The Great Match Race is a captivating account of America's first sports spectacle, a horse race that pitted North against South in three grueling heats. On a bright afternoon in May 1823, an unprecedented sixty thousand people showed up to watch two horses run the equivalent of nine Kentucky Derbys in a few hours' time. Eclipse was the majestic champion representing the North, and Henry, an equine arriviste, was the pride of the South. Their match race would come to represent a watershed moment in American history, crystallizing the differences that so fundamentally divided the country. The renowned sportswriter John Eisenberg captures all the pulse-pounding drama and behind-the-scenes tensions in a page-turning mix of history, horse racing, and pure entertainment.
A new superstar appeared on the American sports landscape in the spring of 2006. Barbaro, a three-year-old racehorse, won the Kentucky Derby by the largest margin of victory in sixty years, stirring talk of a possible Triple Crown. But in the opening yards of the Preakness Stakes two weeks later, the magnificent animal suffered a catastrophic leg injury that ended his un-defeated career and left him fighting for his life. One of the world's top jockeys, Edgar Prado rode Barbaro to glory and then stood beside him for months as the horse valiantly struggled to survive. My Guy Barbaro is the true story of the dream that carried Prado from an impoverished childhood in Lima, Peru, to the winner's circles of the world's greatest racetracks--and is the heartwarming account of his love for a beautiful, talented, irreplaceable teammate.
My Guy Barbaro: A Jockey's Journey Through Love, Triumph, and Heartbreak with America's Favorite Horseby Edgar Prado John Eisenberg
A new superstar appeared on the American sports landscape in the spring of 2006: Barbaro, a three-year-old racehorse, won the Kentucky Derby by six and a half lengths, the largest margin of victory in sixty years. Barbaro's impressive performance immediately stirred talk of a possible Triple Crown. But in the opening yards of the Preakness Stakes two weeks later, the horse suffered a catastrophic leg injury that ended his undefeated career and left him fighting for his life. Edgar Prado, a native of Peru and one of the world's top jockeys, rode Barbaro to glory and then stood beside him for months as the horse valiantly struggled to survive and millions of fans held their breath. Having ridden in more than twenty-five thousand races over the previous two decades, Prado thought he had been around too long to fall for any one horse, but Barbaro-intelligent, charismatic, and resourceful in sickness as well as in health-stole his heart. In My Guy Barbaro, Prado recounts his own story, a tale of grit and dreams that moves from his impoverished childhood in Lima, Peru, to the winner's circles of the greatest racetracks in the world, and memorably chronicles his emotional time with Barbaro before, during, and after the horse's breakdown. Their bond was special and immeasurable. With Prado still reeling from a wrenching personal loss, Barbaro lifted his spirits by giving him the ride of a lifetime in the Derby. When the tables turned and the horse needed support two weeks later, Prado was there, going out of his way to make a succession of visits to the New Bolton Center, the animal hospital in Pennsylvania where Barbaro underwent more than two dozen surgeries and was ultimately put down. Barbaro made worldwide headlines for eight months, and now Prado's poignant, clear-eyed narrative takes us where no reader has gone before-onto Barbaro's back in the heat of a race and into the intensive care suite where Barbaro's life-and-death drama played itself out. My Guy Barbaro is a heartwarming, unforgettable story of a man and his love for a beautiful animal and an irreplaceable teammate.
In the early 1950s, a rising star flickered across millions of black-and-white TV sets. Nick-named 'The Grey Ghost,' Native Dancer was a blue-blood thoroughbred with a taste for drama, courtesy of his come-from-behind running style, and impressive credits: He finished first in 21 of his 22 career starts, his only loss by a nose in the 1953 Kentucky Derby; was named Horse of the Year-twice; and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. His popularity was so great, Time® magazine put him on its cover, and TV Guide named him one of America's top three TV stars, along with Ed Sullivan and Arthur Godfrey. Legend says his ghost haunts Churchill Downs. Set against the nostalgic events of an America long past, NATIVE DANCER is the definitive account of one of the greatest champions of horse racing's golden age.
In the 1960s, on the heels of the "Greatest Game Ever Played," professional football began to flourish across the country--except in Texas, where college football was still the only game in town. But in an unlikely series of events, two young oil tycoons started their own professional football franchises in Dallas the very same year: the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, and, as part of a new upstart league designed to thwart the NFL's hold on the game, the Dallas Texans of the AFL. Almost overnight, a bitter feud was born.The team owners, Lamar Hunt and Clint Murchison, became Mad Men of the gridiron, locked in a battle for the hearts and minds of the Texas pigskin faithful. Their teams took each other to court, fought over players, undermined each other's promotions, and rooted like hell for the other guys to fail. A true visionary, Hunt of the Texans focused on the fans, putting together a team of local legends and hiring attractive women to drive around town in red convertibles selling tickets. Meanwhile, Murchison and his Cowboys focused on the game, hiring a young star, Tom Landry, in what would be his first-ever year as a head coach, and concentrating on holding their own against the more established teams in the NFL. Ultimately, both teams won the battle, but only one got to stay in Dallas and go on to become one of sports' most quintessential franchises--"America's Team."In this highly entertaining narrative, rich in colorful characters and unforgettable stunts, Eisenberg recounts the story of the birth of pro football in Dallas--back when the game began to be part of this country's DNA.
John Eisenberg's That First Season is the seldom-studied prequel to a phenomenal football career for Vince Lombardi and the Packers, drawing on exhaustive new research and interviews to tell an incredible ensemble tale of a team, a town, and their leader. The once-vaunted Green Bay Packers were a laughing stock by the late 1950s. They hadn't fielded a winning team in more than a decade and were close to losing their franchise to another city. They were in desperate need of a savior, and he arrived in a wood-paneled station wagon in the dead of winter from New York City. In a single year, Vince Lombardi--the grizzled coach who took no bull--transformed a team of underachievers into winners and resurrected a city known for its passion for sport.
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