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Another Season

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Overview

When beloved University of Alabama football coach Gene Stallings's son was born with Down syndrome and a serious heart defect, doctors predicted he wouldn't live to see his first birthday and urged Coach Stallings and his wife to institutionalize him. But for Gene and Ruth Ann that was not an option. Johnny quickly won the hearts and adoration of the Stallings family and everyone who took the time to know him, and, proving the doctors wrong by leading an active life, he became a vital and important part of his ...

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Overview

When beloved University of Alabama football coach Gene Stallings's son was born with Down syndrome and a serious heart defect, doctors predicted he wouldn't live to see his first birthday and urged Coach Stallings and his wife to institutionalize him. But for Gene and Ruth Ann that was not an option. Johnny quickly won the hearts and adoration of the Stallings family and everyone who took the time to know him, and, proving the doctors wrong by leading an active life, he became a vital and important part of his family, his community, and his father's career. With intimate glimpses of family life and thrilling football anecdotes, ANOTHER SEASON is brimming with poignant lessons about defying the odds and finding joy in every moment.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Stallings, a survivor of Coach Bear Bryant's infamous boot camp at Texas A&M in 1954, became one of Bryant's protgs and subsequently coached at his alma mater, then as an assistant with Bryant and Tom Landry in Dallas and as a head coach for the St. Louis (later Phoenix) Cardinals. He compiled an inconsistent record until he went to Alabama in 1989, where he won 70 games during the next seven years until he retired in 1996. But of as much concern to him, he relates here, as his gridiron victories were the small gains made by his son, Johnny, born in 1962 with Down's syndrome and a defective heart. Writing with freelancer Cook, he relives his initial reaction to the doctor's announcement"We think maybe your baby is a mongoloid" and recalls his confused feelings of shock, anger and self-pity. But he and his wife, Ruth Ann, when told that their son had only a year to live, rejected that diagnosis and set about helping him develop his maximum potential, with aid from his four sisters. Johnny is now 35, holds a paying job and has a fine sense of social adjustment. This story has many moving moments that should give heart to others raising a child with Down's syndrome. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Library Journal
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.
Kirkus Reviews
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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316811965
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 4/23/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 236
  • Sales rank: 358,698
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2000

    stallings is a man who lives for his family

    Even though Gene Stallings has had a successful, glamorous life at the heights of college and professional football coaching, this book reveals that his passion is for his 37 year old son, Johnny, who has Down syndrome. Coach Stallings weaves stories of Bear Bryant and Tom Landry with accomplishments of his son Johnny. As a father of a son with Down syndrome myself, I really enjoyed reading of a man successful in his career who put his family, especially his special son ahead of his job.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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