Twelve Yards

The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty Kick

Twelve Yards

An all-encompassing look at the penalty kick, soccer’s all-or-nothing play—its legendary moments and the secrets to its success No stretch of grass has been the site of more glory or heartbreak in the world of sports than the few dozen paces between goalkeeper and penalty kicker in soccer. In theory, it’s simple: place the ball beyond a single defender and secure a place in history. But once the chosen players make the lonely march from their respective sides of the pitch, everything changes, all bets are off, and anything can happen. Drawing from the hard-won lessons of legendary games, in-depth statistical analysis, expert opinion, and the firsthand experience of coaches and players from around the world, journalist Ben Lyttleton offers insight into the diverse attitudes, tactics, and techniques that separate success from failure in one of the highest-pressure situations sports has to offer. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Twelve Mighty Orphans

The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football

Twelve Mighty Orphans

Jim Dent, author of the New York Times bestselling The Junction Boys, returns with his most powerful story of human courage and determination. More than a century ago, a school was constructed in Fort Worth, Texas, for the purpose of housing and educating the orphans of Texas Freemasons. It was a humble project that for years existed quietly on a hillside east of town. Life at the Masonic Home was about to change, though, with the arrival of a lean, bespectacled coach by the name of Rusty Russell. Here was a man who could bring rain in the midst of a drought. Here was a man who, in virtually no time at all, brought the orphans' story into the homes of millions of Americans. In the 1930s and 1940s, there was nothing bigger in Texas high school football than the Masonic Home Mighty Mites—a group of orphans bound together by hardship and death. These youngsters, in spite of being outweighed by at least thirty pounds per man, were the toughest football team around. They began with nothing—not even a football—yet in a few years were playing for the state championship on the highest level of Texas football. This is a winning tribute to a courageous band of underdogs from a time when America desperately needed fresh hope and big dreams. The Mighty Mites remain a notable moment in the long history of American sports. Just as significant is the depth of the inspirational message. This is a profound lesson in fighting back and clinging to faith. The real winners in Texas high school football were not the kids from the biggest schools, or the ones wearing the most expensive uniforms. They were the scrawny kids from a tiny orphanage who wore scarred helmets and faded jerseys that did not match, kids coached by a devoted man who lived on peanuts and drove them around in a smoke-belching old truck. In writing a story of unforgettable characters and great football, Jim Dent has come forward to reclaim his place as one of the top sports authors in America today. A remarkable and inspirational story of an orphanage and the man who created one of the greatest football teams Texas has ever known . . . this is their story—the original Friday Night Lights. "This just might be the best sports book ever written. Jim Dent has crafted a story that will go down as one of the most artistic, one of the most unforgettable, and one of the most inspirational ever. Twelve Mighty Orphans will challenge Hoosiers as the feel-good sports story of our lifetime. Naturally, being from Texas, I am biased. Hooray for the Mighty Mites.'' —Verne Lundquist, CBS Sports "Coach Rusty Russell and the Mighty Mites will steal your heart as they overcome every obstacle imaginable to become a respected football team. Take an orphanage, the Depression, and mix it with Texas high school football, and Jim Dent has authored another winner, this one about the ultimate underdog.'' —Brent Musburger, ABC Sports/ESPN "No state has a roll call of legendary high school football stories like we do in Texas, and, admittedly, some of those stories have been ‘expanded' over the years when it comes to the truth. But let Jim Dent tell you about the Mighty Mites of Masonic Home, the pride of Fort Worth in the dark days of the Depression. Read this book. You will think it's fiction. You will think it's a Hollywood script. But Twelve Mighty Orphans is the truth, and nothing but. It is powerful stuff. Some eighty years later, the Mighty Mites' story remains so sacred, not even a Texan would dare tamper with these facts. And Jim Dent tells it like it was." — Randy Galloway, columnist, Fort-Worth Star Telegram

The Ain I Akbari

The Ain I Akbari


Gridiron Glory Days

Football at Mercer, 1892-1942

Gridiron Glory Days

¿The ball was round, the equpiment was homemade, and the rules were uncertain, but that game the boys were playing on the lawn at Mercer University in 1892 was football....¿ Thus begins this colorful history of football at Mercer University, 1892-1942. Mercer had only 179 registered students in 1892 when the first Mercer eleven met the first Georgia eleven on the gridiron in Athens in January 1892, the FIRST college football game in the state of Georgia, and one of the first in the Southeast. College football in 1892 was a far cry from the organized splendor it is today. Uniforms were makeshift, with little or no padding. Players begin growing their ¿helmets¿ or ¿head pads¿ in early summer, and rumor has it that those long, bushy manes prompted Mercer¿s nickname--the Bears. It was a rough-and-tumble, disorganized free-for-all on the 110x53 yard field. Touchdowns counted four points; extra points, two; field goals, five; and safeties, two. But all those interesting facts--and many more--are included in this exciting chronicle. For fifty years Mercer played against the the great (Alabama, Army, Georgia, Florida, and others) and the nearly great (Savannah Library Association, Locust Grove Institute, North Georgia Aggies). Alas, college football eventually became a big (and expensive) business, and with the US facing world war, the last Mercer team was fielded in 1941. But, beginning in Fall 2013, the Mercer Bears will once again take the field following a seventy-year hiatus. This time, however, the helmets are much improved.

Thylacine Conspiracy

Thylacine Conspiracy

Rare by 1914"Tasmanian Wolf, also called Tasmanian Tiger, or thylacine, largest marsupial carnivore of recent times....rare by 1914, the Tasmanian Wolf is now thought to be extinct."The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (1994)

Crossing the Cultural Bridges

With My African Wife

Crossing the Cultural Bridges

The novel CROSSING THE CULTURAL BRIDGES, wipes away the negative stereotypes heaped against Africans. It helps to do away the cultural gap between the African and the Africans-in-Diaspora. The union between Jason and Dora breaks the cultural divides perpetrated against each other. Jason follows his wife to her country to marry her from her parents. He faced cultural challenges unknown to him. A character Mary surfaced with her family and adopted him. That was what saved him. He comes home to tell his people his experiences he cannot forget.