For the first time ever, the popular late host of ESPN's The Sports Reporters and ABC's college football openly discusses a lifelong battle with depression.
During his three decades on ESPN and ABC, John Saunders became one of the nation's most respected and beloved sportscasters. In this moving, jarring, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Saunders discusses his troubled childhood, the traumatic brain injury he suffered in 2011, and the severe depression that nearly cost him his life. As Saunders writes,
Playing Hurt is not an autobiography of a sports celebrity but a memoir of a man facing his own mental illness, and emerging better off for the effort. I will take you into the heart of my struggle with depression, including insights into some of its causes, its consequences, and its treatments.
I invite you behind the facade of my apparently "perfect" life as a sportscaster, with a wonderful wife and two healthy, happy adult daughters. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am truly grateful. But none of these things can protect me or anyone else from the disease of depression and its potentially lethal effects.
Mine is a rare story: that of a black man in the sports industry openly grappling with depression. I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly, including the lengths I've gone to to conceal my private life from the public.
So why write a book? Because I want to end the pain and heartache that comes from leading a double life. I also want to reach out to the millions of people, especially men, who think they're alone and can't ask for help.
John Saunders died suddenly on August 10, 2016, from an enlarged heart, diabetes, and other complications. This book is his ultimate act of generosity to help those who suffer from mental illness, and those who love them.
|Publisher:||Da Capo Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
John Saunders was a legendary ESPN and ABC sports broadcaster, known to millions of Americans as the face of college football and the arbiter of thoughtful sports journalism on ESPN's The Sports Reporters. Saunders passed away on August 10th, 2016.
John U. Bacon is the New York Times bestselling author of, among other titles, Three and Out, Fourth and Long, and Endzone.
Table of Contents
Foreword Mitch Albom xi
Author's Note John U. Bacon xvii
Preface: Looking Over the Edge xix
Part 1 Growing up the Hard Way
1 An Oasis of Love 3
2 An Indecent Proposal 10
3 Playing with Fire 13
4 He Ain't Heavy 27
5 The Salvation of Sports 30
6 Looking for a Little Relief 36
7 My Two Selves 42
8 The Drug Business 47
9 Hurting Myself 51
Part 2 Trying to Build a Better Life
10 Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Back 57
11 Falling in Love 70
12 Go West 76
13 Getting Married 80
14 Country John Saunders 84
15 Chasing a New Dream 94
16 Making It in Moncton 99
17 Bright Lights, Big City 111
18 Big Man in Baltimore 118
19 A Family of My Own 132
20 The Worldwide Leader 139
21 Our Sister 144
22 Livin' in America 150
Part 3 The Façade Cracks
23 The Psych Ward 157
24 Dr. Dangerous 171
25 Falling Backward 175
26 Scaling Mt. Sinai 182
27 Learning to Walk 190
28 A High-Stakes Stroll in the Park 200
29 Ready for Prime Time? 211
30 Testing, Testing 218
Part 4 Collision Course
31 The Damage of Doctor Dangerous Revealed 227
32 Let the Bad Times Roll 232
33 Stumbling Toward Unhappiness 238
34 A Day in the Doldrums 244
35 Peering Over the Tappan Zee Bridge 249
36 Back to the Bridge 254
37 Crunch Time 257
38 You've Got to Admit It's Getting Better 263
39 Jimmy V, Dickie V, and Cardio V 268
40 Learning the Best Lesson 277
Afterword John U. Bacon 283
Acknowledgments John U. Bacon 291