- 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
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||7.96(w) x 5.08(h) x 0.68(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
YOU SHOULD'VE SEEN my father's arms. He didn't lift weights or do push-ups or exercise them in any way, and yet they were packed tight with muscle. When I was a boy and he lifted his highball in the evening for a sip, a round knot the size of a softball came up under the skin and slowly flattened out when he lowered the glass back down. I loved his arms so much that I memorized every vein, sinew, and golden hair. I knew the wrinkles of his elbows.
Excerpted from "It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium"
Copyright © 2008 John Ed Bradley.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Every time an artist showed you his work, he was really asking you a question, and the question was always the same: 'Am I any good?'" (Big Ed Stanton page 261) John Ed Bradley asked that question many times in this work. While he may not be convinced, the answer to his questions is a resounding, "Yes you are!"I watched John Ed Bradley and Big Ed Stanton and many other personalities in this book play or coach. I know many others vicariously as characters familiar to some I've known. Even the title rings nostalgically for me because there was a good while for which it seemed to hold (mostly) true. The proper time to play a game in Tiger Stadium (aka "Deaf Valley") was 7 or 7:30 p.m. after the usual humidity laden air had dropped its precipitation for the day.His use of interlaced vignettes pulls one into the story better than most novels ever do. We learn to know his parents, schoolmates, towns folk and teammates friends and admirers, and especially Coach Mac. John Ed Bradley shares the usually closed space behind the mask of masculine emotions, especially the doubts about measuring up to potential; to duty.