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Courage Beyond the Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    This one rings the bell !

    Review by Mark S. McDonald Sr.

    Heroes, some say, are hard to find. While that may be true for Hollywood, for the halls of Congress and the ranks of deadbeat Dads, maybe we look in the wrong places.

    Perhaps we should be inspired by the Meals on Wheels program where a retired science teacher limps on a tungsten knee to volunteer serving lunches to those nearly his own age. Maybe we should search the Wounded Warrior Project, which honors and empowers injured and disabled servicemen and women.

    Or, we could do what author Jim Dent did. We could look into the heart of Freddie Steinmark.

    There, in the new release "Courage Beyond the Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story," (333 pages, St. Martin's Press), we discover the tale of a dutiful son, a bright student, a lover, a young man of faith, the indomitable spirit of a champion, on and off the playing field.

    Dent traces the young Steinmark through his youth in suburban Denver, then through the athlete's rise through the Colorado prep ranks to schoolboy stardom and, oh yes, true love with a local sweetheart named Linda. Who could know that Steinmark would roam the gridiron with such pure instinct, such pure joy, that the defensive back with the 145-pound frame suited for jockey silks would become one of the most unlikely stars ever to wear the burnt orange in the storied history of University of Texas Longhorn football?

    If every underdog has its day, then on its face, the Steinmark saga is one of triumph, of meeting obstacles and tackling them for no gain. But more than a football book or even a broader story about a dedicated athlete, this tale shows us that the least likely hero (that word again) can be the most uplifting. "Courage" also reminds us that there is no greater challenge - no greater measure of a man or woman -- than to show grace under fire.

    The author of "Junction Boys" and "Twelve Mighty Orphans," Dent has long recognized a compelling story with a sports backdrop. In "Courage," once again Dent has skillfully woven the human condition into the fabric of narrative, always moving forward with action and sharp dialogue. But then who should be surprised?

    A former resident of Arkansas and long-time sportswriter at metro dailies in Texas, the author did not so much cover the now-defunct Southwest Conference, he was immersed in it. He lived it. At so many levels, Jim Dent was a natural for the Freddie Steinmark story.

    Who better to chronicle the ballyhooed 1969 collision of Razorbacks and Longhorns in what was called the "The Game of the Century"? Who better to show how President Richard Nixon shamelessly played to the national TV audience as he saluted Texas coach Darrell Royal, Steinmark and his teammates in the Texas locker room?

    With cancer gnawing at his body, Steinmark stood strong as long as he could, albeit on one leg. Even in the face of insurmountable odds, the young man rose to the occasion. Dent captures the essence of the Steinmark spirit when he quoted from a piece in the now-defunct Dallas Times Herald by Blackie Sherrod. The legendary columnist was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his description of Steinmark's final hours.

    "A vigil candle on a table burned 24 hours a day," Sherrod wrote. "Freddie was a gaunt shadow and his voice about gone and I had to bend close to hear him whisper, "I'm getting better."

    Warning: When you read this one, make sure to have tissues handy. Once "Courage" goes to the big screen, Kleenex will be stan

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    Keeping Freddie's Memory Alive

    Freddie Steinmark is a near - mythic figure in Longhorn lore, and Jim Dent does a terrific job of capturing the emotion and the passion of this incredible young man.

    You do not have to be a UT fan to enjoy it -- or appreciate the courage and the spirit that Steinmark's memory has embodied for 40 years.

    Freddie's roommate told me recently, "Freddie always did exactly the right thing at exactly the right time." How many people can we say THAT about today ?

    Congratuations to Jim Dent for keeping Freddie's inspiration alive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2011

    Jim Dent does it again

    If there's one thing Jim Dent can do like no other, it's tell a compelling story. In this story, the story of a courageous young man with an uncommon ability to overcome adversity, who just happened to play football for the University of Texas in the late 60's, is a story you will be glad you read. In keeping with his incredibly inspirational previous books, "12 Mighty Orphans" and "The Junction Boys", Dent has once again penned a heart grabbing and gut wrenching story that will hold you absolutely spellbound from the moment you read the forward until its completion. There are sports books everywhere, but the moniker "sports book" does this masterpiece no justice. Rather, this is a book that teaches all of us it's not what we become, but what we overcome. That all our perceived problems are most likely temporal and that if we have the courage to believe in ourselves, we can push right on through whatever is facing us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Incredibly inspiring

    Growing up in Texas, I remember watching Freddie Steinmark when he played at the University of Texas. I always wondered why this story was hardly noticed by anyone outside of UT. Jim Dent has once again delivered a must read for anyone who loves sports and loves underdogs. Freddie was a fierce undersized competitor who became an inspiration to his teammates and coaches. The fact that he played an entire season with bone cancer in his thigh and never once complained exemplifies the "Courage" that he had. Thank you Jim Dent for once again finding an incredible sports story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011


    I love Jim Dent's books. He always seems to find or tell the story that other people miss. Freddie Steinmark's story is gut wrenching and important for anybody who is a Longhorn fan. It is truly inspirational and a must read for sports fans in general. I really loved Twelve Mighty Orphans and Junction Boys, and every time one of Jim's books comes out, I have to get it right away. This is one amazing story and it stirs so many great memories for me. This is another one of his "can't put it down" books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Another Dent Classic!

    Dent does it again in his latest book. I had a hard time putting the book down. Truly inspirational and engaging. Incredible story told as only Dent can. Great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Im cool

    Whats up people

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I remember this tragic story like it was yesterday. This young man showed great strength throughout this terrible ordeal. I'm so happy that this experienced author brought this courageous young man back to all of us. He was s good college football player and was very special to everyone around him. A real overachiever.

    I have read the 'Junction Boys' (of which they made a TV movie) from Mr. Dent. It was excellent, as well. IMHO, 'Courage Beyond The Game' is even better. I sure hope that that there is a movie made from this book about Freddie Steinmark. This book should be a gift to every child (or adult) battling a crisis in their life. I found it very inspirational and would also recommend it to any person who loves sports of any kind.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    Grear Story

    Theis a great srory of courage and faith.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Best Sports Book Ever

    In "Courage Beyond The Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story,'' Jim Dent has written yet another masterpiece that actually surpases "The Junction Boys'' and "Twelve Mighty Orphans,'' his two best books. Dent will make you laugh and cry in a page-turner that chronicles the amazing life of Freddie Steinmark, who played the entire 1969 national championship season at the University of Texas with cancer in his left leg. Freddie is the toughest guy to ever suit up. This is an inspirational story that you will want your kids to read. Mack Brown wrote the foreword and he also said, "This is a book that Texas fans from every era will want to read. I loved the book.'' Dent's book is five stars all the way around.I would be willing to bet that this story makes it to the movies within a year. I will gladly pay the price of admission once more. --Kathy Shrum

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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