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“A lyrical memoir . . . about his teammates, his coaches, his parents and the magnetic power of football in Louisiana.”—NPR
“The best sports book of the year.”—Sports Illustrated
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.
About the Author
John Ed Bradley is the author of several highly praised novels and a memoir, It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium. A former reporter for The Washington Post, he has also written for Esquire, Sports Illustrated, GQ, and Play magazines. He lives with his wife and daughter in Mandeville, Louisiana.
“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
“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, bestselling 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
“Heart-wrenching, honest, insightful and hard to put down.”—The Franklin Sun