An Amazon Best Book of August 2017: For three decades beginning in 1986, John Saunders was a mainstay at ESPN, a jack-of-all-trades providing of thoughtful play-by-play, analysis, and commentary across a wide range of sports including basketball, football, and hockey, as well as anchoring the network’s flagship program, SportsCenter. For many, Saunders would appear to be leading an ideal existence – a happy family combined with a career that also happened to align with his passions – but off-camera, he was harboring a secret: debilitating depression that threatened everything he held dear, including his life. In this autobiography (written with John U. Bacon), Saunders lays bare his struggles, and the story is as harrowing as it is inspirational, a journey through our darkest pathways where the only way out is through. Made all the more profound by his unexpected death in 2016, Playing Hurt is a testament to human will, generosity, and the triumph of optimism.
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.
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