“A superb work that paints the resilient athlete as a fierce competitor and an unforgettable sportsman.” Kirkus, starred review
“Dent (The Junction Boys, 2001) brings Steinmark to life through interviews with friends, teammates, and coaches, who confirm that he was every bit the All-American boy… Dent doesn't oversell this inspirational story in the Brian's Song mold. In the end, readers may feel they've met an extraordinary young man and, though it's been 40 years since he died, mourn his passing.” Booklist
“Jim Dent, dadgum him, keeps writing books I wish I'd written. Like The Junction Boys and Twelve Mighty Orphans, to name two. Now here he comes with another terrific effort, Courage Beyond the Game, the story of the most courageous kid to ever pull on a football suit. If you pick it up, it's guaranteed to pick you up.” Dan Jenkins, author of Semi-Tough and Dead Solid Perfect
“Jim Dent is a world class story teller, and in Freddie Steinmark's courageous and triumphant fight to be a man of substance, he's found a tale worthy of his ample talents. Dent will bring tears to your eyes, and Steinmark's example will make you want to be a better person.'” Joe Drape, New York Times bestselling author of Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen
“You will cheer and you will weep as you read Jim Dent's irresistible rendering of one of the great real-life dramas in college football history. Dent has brought plenty of tough guys to life in his other books, but little Freddie Steinmark surely ranks as the toughest. Dent has brilliantly re-cast a Longhorn legend. I could not put Courage Beyond the Game down.'” John Eisenberg, author of That First Season: How Vince Lombardi Took the Worst Team in the NFL and set it on the Path to Glory, and Cotton Bowl Days: Growing up with Dallas and the Cowboys in the 1960s
“''Freddie Steinmark's story will inspire you and make you cry, and Jim Dent has told it better than anyone in Courage Beyond the Game. Jim's eye for detail and gifted writing will take you back to another place and time, and a new generation of college football fans will learn why Freddie lives forever in the hearts of those he touched in his brief life.''” Richard Justice, lead sports columnist for The Houston Chronicle
“Courage Beyond the Game is a wonderful book whose protagonist, the doomed University of Texas safety Freddie Steinmark, delivers just what the title promises. Veteran sports author Jim Dent infuses a narrative whose ending we all know with depth, tenderness, and unexpected insights. His Steinmark could have easily been a cardboard saint. Instead the Steinmark we meet is intensely human, inspirational, funny and utterly unforgettable. This was a book I couldn't put down.” Bill Livingston, Cleveland Plain Dealer sports columnist
“Jim Dent once again proves his mastery of the way football felt and sounded in the days of Texas and the Southwest Conference. His inspirational portrait of Freddie Steinmark takes us back to a purer time.” Mark Whicker, Orange Country Register sports columnist
“Freddie Steinmark defined college football with his unquenchable thirst for life, unbridled spirit through adversity, and rare passion for the game he lived to play. Jim Dent can tell a story life like few others and brought this must-read, must-be-told account back to life for all to relish with his riveting, gut-wrenching book, Courage Beyond the Game.'” Kirk Bohls, Austin American Statesman sports columnist
“Jim Dent's latest book will hit you hard--right in the heart. Dent, a gifted storyteller who is at his best writing about underdogs, weaves an unforgettable tale about a heroic player who long ago was propelled into Texas lore. You will admire Freddie Steinmark's fighting spirit. You will feel his pain. And you will be inspired by his courage.” Keith Dunnavant, author of America's Quarterback: Bart Starr and the Rise of the National Football League
“A compelling, powerful story told only as Jim Dent can. In Courage Beyond The Game, Dent once again has taken us inside a story that is far more remarkable than sports. It is impossible to read without feeling inspired by the courage of this heroic young man, Freddie Steinmark. Everyone should have this book.” Bill Macatee, CBS Sports
“Jim Dent delivered on the nearly impossible. Take a story in which everyone knows the ending and force the reader to turn the page. The book is compelling from the moment you meet young Freddie Steinmark sprinting in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains until his Texas Longhorns run up the Cotton Bowl tunnel as national champions. Whether you like football or not, it's hard not to appreciate Dent's ability to capture a moment in time down to the finest detail.” Chad Millman, Editor-in-Chief of ESPN The Magazine, Author of The Ones Who Hit the Hardest
Heartfelt biography of a Texas football star whose life was cut short by cancer.
Inspired by interviews with coaches, teammates and friends and a 1971 autobiography, award-winning sportswriter Dent (Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football, 2007, etc.) tracks Freddie Joe Steinmark's early years and burgeoning career with the Texas Longhorns. From his childhood in 1950s Denver, Colo., Steinmark's interest in sports flourished, carefully groomed and profoundly encouraged by his father, a self-made athlete turned cop who'd sacrificed a professional baseball career to raise his son. "A small child with fragile bones" yet dubbed "a born winner" by early mentors, Steinmark's diminutive stature proved a surprisingly suitable match for his steely, fearless determination on the field. Dent budgets his narrative wisely, proffering equal parts sports achievement and personal accomplishment in tracing his subject's incremental ascent to greatness as he earned the admiration of fellow teammates like star quarterback Roger Behler. As the Longhorns' "golden boy" key safety, the "155-pound peach-fuzz kid" exhibited drive and tireless perseverance on the gridiron, making him a respected letterman under Coach Darrell Royal. However, soon after a game-saving field performance, Steinmark suffered a crushing blow when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer that would eventually claim his life at 22. Dent also includes the story of Steinmark's shyly romantic courtship of high-school sweetheart Linda Wheeler, an intensive love that endured throughout their tenure together at the University of Texas. The author also bolsters the biography with a fond foreword from current Texas head coach Mack Brown, who, to this day, continues to memorialize Steinmark's legacy by bringing his photograph along to the team's away-games.
A superb work that paints the resilient athlete as a fierce competitor and an unforgettable sportsman.