Pain Gang: Pro Football's Fifty Toughest Players

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Potomac Books, Inc., 2006 - Sports & Recreation - 334 pages
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No sport demands toughness more than professional football, and no sport celebrates it with as much joy, excitement, and pride. John Madden annually offers his picks of the top tough guys, and sick hits are shown repeatedly on jumbotrons nationwide and ESPN s Sportscenter. Anyone who s ever watched an NFL Films production can surely hear the voice that distinctive narrator lauding the warriors of the gridiron who lay it all out there. Imagine his voice as you say: These tough men came to do battle today, and only the fiercest will win. Into this atmosphere comes Neil Reynolds, public relations manager for the NFL in Europe, and his new book "Pain Gang: Pro Football s Fifty Toughest Players." From early day heroes, such as Bronko Nagurski, Clark Hinkle, and Frank Bruiser Kinard, to Hall of Famers like Ronnie Lott, Walter Payton, and Dick Butkus, to such modern-day iron men as Emmitt Smith, Brett Favre, and Rodney Harrison, Reynolds lauds some of the toughest, meanest, most inspirational, and hardest-working men in the roughest sport. He includes interviews with teammates, coaches, opponents, and the players themselves on what it means to be tough, how they characterize toughness, and even who was the toughest of them all.Some players fought through broken bones and tired bodies. Others laid out opponents with the hardest of hits. Still others proved themselves on the battlefields of World War II before joining this secondary field of battle. And some played hard and fast mostly within the rules in order to intimidate their opponents through sheer fear.Whatever their means, these guys were tough and knew it and they made sure everyone else did as well. Meet the "Pain Gang," and you ll know it too.
 

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Pain Gang: Pro Football's Fifty Toughest Players

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Reynolds, the public relations manager for NFL Europe, defines toughness primarily as being able to endure pain and punishment and, to a lesser extent, being able to dish it out. The 50 NFL players he ... Read full review

Contents

LIST OF PHOTOGRAPHS
FOREWORD
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION
QUARTERBACKS
LEAVING IT ALL ON THE FIELD
THE QUARTERBACK NOBODY WANTED
IF IT KEEPS BREAKING DONT FIX IT
A BOOMING PRESENCE
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
OVERCOMING THE ODDS
A PILEDRIVING FORCE
THE SURVIVAL INSTINCT
THE SACK MASTER
THEY CALLED HIM MEAN
PLAYING WITH PAIN

TAKING A BEATING IN THE BIG EASY
KING OF COOL
PLAYING FOR FREE
THERES DOUBTFUL QUESTIONABLE AND MCNAIR
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
RUNNINGBACKS
THE ORIGINAL TOUGH GUY
BATTLING WITH THE BRONK
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
SUPERMAN IN CLEATS
RUNNING WITH POWER
COUNTRY TOUGHNESS
A COMEBACK FOR THE AGES
SWEETNESS HAD TOUGHNESS
TOUGH TO BRING DOWN
SHOULDERING THE LOAD
RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS
THE LITTLE MAN WITH THE BIG HEART
BORN TO BE TOUGH
DONT CALL ME RAMBO
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
THE BRUTE
THE SIXTYMINUTE MAN
THE BRUISER
MRCONSISTENCY
SHARK EYES
THE WINDY CITY WARRIOR
LINEBACKERS
LAST OF THE TWOWAY TERRORS
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
FROM JUNCTION TO THE NFL
IF LOOKS COULD KILL
THE INTIMIDATOR
ONE TOUGH HOMBRE
THE THINKING MANS LINEBACKER
MAN OF STEEL
THE EYES HAVE IT
NFL WILD MAN
BACK IN THE GAME
DEFENSIVE BACKS
THE UNLIKELIEST HALL OF FAMER
EVERY QUARTERBACKS NIGHTMARE
IN YOUR FACE
NFL KAMIKAZE
DEMANDING RESPECT
51 THE TOUGHEST EVER?
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Neil Reynolds dropped out of high school to work for a newspaper, and over a long career became one of the great editors of newspapers in Canada. He was editor of the "Kingston Whig-Standard", the New Brunswick "Telegraph-Journal", and Saint John "Times-Globe", the "Ottawa Citizen", and the "Vancouver Sun". He was an inspiring and courageous leader in a newsroom. I know this to be true because I worked in some of his newsrooms, where he told us that we were producing the literature of the people. At the end of his career, he shared his time between Ottawa and New Brunswick, as editor-at-large for Brunswick News Inc. and writing a column for the "Globe and Mail". We cornered him for this talk during an east coast leg of his travels. Reynolds died on May 19, 2013.

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