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In the 1980s America sent to the White House an actor and ex-jock who fervently believed in the power of personal mythology, and Americans turned to sports to find their heroes. There was Bo Jackson, the man so strong he could break a baseball bat over his knee, the man whose athletic talents ran so deep that he starred ...
In the 1980s America sent to the White House an actor and ex-jock who fervently believed in the power of personal mythology, and Americans turned to sports to find their heroes. There was Bo Jackson, the man so strong he could break a baseball bat over his knee, the man whose athletic talents ran so deep that he starred in two sports while becoming a marketing pioneer. There was Jim McMahon, the Punky QB leading his Chicago Bears to Super Bowl glory while tending to his shades, his faux-hawk, and his can of beer. There was Brian Bosworth, terrorizing quarterbacks and averring that the NCAA stood for National Communists Against Athletes. And there was Len Bias, the best college basketball player in America and future of America's best pro team, off to celebrate his selection as the number two pick in the NBA Draft and the power and money that would soon be his.
In Bigger Than the Game, award-winning author Michael Weinreb explores the era when athletes evolved from humble and honest to brash and branded. Weinreb explains how these players lived their lives in America's living room, thanks to a new outfit called ESPN and the 24- hour news cycle that came of age in the (apostrophe?) 80s. They starred in music videos and in ad campaigns that promised they could do anything. They spurned their coaches, defied expectations, and were loved for it. In an era of "Just Say No," they said yes to just about everything.
An enthralling portrait of a fascinating period and its larger-than- life personalities, Bigger Than the Game recounts how excess, media, and the lust for fame changed American sports forever.
Chapter 1 Ronnie and Jim 1
Chapter 2 I Am Superman 25
Interlude Greenwood, South Carolina 54
Chapter 3 Glamour Profession 61
Chapter 4 We're Not Here to Start No Trouble 84
Interlude Summit, New Jersey 114
Chapter 5 Matches to a Fire 118
Chapter 6 A Major Malfunction 147
Chapter 7 Greed Is Healthy 164
Interlude Two Commonly Told Elements of the Len Bias Narrative That Are Almost Certainly False 182
Chapter 8 1103 Washington Hall 186
Chapter 9 What a Performance! 209
Chapter 10 Money Days 221
Chapter 11 A Casual Defiance 238
Chapter 12 The Old College Try 256
Posted August 26, 2010
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