When the Game Stands Tall: The Story of the De La Salle Spartans and Football's Longest Winning Streak
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When the Game Stands Tall: The Story of the De La Salle Spartans and Football's Longest Winning Streak

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by Neil Hayes
     
 

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De La Salle High School in Concord, California, is home to perhaps the greatest dynasty in sports history. At age 23, Coach Bob Ladouceur launched a legend, "The Streak," with no teaching or head-coaching experience, and with his teams amassed the highest winning percentage in all of football history with 138 consecutive victories. This book takes readers behind the

Overview

De La Salle High School in Concord, California, is home to perhaps the greatest dynasty in sports history. At age 23, Coach Bob Ladouceur launched a legend, "The Streak," with no teaching or head-coaching experience, and with his teams amassed the highest winning percentage in all of football history with 138 consecutive victories. This book takes readers behind the scenes, closely following individual players, as Ladouceur guides his team through the most daunting schedule in school history, the 2002 season. Numerous interviews with major-league coaches such as Bill Walsh, Steve Mariucci, and John Gruden show the depth of respect accorded to Ladouceur and his methods and philosophies. Written with full cooperation from the coach and including dozens of photographs, this book is perfect for anyone interested in the factors behind phenomenal team success.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
High school football is akin to a religion in many parts of the nation, and this chronicles the Concord, CA, De La Salle High School Spartans, who boast the longest winning streak in football history-151 games. This tells the team's story as well as offering coaching tips. This expanded edition includes a preface by John Madden and a foreword by Tony La Russa. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Exceptional. A story about brotherhood and the endless fight to achieve greatness in all aspects of life.”—Alexander Ludwig
 
“A road map for developing great teams and great young men. A must read for any coach or parent who wants to help kids reach their true potential.”—David Zelon, producer
 
“One of the greatest football stories ever told.”—John Madden
 
“A story we need to read.”—Tony La Russa
 
“Human vulnerability gets equal time with athletic invincibility throughout Hayes’s book.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Remarkable.”—Pro Football Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781583946404
Publisher:
North Atlantic Books
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
408
Sales rank:
462,239
File size:
9 MB

Meet the Author

Neil Hayes was a sportswriter at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, California, and the Chicago Sun-Times during a 26-year newspaper career. He wrote the script for the ESPN documentary 151: The Greatest Streak, which was inspired by this book. He was also part of the creative team and an on-set consultant during the filming of the major motion picture based on this book. Hayes lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Charlee, their two children, Nick and Riley, and a pair of unruly dogs.

 

Bob Larson, the award-winning photographer, has been allowed behind the scenes access to De La Salle's program for more than ten years. He documented the team's national record setting 73rd consecutive victory as well as the school's 100th straight win. Larson also created a photo documentary of the 2002 season. His black and white photos evoke both the public spectacle and personal faces of De La Salle's intriguing 'Streak.' 

 

John Madden, the legendary NFL broadcaster synonymous with football for millions of fans nationwide, has an ability to explain the game's finer points with an idiosyncratic sense of humor. After 21 seasons as a game analyst for CBS and Fox, he is in his third season as the expert analyst for "Monday Night Football." 

 

Tony La Russa, the St. Louis Cardinals manager, is a former Bay Area resident who zealously follows De La Salle and considers Bob Ladouceur a true authority and coaching guru, as well as a personal friend. He has used Ladouceur quotes to inspire and motivate his own St. Louis Cardinals players.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

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When the Game Stands Tall: The Story of the De La Salle Spartans and Football's Longest Winning Streak 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This movie has a true and down to Earth/heart message I believe that this movie is a must see by all teams of any sport because the message will mean the same thing in ant dsport
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fan4SFGiants More than 1 year ago
A good read,but slow and dull. When The Game Stands Tall is good read,but it reads too slowly and you want to finish it ASAP.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hunter1995 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Hayes has done a wonderful job following the De La Salle Spartans incredible winning streak. I thought when I first starting reading the book, I believed that I was reading a regular football book but I was wrong. Mr. Hayes goes into so much detail about key personnel and the history of key people who have influenced the program's growth. I think that the coaching staff molds the team into a family both on and off the field . There are no secrets about how the program has the longest winning streak in high school sports . Every person affected by the De La Salle Spartans tries to give back in one form or another . In my opinion, Bob Ladoucer builds teams up not only for football seasons but for life after football. The Spartans deal with tradegy and protecting the "Streak" and how the upperclassmen pass it down to the underclassmen. I felt more emotion as I read the book because I felt for the kids on the Spartan team. The book is more than just about football and I encouage people to order it and read it slowly and carefully to get the full understanding of the book and the story behind the story.
___Nickseinfeld13 More than 1 year ago
This book is perhaps one of the best books ever written! I read it seven times I cant get enough. I sat down with Neil Hayes and interviewed him and he is just an honest great guy. I recomend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having been there from the beginning I can only speak to the accuracy of the book and the moral fiber of the men on the sidelines and between the hash marks. Neil Hayes and the men he wrote about certainly are deserving of all the platitudes they earned. An exceptional effort by some very down to earth people who learned early on about integrity, faith, and trust. Though the story is about a football team it is really the story of a family of men who placed principles, values, and care for each other above individual achievements. Along the way they won a few football games in a row. Neil did a great job capturing what Lad and Terry have always stood for...the importance of relationships and being accountable. It's a great read for any teacher or parent because that's what Lad and Terry are first and foremost.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down, it is something that Special.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This team is nothing more than a bunch of overrated rich boys who have nothing better to do with their life than play football. The book makes it seem as if the streak will never end, when in fact it already has. In October of 2004, the streak ended. So much for a great football team.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All William Tennent High School football players should read this book! It is about having the heart of a champion....just like our team!
Guest More than 1 year ago
An outsider can really gain some knowledge and insight into what really makes the program tick and how Lad and Eidson do it still after so many years. I would recommend this book to anyone who coaches football.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a heck of a great book!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the most accurate interpretation of the De La Salle football program I have ever read. Neil is able to deliver a true insight to the inner workings of Coach Lad and Cobra. A must read for anyone who has hope there are good things happening in the world. Neil proves it in this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a former DLS player, I can tell you that this book nails it. If fact, it gives away too much. This should be a must read for any coach who aspires to knock off the Spartans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here is a book that needs to be read by all Educators/Coaches at all levels, this book is not only about the sport of football, it is about Leadership and Motivation. The author takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotion, it is so griping it is hard to put down, Great Read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Neil Hayes for uncovering some of the deep mysteries of a program which has been sheltered even from the parents of the student-athletes at De La Salle. This is a must read for all prep coaches and parents of high school athletes. Deeply riveting tie-ins to the individual players and coaches with quotes that will become household phrases over time. Stands Tall will become as legendary as Friday Night Lights by the time that the Streak eventually ends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book even a De La Salle hater would enjoy. An outstanding look at what makes this football program so great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One need not be a football fan to find this book enthralling. It's a cliff hanger in the truest sense of the word. Following these boys thru all the games in a season, as they grow towards manhood, is a unique privilege. The reader immediately cares deeply about them. The individual games are every other chaper; interspersed are chapters about the team's history and the various assistant coaches. Head Coach Ladouceur, who has a Masters in Theology and also teaches Religion at De La Salle, is both a mystic and a philosopher who consciously uses football to teach life lessons. As the kids themselves proclaim, 'It's not about winning...it's about the brotherhood.' He's teaching them about self discipline, striving for one's personal best, commitment to others, trust, and the ethics of friendship. Those are indeed the reasons they continue to win game after game, not just breaking the national record for continuous wins (72), but more than doubling it (145).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The movie is awesome
Guest More than 1 year ago
GO KNIGHTS!!!! Everybody should read this book wether your involved in football or not