Leisure Reading: Sports

796.332 ST81I (Houston Room) Inside the Helmet: Hard Knocks, Pulling Together, and Triumph as a Sunday Afternoon Warrior: An inside look at football from Giants player Michael Strahan, this book covers such topics as rookie life, the health effects of playing competitive football, lack of privacy, teammate struggles, viewpoints regarding opposing players, and more. Written outside of the normal media angle, this book is a refreshing glimpse into what really goes through an NFL player’s thoughts.

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796.01 OV2L (Houston Room) Living Out of Bounds: The Male Athlete’s Everyday Life: Journalist Steven J. Overman has taken the countless biographies and autobiographies of male sports figures which grace of the literary market and analyzed them for common themes. Included here are such topics as family life, the hours of training involved, daily activities, the trials and tribulations associated with maintaining their health, and the countless hours spent traveling on a weekly basis.

796.3326 ED28T (Houston Room) Touchdown Jesus: Faith and Fandom at Notre Dame: The author, Scott Eden, is an ’97 Alumni of Notre Dame. The major focus is on four areas and the tension caused between each: the administration, the athletic department, the alumni, and the fanatic fans.

If you are not a rabid fan of Notre Dame, it might be worth checking this book out to see the level of devotion Notre Dame fans give to the  college football program.

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796.357 EZ78A (Houston Room) Asterisk: Home Runs, Steroids, and the Rush to Judgement: A defense of MLB player Barry Bonds, the author, David Ezra, is a California attorney who sets out to shoot down each of the claims made regarding Bonds. From Barry Bonds gaining 40 lbs of muscle in one year, or the suggested change in his arm size since 1995, Ezra covers much of the evidence against Bonds, to show the other side of the story.

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796 F268 (Houston Room) Father & Sons & Sports: A collection of true accounts written by both fathers and sons, with one common theme: sports. Whether it is an NFL player taking his spoiled children back to the “mean streets”, or a baseball manager coming to terms with his son’s inability to “take the right path”, there is something here for every sports fan, whether the turf is the gridiron, a diamond, a chessboard, a court, or a fairway.

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796.332 G253P (Houston Room) Physics of Football: Discover the Science of Bone-Crunching Hits, Soaring Field Goals, and Awe-Inspiring Passes. Now, if that title does not catch you, I am not sure what will! But here are some additional facts: 1) Newton’s Second Law of Physics proves that Dick Butkus hit running backs with the force of a small killer whale, and 2) The average force with which a football must be kicked during kickoff is 450 lbs. But for an instant, the force may be as much as a ton.

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796.323 F735P (Houston Room) The Physics of Basketball. Ask yourself: Why does a backboard shatter? Where is the sweet spot when attempting a layup? What sort of distortion effects occur with the basketball when bounced? What is occuring during “hang time”? What can you do to create your own “hang time” ala Michael Jordon? What goes into improving your free throw shooting? What type of spin is best to make sure the basketball goes through the rim, and doesn’t bounce off it?

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796.357 AD11P (Houston Room) The Physics of Baseball. Ever wondered how the stitching of a baseball affects how far it travels? Or the merits of using a wooden bat or an aluminum bat? Why does spitting on the baseball make a difference? Why does a ball hit at Coors field (Colorado Rockies) travel farther than those hit at most ballparks? There are also controversies such as corked bats, pine tar, and scuffed balls to consider.

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