Sports

Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard by John Branch - Book Review

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Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393351910
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 13th, 2015

Growing up in the prairies of Canada, Derek Boogaard was always one of the biggest kids on the ice. He wasn't particularly the best skater, best shooter, or a natural playmaker. But, he was by far the biggest. And is hockey, sometimes that is enough for you to be a difference maker.

Boogaard and his family made many sacrifices on and off the ice in order to make his NHL dreams come true. Being somewhat forced in the role of the "goon" or enforcer, Boogaard became a star for the Minnesota Wild and the historic New York Rangers.

Being an enforcer is no easy life, and Boogaard was constantly in pain. Concussions piled up, and his life took a dark turn. Turning to pills and booze to dull the pain, Boogaard eventually succumbed to his demons before his 30th birthday.

Written by award-winning New York Times sports reporter John Branch, Boy in Ice is a gripping read. You don't need to be a hockey fan in order to be pulled in, and the growing concern of CTE in professional and young athletes makes this a cautionary tale for all. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules by A. J. Mendez Brooks - Book Review

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Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780451496669
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Crown Archetype - April 4th, 2017

In the first half of the 2010s, AJ Lee was one of the most popular women wrestlers in the WWE. Her quirky, "Gamer chick" image, small stature, and main event storylines were a far cry from the typical blonde swimsuit models that made up the rest of the female roster.

The woman behind the character, AJ Mendez, had a long journey to the spotlight. Growing up dirt poor, often moving with her young parents just before eviction, AJ learned to live with very little. Her home life was marred by spats of domestic disputes, drug abuse, utility shut-off, and near homelessness.

Her mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and her father was prone to leaving the family for extended periods. AJ eventually left home at a young age, when she secured a job, and her family moved back to Puerto Rico.

Her relatively short WWE career was highlighted by championships, storylines with the top mens wrestlers, and a broad appeal to the WWE fanbase. AJ retired young, after performing in Wrestlemania one last time. She married former champion CM Punk, and has been enjoying a relatively quiet life since then.

Her memoir is a quick read, filled with quirky asides and illustrations. If you're coming to this as a fan of AJ Lee, hoping to read about her time in WWE and all the backstage gossip, you won't find it here. The majority of its pages are devoted to her family, upbringing, and dealings with her own mental illness. Great for casual fans, and young feminists looking for an outside-the-box story of a girl achieving her dreams. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


Miracle Moments in Montreal Canadiens History: The Turning Points, the Memorable Games, the Incredible Records by Jim Hynes - Book Review

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Miracle Moments in Montreal Canadiens History: The Turning Points, The Memorable Games, The Incredible Records Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781613219829
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sports Publishing - October 4th, 2016

A great look at the long and storied history of "Les Habitants". Mostly chronological, with copious photographs and quotes from players of every era. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


Snake: The Legendary Life of Ken Stabler by Mike Freeman - Book Review

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Snake: The Legendary Life of Ken Stabler Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062484253
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Dey Street Books - November 15th, 2016

A country boy from Alabama, Ken Stabler became the leader of the renegade Oakland Raiders of the 1970s: partier, womanizer, and cool, Super Bowl winning quarterback. Upon retirement from football, Stabler came to renounce and regret his partying days, devoting himself to his daughters and grandchildren while suffering, perhaps for decades, from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


The Death of WCW by R. D. Reynolds - Book Review

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The Death of WCW: 10th Anniversary Edition of the Bestselling Classic -- Revised and Expanded Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781770411753
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ECW Press - October 14th, 2014

Required reading for fans of professional wrestling and pop culture. Written by two of the sport's most trusted journalists, follow the rise of Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling from the late 1980s to their spectacular demise in the early 2000s.
Just how did a company with billionaire Ted at the helm crumble? It turns out the scripted drama happening in front of the cameras often has nothing on what's going on behind the scenes. Political maneuvering, ego clashes, and rampant drug and alcohol abuse make the body slams look like child's play. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll


Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History by Molly Schiot - Book Review

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Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781501137099
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 18th, 2016

We’ve all heard of Billy Jean King and Lindsey Vonn. But Fanny Bullock Workman and Kinue Hitomi? Read their personal stories in this book of trail-blazing women athletes (Hitomi won Olympic Gold in 1928, Workman climbed the Himalayas in 1906 in a skirt!). With rarely-seen photographs. ~ Reviewed by Louise Jones


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