Stallings made the University of Alabama football team one of the nation's best, but far more significant is the love and support he has given his son Johnny, born in 1962 with Down syndrome and now a thriving member of the Stallings family.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Famed football coach Stallings, aided by journalist Cook, combines a short history of his tough professional career with the affectionate story of his son, Johnny, who is burdened with Down's syndrome. In a simply told tale, Stallings, who carries the honorific ``Coach'' proudly, chronicles his accomplishments on the gridiron with great modesty. He has, clearly, more pride in the attainments of Johnny, who, now in his 30s, has come to his own kind of manhood with the innocence and sweetness that seem characteristic badges of Down's syndrome. More a homespun family memoir than a jock's saga, this volume neglects neither homage to Coach's hero and mentor, the fabled ``Bear'' Bryant, nor details of his own hirings and firings, from Texas A&M to the Cowboys and, finally, as heir to the ``Bear'' at the University of Alabama. Inevitably, the scoreboards told Coach Stallings's fortune. Known as ``Bebes'' to intimates, he yearned for a son, stalwart, smart, and strapping, maybe an all- star linebacker. ``A football coach needs a son who will play football,'' he would hear his wife say. Instead, they had three girls and Johnny, disabled and frail. Withal, Bebes and his wife came to terms with their melancholy and fears. The family and those close to them took Johnny to their hearts. With his winning personality, he became a favorite of his father's players and staff and, eventually, the fans. And Coach Bebes, seeking gridiron glory and often finding it, seems to have found something better through his exceptional son. It's an artless story, told quite prosaically. But while clearly deeply felt, it never quite catches fire. A nice book by a nice man, nothing more; but nothing less, either, and that should not be easily dismissed. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (TV and radio satellite tours) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
I read this book with great interest. It is an indelible portrait of a man from another time whose struggles are very relevant to our own day. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Avid reader in New Jersey
A great story of a Coach's personal life with his challenged son. I can relate to this book in many ways. This will touch your heart.Published 21 months ago by Dana
A great story, one which shows a Coach who cares as much about winning in life as on the field! He turned his son into a winner and used his story and his celebrity status to help... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Cynthia M. Reynolds
WOW........ talk about bringing back the memories, of when Sarah was 'gifted to us' some thirty (30) years ago.....!!! Read morePublished on November 30, 2012 by Bill Wolfe
This book was beautiful to me. I have an older brother who has Down Syndrome, and it made me smile every time Johnny did something I'd seen my brother do a million times. Read morePublished on November 16, 2012 by Chaderick