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The Right Kind of Heroes: Coach Bob Shannon and the East St. Louis Flyers Hardcover – September 1, 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the crime- and drug-infested inner city of East St. Louis, Ill., high-school coach Bob Shannon has welded his football team, the Flyers, into a precision force, leading them to six state championships in 15 seasons. Born in a shack in Mississippi, Shannon, who is black, lectures players about commitment, character and the danger of drugs, promoting the values of hard effort and teamwork in a city rife with unemployment, crack and violence. Football, to this blunt, aloof disciplinarian, is a means to an end--a way for kids to get out of East St. Louis or to stay there on their own terms. Horrigan, a St. Louis radio broadcaster and former sports columnist, takes readers through the Flyers' 1990 and 1991 seasons, interweaving profiles of players, a history of East St. Louis and an account of the outspoken Shannon's run-ins with local politicians and school officials. The result is a quietly inspirational testament to an achiever whose favorite phrase is "Get it done." Author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In Bob Shannon's 15 seasons as East St. Louis High's head football coach, the East St. Louis Flyers brought home the state championship six times. According to Horrigan, a former columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , Shannon takes what other coaches would consider to be chicken feathers and manages to turn them into chicken salad. He is everything a high school football coach should be: Someone who challenges his players to rise above an environment in which it is easy to fail--East St. Louis, Illinois has the nation's highest murder rate, and 75 percent of the residents are on some form of public assistance. This outstanding coach works to obtain athletic scholarships for his players. He wins games. But most of all, he cares about his players. All high school and public libraries should have this inspiring book.
- William O. Scheeren, Hempfield Area H.S. Lib., Greensburg, Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; 1st edition (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094557570X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945575702
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,569,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have read this book several times. It's an inspiring story of a coach that took over a football program that had limited amounts of everything. Coach Shannon refused to allow his players to accept anything for an excuse that could have made it easy to just lose as most people would have expected them to do. He was the head coach of a high school team that was set in the tough inner city environment of East St. Louis. His teams one championships and game after game. This is a great book for all to read and especially coaches.
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By A Customer on September 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Two big thumbs up for "The Right Kind of Heroes: Coach Bob Shannon and the East St. Louis Flyers." Although Coach Shannon has apparently moved on, this book is still as -- or perhaps more -- relevant to those facing battles against the odds.
Expertly penned by St. Louis columnist Kevin Horrigan, the book does a remarkable job of putting the reader right in the middle of the dingy and dangerous town of East St. Louis. It's a real "you are there" feeling as you get to know the players and coach of this amazing team. Although the story is heartbreaking at times, you won't hear Horrigan break out the violins and wax overdramatic... just a solid real-life story.
Even if you're not a sports nut -- or only know a little about football -- you will be inspired as you laugh, cry, struggle and celebrate with this courageous coach and champion football team. You just can't put it down until the last page.
Whatever challenges you may be facing in life, this book will move you to "get it done!" I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Having played against Bob Shannon, I know full well of the East Side mystique. Being a former player at nearby Granite City, I went to nearly every game mentioned in Bob's book. So, I'm over qualified to say that the East Side Flyers's story is a fascinating one. The place just emits an aura that has High School Football all around it! The 'Side was made on big play football, coached by Shannon, a big time coach
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Format: Hardcover
I first read this book when it was new some 16 years ago; since then I've probably read it another four or five times and each time is as good as the last. More than just a story of playing good football, it's about showing kids that there is a different and better way of living than they may see in their everyday life. Coach Shannon couldn't turn every kid he encountered into model citizens; but the vast majority were better for having known and played for him. The book truly gets that point across.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book 10 years ago and it was just as enjoyable this time around. This book is full of insights not only into the person of Bob Shannon, but offers an informative look into East St. Louis. A very quick and easy read. I had the pleasure of having Shannon as a teacher many years ago. Reading his words brings to mind his most distinctive voice, which always commanded respect.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one the best books on football that I have read. Coach Shannon is a credit to our coaching profession and this book shows that. It also gives us a look at what is
like to work under adverse conditions. If you are a football coach who thinks he has it tough, then you should read The Right Kind Of Heroes.
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