It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium: Football and the Game of Life

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Overview

"The best sports book of the year."
- Sports Illustrated

"John Ed Bradley says that all he ever wanted to do was to leave behind a pretty piece of writing. Here it is-a wonderful blend of honest introspection, passionate reporting, and superb storytelling. One of the best books I have read in years."
- Jeffrey Marx, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Season of Life

Inspired by a classic essay about a visit to a dying coach, It Never Rains in Tiger...

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Overview

"The best sports book of the year."
- Sports Illustrated

"John Ed Bradley says that all he ever wanted to do was to leave behind a pretty piece of writing. Here it is-a wonderful blend of honest introspection, passionate reporting, and superb storytelling. One of the best books I have read in years."
- Jeffrey Marx, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Season of Life

Inspired by a classic essay about a visit to a dying coach, It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium explores in gorgeous detail the inescapable pull of college football-the cocky smiles behind the face masks, the two-a-day drills, the emotionally charged bus rides to the stadium, the curfew checks, the film-study sessions, the locker room antics, and the yawning void left in one’s soul the moment the final whistle sounds. To understand why it’s so painful to give up the game, you must first understand the intimacy of the huddle. "It ends for everybody," writes John Ed Bradley, "and then it starts all over again, in ways you never anticipated. Marty Dufresne sits in his wheelchair listening to the Tiger fight song...Ramsey Darder endures prison by playing the games over in his head...Big Ed Stanton never took up the game of golf, and yet he rides the streets of Bayou Vista in a cart nearly identical to Coach Mac’s, recalling the one time the old man invited him for a ride." Far more than a memoir, It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium is a brutally honest, profoundly moving look at what it means to surrender something you love.

An Amazon Editors’ Best Book of 2007

"John Ed Bradley is a rare gem, a gifted writer trapped in the body of a football player. It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium will send chills down the back of anyone who loves the game and will echo in the minds of former players long after they’ve put it down."
- Tim Green, best-selling author and member of the College Football Hall of Fame

"A mesmerizing read...achingly sentimental in some parts, brutally truthful in others..."
- Chicago Tribune

"The best memoir I have ever read on how a particular game, win or lose, can linger with us."
- Josh Levin, Slate

"An unsparing and often beautiful chronicle of [Bradley’s] attempt to join polite society."
- Play Magazine

"A lyrical memoir...about his teammates, his coaches, his parents and the magnetic power of football in Louisiana." - National Public Radio

"Heart-wrenching, honest, insightful and hard to put down." - The Franklin Sun

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

David M. Shribman
A love story, a romance of the old-fashioned kind: pure, enduring and defining -- defining how the author looks at the world and how the world sees him. ... we're fortunate that he has recorded this account of one man's journey across the bridge from youthful passion to wiser but wistful adulthood.
—The Wall Street Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933060330
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/4/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

is the author of several highly praised novels, including Tupelo Nights and My Juliet. A former staffwriter for the Washington Post, Bradley has contributed feature stories to Sports Illustrated, Esquire, and GQ. He lives at historic Coliseum Square in New Orleans' Lower Garden District.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(10)

4 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2008

    Non-sports fans should not be scared away because...

    this book is about much more than football. It's a about discovery of certain truths by an introspective man in the middle of his life. Namely that friendships forged in times of strife endure even when they are ignored. The non-chronological orientation of the book takes some time to get used to, but it is there for a purpose. Mr. Bradley looks back at his time as a football player using particular episodes to frame the stories associated with the more recent reconnection with teammates and coaches. There is more than a touch of melancholy in his writing and Mr. Bradley recalls decisions that may the reader wince as they read them. He writes of football, love, loss and forgiveness with the maturity of a man that has spent a great deal of time pondering the subjects. As it ends you get a sense that he is still on the road to reconciling his past life as a football hero with his present as a writer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2008

    LSU fan, loved it

    I read It Never Rains In TIger Stadium without knowing who John Ed Bradley was. He did a beautiful job writing the book. HE made me laugh and feel happy and sad. I never realized how much a college football career affected life after college. I loved the way he described his father when John was a little boy. One of my favorite things in the book was the way Bradley explained, in detail, almost every moment in his experince in NCAA football. I always wanted to know what went on behind the scenes in the college football world. He described what went on on the sidelines during the games when he was playing and when he wasn't playing. I really enjoyed reading about the life in football written by one involved with college football. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of college football and to anyone who appreciates a well written book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2008

    Poignant, Honest, and Direct

    John Ed Bradley reexamines his own past in a very poignant, direct manner. He reveals his own insecurities in a way that that you both empathsize with him, but you sense his own isolation from those people in his life. It is a fascinating look at growing older and not letting your past dominate your life. At the same time we are all products of previous events in our lives and they shape us. John Ed's struggles mirror those of anyone trying to find their own identity and coming to terms with the changing seasons of one's life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2008

    What a great writer

    This was a real page turner for me. I always love great stories having to do with sports.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    No rain here

    Bradley gives the reader a unique look at what happens when the cheering stops. This is not just another ex-jock taking a trip down memory lane talking about the good old days, but rather how a former SEC all- conference player delt with real life. Bradley didn't go to the NFL or into coaching, instead he chose to follow his dream of becoming a writer. Some wondered if he had taken one to many blows to his headgear by not pursuing the pro game. John Ed Bradley writes that he too wondered if he was doing the right thing after he left the glory that comes with Saturday afternoons on the turf of LSU's Tiger Stadium. His journey is an interesting one and I enjoyed every page of his book. One might assume that a young man with all of the accolades that Bradley garnered as a college player would produce a gilded path to success. Not so, his was a tough road to the pages of novels, The Washington Post, GQ, Sports Illustrated and other publications. He is a gifted writer and this book flows through the highs and lows of his life after football. You do not have to be an LSU fan or a football fan at all to enjoy this book. It is a well written and heart-felt work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    Absolutely enjoyed every page of this book. Whether you are a 'Tiger Fan' or not, this is a must read. I will reread it again and again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2007

    Excellent! Much More Than a Book about a College football Player

    Read it in an afternoon couldn't put it down! Did it mean more to me because my oldest daughter is an LSU graduate '2004'? I sincerely doubt it. 'The Best Years of His Life''Sports Illustrated' had the same affect on me! I can identify with John Ed Bradley, for I, too, struggled and suffered the early heartache of rejection trying to publish my historical-biographical novel about the life-times of my great-grandfather'1839-1930', the plantation South, the sugar industry, and much more. I plan to order some of his other titles immediately, such as Restoration, My Juliet and Tupelo Nights.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2007

    Touching and Real

    This is a fascinating read for lovers of college football (and in particular LSU), but it illustrates a phenomenon that many experience in life. It is difficult to adjust after a unique, intense, and life changing experience. How do you move from being a star on Saturday nights to the starring role in your own life? This story is filled with people who are only human, but for a short time were called upon to be something else, whether machine or hero. The author does a great job illustrating this confusion with his characters. This book is beautifully written. It is poignant and real, a story of highs and lows, mistakes and redemption.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    I loved the book! This book will take you on a roller coast ride of emotions. You will find yourself laughing, bewildered and sad. True story of the power of football and how it effected the lifes of young men. The author has let us look into the days at LSU before and after. Powerful story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2007

    What a Passionate Writer.

    What a wonderful book.This is more than a man that played football,this is a book about a man with a deep passion within,not only to please his father that he loved but also knowning all along that his true passion was to be a writer.He has a beautiful way of making you feel like you were there.This gentlemen has a true art for writing,and one day i would like to see the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2007

    Thumbs up for It Never Rains..

    I thoroughly enjoyed ¿It Never Rains In Tiger Stadium¿, and I would recommend it to anyone. Mr. Bradley explores some of his personal experiences of life before, during, and after football. Detailing the hardships he knew he had to suffer in order to gain the opportunity to pursue his own dreams, I found that his storytelling was quite endearing to his coaches, teammates, family and friends. Also, the book gives the reader an insight to a driven athlete who would not settle for anything less than what was expected of him. Ripe with many of the difficulties one has to overcome including strained personal relationships, Bradley does a fine job conquering some the biggest hardships of his life. The personal losses, and the tough choices that had to be made to see his own goals to fruition. (a decision that may not have been so popular within his own circles) Which ultimately leads back to tackling the demons he left in his wake when he decided to trade the gridiron for the typewriter. Once again, he brings the book to a worthy conclusion as he takes the reader along on his own road to redemption. I feel readers will be able to relate with this book and many of their own life experiences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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