chiefs single-game postseason record and the third highest total in NFL history. So can someone please tell me why I feel so bad? I still feel like crying. We made the plays, but we didn't make enough plays. I was lucky to get a touchdown reception, too. We scored 31 points. They scored 38. That's the story of the game. I was hoping to be an impact player, and I was. We made the big plays, they just made more than we did."
GOLDEN BOY: GIRLS, GAMES, AND GAMBLING AT GREEN BAY (AND NOTRE DAME, TOO)
By Paul Hornung as told to William F. Reed
Simon & Schuster, 291 pages, $25
GIST: A naughty Hall of Famer tattles and names names.
SAMPLE: "After I confessed [to betting on NFL games], Rozelle wanted me to go somewhere with some FBI guys and take a lie-detector test. I refused, because I knew what they wanted to do. They wanted to ask me what I knew about other players, including some of my teammates, whom they suspected of betting. [John] Brodie, the 49ers' quarterback, and Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs were suspects."
CATCH THIS!: GOING DEEP WITH THE NFL'S SHARPEST WEAPON
By Terrell Owens and Stephen Singular
Simon & Schuster, 270 pages, $23
GIST: The life story of the NFL's loudest receiver, starting with a hard Alabama childhood.
SAMPLE: "After my comments about Rat [49ers' QB Tim Rattay] to the reporters on Sunday, Jeff [Garcia] had told the media that there was a 'sickness' on the Niners, and he didn't want it to spread. I didn't have to guess what he was talking about. He was calling me a 'sickness,' and that was harsher than I'd been expecting."
By Brett Favre and Bonita Favre [Brett's mother] with Chris Havel
Rugged Land, 246 pages, $29.95
GIST: Green Bay's two-time Super Bowl-winning QB reflects on his career, team and family and how he dealt with the loss of his father, Irvin, last year.
SAMPLE: "Fans ask how I've been able to play for so long without missing a game. The easy answer is to say that it's because I'm so doggone tough, or as Mike Holmgren would say, because I'm so doggone hard-headed. The truth is it's probably a combination of things. I've been fortunate to play on winning teams with good offensive lines. I also tend to recoil, or step back, almost immediately after I throw a pass. I'm pretty sure that has kept my legs from getting tangled up under more than one pile."
RUSH TO JUDGMENT: THE SIMEON RICE STORY
By Simeon Rice with Mark Stewart
The Lyons Press, 261 pages, $22.95
GIST: The Bucs' controversial defensive end tells his side of every story--including Tampa Bay's Super Bowl run, and how he got kicked off the 2003 Pro Bowl team.
SAMPLE: "So what does 'almost late' mean? How about I put that up for official review: Is that like almost dead? Almost pregnant? Almost stupid? Almost guilty? Almost good? An interesting footnote is that the morning I was 'almost late' for practice happened to be the same morning we took the team picture prior to the practice I was 'almost late' for. Look closely at that picture. Was I 'almost' in it? No, I was in it."
THE REST OF THE ICEBERG: AN INSIDER'S VIEW ON THE WORLD OF SPORT AND CELEBRITY
By Robert Smith
Inkwater Press, 225 pages, $19.95
GIST: A cerebral sort, the former Vikings running back (1993-2000) examines society's obsession with celebrity.
SAMPLE: "Forget what you've heard about players being forced into using injections. Some team doctors may be less scrupulous than others, but they're not stupid. It's the players who agree, and often ask, to be injected.... I had never seen a needle go that far into my body. The effect was almost immediate. I couldn't believe how much better my ankle felt."
MY FAVORITE BOOK
KEVIN CARTER, TITANS DE
The Grapes of Wrath, 1939, 619 pages
by John Steinbeck
"I've read it three times," says Carter, 31, of the Steinbeck classic. "I think so many people have forgotten the struggle that we as Americans have gone through to get where we are. In the book, the Joad family moves out West during the Depression to find work, but there is no work, there is no food and there is so much hardship. It is a hard story to read, but it shows what really went on in America."
JEROME BETTIS, STEELERS RB
Trump: The Art of the Deal, 1987, 256 pages,
by Donald Trump
The first book by the real estate czar (written with journalist Tony Schwartz) practically has the Bus angling for a spot on The Apprentice."You want to know how great minds think and what their struggles were.I'd like to meet [Trump], just to talk to him about some of the deals he made and what made him think they'd actually work."
DONTE' STALLWORTH, SAINTS WR
Mind Manipulation: Ancient and Modern Ninja Techniques, 2002, 192 pages
by Dr. Haha Lung and Christopher B. Prowant
Ninja mind-control strategies dating back to medieval Japan are revealed in this guide to psychological manipulation. "The book teaches you how to discern things in people,"says Stallworth, 24, who majored in psychology at Tennessee. "Like being able to tell if a person is telling the truth or lying. It deals with a lot of aspects of conversation, and that interests me."
JONATHAN OGDEN, RAVENS OT
Angels & Demons,2000, 608 pages
by Dan Brown
The second book by the bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code (that one's his fourth) is a thriller in which a bomb is set beneath Vatican City. Says the seven-time Pro Bowler, "It's fast-paced, lots of fun, a definite page-turner."
MIKE MINTER, PANTHERS S
The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?, 2002, 336 pages
by Rick Warren
Written by the pastor of Southern Baptist Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., it's divided into 40 short chapters. "It tells you your purpose, why you were born," says Minter. "The book lets you know it's not all about you."
PLAYERS WRITE FOR THEIR LITTLEST FANS
PLAY WITH PASSION • By Brad Johnson, Bucs QB
Positively for Kids, Ages 9-14
What happens: By staying patient through adversity, Brad realizes his dream of winning a Super Bowl. From the book: "What gives me the willies and makes me weak is--ketchup.... The taste gags me." From the author: "No matter who you are.... We all go through difficulties and need to stay the course."
BY MY BROTHER'S SIDE • By Tiki and Ronde Barber, Giants RB; Bucs CB
Simon & Schuster, Ages 6-10
What happens: The twins tell their story of sticking together and beating the odds. From the book: "Ronde is number 21 and Tiki is 22--because R comes before T, and this is how I can tell you apart!" says a Pee Wee coach. From the author: Ronde says moral of the book is, "No matter what happens, you'll always have family behind you."
THE ADVENTURES OF MISCHIEVOUS MARQUES • By Marques Anderson, Raiders S
Manuscript being shopped, Ages 4-11
What happens: If young Marques stays out of trouble, he can join the family on a trip. From the book: "[M]y friends and I are going to play Dungeons and Dragons. That will be a good time to learn about Europe and dress up like Kings and Knights." From the author: "When a kid is ambitious, he's kind of confused [with] being mischievous."
CATCH & CONNECT By Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs TE
Positively for Kids, Ages 9-14
What happens: Support from family gives little Tony the strength to stand up to a bully. From the book: "I always had a goofy look as a baby.... Mom says I reminded her of a Shepherd puppy." From the author: "Being bullied as a kid is what made me what I am today."