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Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery & My Return to the NFL Hardcover – August 10, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047010869X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470108697
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ten days after helping the New England Patriots win the 2005 Super Bowl, 31-year-old middle linebacker Bruschi suffered a debilitating stroke that left his future uncertain. Initially he planned to retire, but as he began to recover, a process that included surgery to repair the hole in his heart that precipitated the stroke, the lure of football beckoned. Bruschi learned much about stroke from doctors who treated him and cleared him to play again. After serious disagreement with his wife, he won her support for his return to the game only eight and a half months after suffering the stroke. His comeback initially met with much skepticism from the media and fans alike, but Bruschi writes that he was determined to overcome the obstacles thrown up by those ignorant of strokes. He also found a new audience of fans: stroke survivors across the country, many who wrote him letters in support. Bruschi, who went on to play the 2005 and 2006 seasons, is planning to be in the lineup this season as well and is now a spokesman for the American Stroke Association. His story is a compelling and convincing one that will appeal to both football fans and those affected by strokes. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Of course, Bruschi's story is an open-ended book. His goal was to tell his story, and raise awareness about the warning signs of strokes. Much like his comeback, Bruschi succeeds on both counts." (The Boston Globe, October 21, 2007)

John Ed Bradley was the rarest of college students, one who knew precisely what he wanted from adulthood. In the spring of 1980 he was slogging through the final semester of his senior year at LSU, looking to fill the emotional void he felt as an ex--football player while straining to distance himself from the game. When a Tigers coach offered him a position as a graduate assistant with the team, Bradley, despite having no job or prospects, turned him down. It was, he said, his "destiny" to be a writer. "I never doubted that playing football here was a privilege," Bradley, who had been an all-SEC center and a Tigers captain, told the coach. "But I also know that if I don't break from it now, I'll never break from it."
Bradley recounts the scene in It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium, a bracingly candid memoir about the joys and drawbacks of defining oneself as an ex-athlete. Bradley fulfilled his writerly destiny, going on to become a Washington Post sportswriter, a novelist and frequent contributor to SI. (It Never Rains is based on The Best Years of His Life, an essay he wrote for the magazine in 2002.) But despite his best efforts avoiding former teammates, leaving the room when the Tigers were on TV, refusing to let strangers in on the secret of his athletic past--the former LSU star never fully made the break from football. Having resolved not to become an ex-jock who can't let go of the glory days, Bradley discovered, as he moved toward middle age, that his fondest memories were also his most haunting. "There are things we never get over," he writes. "And for me football is one of them."
Bradley, the son of a high school coach, isn't the first athlete to be unnerved by the thought that life off the field isn't as simple as it is on it. But his honesty and unadorned, bittersweet style make It Never Rains a compelling rumination on the allure of football, for those who watch and those who play, and on the bonds of family, whether they're forged by birth or in the heat of August two-a-days. "All I ever wanted was to leave a pretty piece of writing behind," is how Bradley sums up his youthful dreams. He has. (Sports Illustrated, September 3, 2007)

Ten days after helping the New England Patriots win the 2005 Super Bowl, 31-year-old middle linebacker Bruschi suffered a debilitating stroke that left his future uncertain. Initially he planned to retire, but as he began to recover, a process that included surgery to repair the hole in his heart that precipitated the stroke, the lure of football beckoned. Bruschi learned much about stroke from doctors who treated him and cleared him to play again. After serious disagreement with his wife, he won her support for his return to the game only eight and a half months after suffering the stroke. His comeback initially met with much skepticism from the media and fans alike, but Bruschi writes that he was determined to overcome the obstacles thrown up by those ignorant of strokes. He also found a new audience of fans: stroke survivors across the country, many who wrote him letters in support. Bruschi, who went on to play the 2005 and 2006 seasons, is planning to be in the lineup this season as well and is now a spokesman for the American Stroke Association. His story is a compelling and convincing one that will appeal to both football fans and those affected by strokes. (Sept.) (Publishers Weekly, July 30, 2007)


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The book is a really quick, easy read.
Jase3gt
This book is well beyond a book only for New England Patriots fans; it is a great inspiration for anyone who is facing adversity in their life.
Delzuki
It is the story of Tedy Bruschi and how he recovered from a stroke and eventually returned to play football with the New England Patriots.
millefeuille07

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on August 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am an unadulterated sports fanatic, but that's not why I bought this book. I have nothing but admiration for the New England Patriots, from the ownership, to the coach, to the team. But I am not a Patriots fan. WHAT I AM IS: A BRAIN TUMOR SURVIVOR! I am blessed to be alive, and I thank the Lord everyday, and try to help anyone who is going to be going through such an ordeal that I can. So the reason I bought this book, is because I'm nothing but a blessed "Average Joe". Though I try to help anyone I can, because I'm an "Average Joe", I can only help one person, here and there, at a time. But when I, and the world, heard what Tedy went through, though it was a different frightening, life changing, and or ending, medical challenge, than I faced, I wanted to read his story, to see, knowing his celebrity, how he described the effect on his life, his family, his spiritual beliefs, and with my near-death experience, I wanted to see, if he really let "us" inside.

Tedy quickly leads us through his pre-stroke life, pulling no punches, warts and all. He tells of his parents divorce, and how if he was with his Father for a weekend, his Father railed about his mother. When Tedy was with his mother, she railed about his Father. When Tedy openly admits he had a drinking problem, that kept him from being the kind of Father and husband he wanted to be, he stopped. No excuses, no whoa's me! He just quit. In other words, the reader starts to realize that Tedy is a real man, a real human being, unlike so many of these other pampered, millionaire athletes, that figure the rules of human decency don't apply to them.

When Tedy had a stroke, while an active member of the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots, obviously his whole world is turned upside down.
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Format: Hardcover
If you only read one book about a sports star this year, I recommend Never Give Up. This book is Tedy's way of answering the many letters of encouragement and questions he received about his experience of having and recovering completely from a stroke, the first NFL player to do so and return to regular play in the following years.

I had the good fortune to attend the Buffalo Bills game at Gillette Stadium in 2005 when Tedy Bruschi returned to the team. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life . . . as the cheers boomed for miles when he was introduced and everyone held their breaths in silence whenever he made a hit or was in a pile-up. Everyone there was praying for Tedy and his family, hoping that it would be all right. And it was. Thank God!

Rarely do sports present us with role models for being good people these days, but Tedy Bruschi is the exception. Whether you are a child, a recovering stroke patient, or a middle-aged child who loves football, Tedy Bruschi's life and thoughts will make you feel good and teach you something you need to know. Michael Holley is one of our best sports writers, and he takes Tedy's unvarnished integrity and polishes it to a bright message containing many valuable lessons. A portion of the proceeds from the book are being donated to the American Stroke Association.

If you think you know all about Tedy Bruschi, you are wrong. Read this book and you'll realize that there's more to the man than being a hard-working middle linebacker for the Patriots who has recovered from a stroke and is a good family man. Never Give Up provides a philosophy of life that anyone can learn from . . . especially the parts about overcoming emotion and fear to do something that no one has ever done before.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Demarco on August 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I flew through this book because it was so fascinating. Tedy Bruschi had it all,a great wife and family,great teamates,money,fans, adulation,and three Super Bowl rings he had earned the hard way,and he was cut down by a stroke 48 hours after going to the Pro Bowl with his teammate Tom Brady who wrote the forward.Without spoiling it for you, I can tell you that he made a great comeback to the NFL and he and his co-author Michael Holley give you great insight into the heart and mind of a true champion NFL linebacker.This guy has a great attitude about life and you better take notes!A fantastic book and I'm positive it will be a huge seller,especially if the Pats make it back to the Super Bowl this year,which they probably will do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tammy Short on September 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Tedy Bruschi has always been someone I've admired since he became a Patriot. I look up to him for many reasons. He's a loving husband, a caring father, and one of the best football players of all time! What makes him such a wonderful person is his outlook on life. He takes misfortunes and turns them into something positive. This book will let you see just how strong Tedy is. He didn't give in to his stroke, instead he took it head on, which is why I will forever be his number one fan. I'm in a wheelchair and have been my entire life. I've never let anyone get the best of me and I never will. It's just not who I am. Tedy has the same outlook on life as I do, which he says it best with the title of his book, "Never Give Up!" He didn't give up. He struggled with his health, his career, and his family, but it made him stronger. He explains how he was able to put his life back together with the support of his wife. She never left his side, even when things were tough between them. Tedy doesn't try to hide the fact that he had days when all he wanted to do is cry and he did. However, that didn't last long. He realized he had to fight to get better, because he was the only one that could do it for him. Tedy is also a man of God and a man who's happy with what he has in life, which is an amazing family. He doesn't long for material things in life, because he gets his reward everyday when he's holding his wife and sons. This book will let you get to know Tedy, the family man, as well as Tedy, the football player. There are few people in this world who has a way of making you feel special with just a smile, and Tedy is one of those people. He sees everyone as an equal and he believes that anyone can overcome any obstacle, if you set your mind to it. He did, and so can you!

Tammy
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