❰Reading❯ ➾ A Season on the Brink Author John Feinstein – Peakpopa.info

A Season on the Brink So fascinating to read this book about Bob Knight 2nd most wins in college in college basketball history, just behind his former player Coach K He is such an enigma Fiery temper, little control of his emotions, demanding perfection, and he gets the absolute most out of his teams ability and heart Despite how unbelievably hard he is on his teams, most former players say he is the best college coach ever Reading this book reminded me a lot of Walter Isaacson s book on Steve Jobs In fact, both men remind me a lot of each other Grew up as the only child in the family, demanding personality, expects absolute excellence and yet expects even from himself, sees losing as a direct reflection of himself, little to no control of his emotions and can swing back and forth quickly from calm to highly agitated, and both men were able to lead others to do absolutely extraordinary things They both made a dent in their universe As a former college baseball player, it wouldn t be my way as a coach, and I m not sure I could have played for him and survived, but I am almost drawn to how much he got out of his players What was it that made him win so many Big Ten titles, a gold medal, and 3 national championships How did he get his players to deliver every drop of talent out of their basketball skills If you like basketball, leadership, coaching, or just want to read about one of the most controversial coaches in basketball, this is your book. A Season on the Brink A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers by John Feinstein is a remarkable book Remarkable for the breadth and depth of access Bob Knight granted to a journalist and remarkable for the behind the scenes look at, despite his profanity, bullyness and mercurial mood swings, one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time Season follows Bob Knight throughout the tumultuous 1985 1986 season, a year before Knight and IU again win the NCAA tournament, and a year after Knight s infamous throwing the chair moment during a sideline tirade.I have mixed feelings about Bob Knight Some of my earliest memories watching basketball with my father involved Bob Knight and the 1975 76 IU team that went undefeated As a senior in high school, I watched Bob Knight and the Hoosiers win a second title By its third championship, I was deployed aboard the USS Enterprise halfway around the world Throughout that entire period, Bob Knight s IU teams could be expected to play smart, disciplined, team basketball a perfect example for a young midwestern boy man heading off to the Naval Academy and a career in the Navy Throughout the period, there were also increasingly loud whispers of Bob Knight s exploits some lovely helping out a family in need, assisting an old player who had fell on hard times, putting in a good word for an up and coming coach and some truly horrid Over time the horrid began to outweigh the excellence of his teams My father went from being a Knight fan to routing against him I thought Knight s mind games were remnants from an era gone by, and that basketball and society had passed him by In his book, John Feinstein does a remarkable job of showing us the Good Bob and Bad Bob Toward the end, Knight makes a point that the ends justify the means I do not agree But the incongruity of a great basketball mind inside an often troubled man makes for great reading.I recently listened to a Bill Simmons podcast in which he and several sportswriters discussed their Top Ten or so favorite sports books A Season on the Brink was firmly high on each sportswriter s list In 2002, in its Top 100 Sports Books article, Sports Illustrated listed A Season on the Brink as the sixth greatest sports book of all time, in between 5 You Know Me Al by Ring Lardner 1914 and 7 Semi Tough by Dan Jenkins 1972 1 was The Sweet Science, a book about boxing by A.J Liebling 1956 Season is highly recommended For those interested, the Sports Illustrated article is available on line. A Season On The Brink Chronicles The Basketball Season That John Feinstein Spent Following The Indiana Hoosiers And Their Fiery Coach, Bob Knight Knight Granted Feinstein An Unprecedented Inside Look At College Basketball With Complete Access To Every Moment Of The Season Feinstein Saw And Heard It All Practices, Team Meetings, Strategy Sessions, And Mid Game Huddles During Knight S Struggle To Avoid A Losing Season A Season On The Brink Not Only Captures The Drama And Pressure Of Big Time College Basketball But Paints A Vivid Portrait Of A Complex, Brilliant Coach Walking A Fine Line Between Genius And Madness On my to be read list for as long as I have had one It seemed perfect for a short vacation around the NCAA final and to be a perfect bookend to The Last Days of Knight coming up on ESPN A fascinating look inside an elite program But the sacrifice these players put in while playing for Bob Knight Not sure it was worth it Especially the abuse. A good listen for college basketball nuts Covers the Indiana Hoosiers in a fairly unremarkable season in classic Feinstein fashion I think my understanding of Bob Knight didn t change so much as it broadened He would still be probably the last famous basketball coach I would choose to play for He has reprehensible views on gender, and no one should be surprised that a faux macho guy like Knight gravitated to a fraud like Trump However, there are things about Coach Knight that make him different, well, better than a Trump He s a man of rules Some of them are bad rules, like refusing to work with women on his staff He also believes firmly in following the NCAA s rules, which many coaches skirt or violate to their advantage He makes his players go to class, follows through on punishments if they don t, and gets a huge portion of them to graduate I m looking at you John Calipari He will do anything for his friends and former players, even ones with whom he didn t have a great relationship Several times in the book, he reached out with great warmness and generosity to kids with disabilities.So there s to Bob Knight than a screaming, sexist chair thrower However, that s also an integral part of who he is In this book, he repeatedly crosses the line with his language and treatment of his players To some extent he s strategic with the tirades and mind games, but it s clear that he often just loses control The players and staff live in a kind of terror and misery because of his temper Basketball should be a little bit fun, even at the highest levels, but playing for Knight doesn t seem to be that way There really seems to be serious emotional instability here, as well as a fixation on the negative Given his behavior after this book at Indiana and Texas Tech, it s clear that he never really got control of his emotions and learned to treat people as if they have feelings too I m not trying to say that there s not a place for toughness in coaching, but that toughness should be controlled, not meted out in random bursts and mind games that simply aren t fair to the players So I understand Bob Knight a lot better, but I still don t like him I d say Feinstein is an excellent guide to this team and this season He s pretty fair minded and objective, but entertaining as well I d say this book deserves the reputation it has as a great sports book Actually, the fact that Knight didn t like the book, despite how fair Feinstein was to him, should be consider another notch against his character. Actually a pretty well written book, but two stars because after 308 pages I have no idea why Knight was such a good coach I know he s extremely emotional, dictatorial, self centered and obsessive while also being a pretty good seeming guy, but I have no idea how he became the winningnest coach in D1 college ball history. I came in with low expectations of this book, perhaps something to take a peek at a few pages and kinda leave it there Instead, I consumed the entire book in one sitting, as it was an absolutely enjoyable read and kept me interested throughout.The book itself is basically a documentary of the 1985 86 Indiana Hoosiers, who had disappointed mightily in the year beforehand, and thus, needed a makeup season, not just for the school, who expects their basketball team to contend for national and conference titles every year, but for Bobby Knight, the coach of the squad, who himself is notable for his short fused temper This temper becomes perhaps the most important plotline throughout the book, as he has to figure out how to deal with his angry outbursts, while coaching an inexperienced team that would almost certainly wilt under the pressure if he were to constantly destroy them mentally To see Knight sometimes being portrayed as someone who is actively controlling his temper would strike most familiar with the sport as strange, considering his tenure at Indiana was ended in 2000 thanks to a physical assault of a player.It is a thoroughly good thing, that the Bobby Knight types in coaching are dying out the last thing that sports needs are the petty tyrants who justify abuse as motivation However, this book is written in such a way that does make him seem like a person trying his best to cope with the fact that his competitive nature overtakes the logical and perhaps even warm side of him a lot of times Feinstein does a good job at presenting him as a fully fleshed out human in short, it s probably the most sympathetic portrayal of him as a whole.Overall, the 4 5 star rating comes mostly from the fact that the game and practice recaps do get a bit repetitive, and in a book chronicling a sports team, that s a large chunk Still, the writing and the portrayal of coaches and players makes it a worthy read. Considering there was an ESPN movie made about this that I never watched , I assumed the book was better The book is about Bob Knight s Indiana Hoosiers the year after they flamed out in 1984 85 This book shows that Bobby Knight is a toxic person who played mind games with his players, didn t praise players until they were gone and that was to put down players currently on the team , and he also was incapable of driving his son the same way The book tries to show his positives, his humor, and his ability to coach but the book is just there.What is most frustrating is in places where the author spoils any potential drama by revealing the result before the game occurs in the book As someone who made sure to resist looking up the season it was disappointing. This book proves 2 things without a doubt 1 Bob Knight is an asshole2 You can read about a game or see it live, but basketball is best enjoyed on TV in the comfort of your own home.The end. stop the presses Bob Knight is an asshole


About the Author: John Feinstein

John Feinstein is one of the nation s most successful and prolific sports authors who has written 24 books to date His most recent work Are You Kidding Me , written with Rocco Mediate, was released on May 18, 2009, and is presently on the shelf at bookstores everywhere In addition, he is an award winning columnist and regular contributor in both radio and television John Feinstein is a 1977 gr


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