Running for My Life: My Journey in the Game of Football and Beyond

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Nov 4, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages

NFL running back Warrick Dunn is truly one of the good guys in the world of sports. And in this revealing autobiography, written with New York Times bestselling author Don Yaeger, Dunn tells his incredibly moving, inspirational story of courage and determination in the face of devastating loss, a story that makes his achievements on the football field that much more amazing.

Warrick Dunn and his five brothers and sisters all idolized their mother, Baton Rouge police officer Betty Smothers. As the oldest, Dunn was the closest to her, and the man of the house. On January 7, 1993, while the single mother worked a second job as a supermarket security guard, Betty Smothers was ambushed, shot, and killed while making a bank deposit. Dunn—then a high school senior just weeks away from choosing among his college football scholarship offers—was devastated.

Dunn was only eighteen when circumstances changed and he had to look after his five siblings, but somehow he managed to enroll at Florida State and, in only his freshman year, help their team quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and roommate Charlie Ward, win the National Championship for the 1993–94 season. And this was just the beginning of Dunn's successful career as a student athlete, which resulted in his selection to the FSU Hall of Fame.

Despite his modest size, Dunn's athleticism, incomparable drive, and personality convinced Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy to select Dunn in the first round of the 1997 draft with the twelth overall pick. During his career with the Bucs and, subsequently, the Atlanta Falcons, Dunn amassed five 1,000-yard rushing seasons, was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl three times, and became one of only twenty-three running backs to exceed the 10,000-yard career rushing mark. In 2008, he returned to the Bucs seeking to continue his success. But perhaps his greatest achievement during his time as an NFL player came off the field when he started a foundation called Homes for the Holidays, a charity that helps single parents become homeowners. To date, he has placed 74 single parents and their 192 dependents in fully furnished and outfitted homes in Tampa, Tallahassee, Baton Rouge, and Atlanta.

But there was one person Dunn neglected in his drive to help others—himself. He spent all of his emotional energy on his siblings and their pain, and never focused on his own. His only solace was the football field, where he truly was running for his life. It wasn't until a Falcons teammate suggested psychological counseling that Dunn began to battle the demons still haunting him from his mother's death.

Uplifting and thought-provoking, Running for My Life is the story of an athlete's drive to help his family and ensure that his mother's legacy and values continue—the story of what it really takes to be a man.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

Warrick Dunns book

User Review  - nvredhawks - Overstock.com

I purchased this book for my husband and he wont put it down. Of course he is a Tampa Bay Bucs fan but the story of Warrick Dunns life so far is so inspiring that you dont have to be a Bucs fan to thoroughly enjoy this book. Read full review

Contents

Chapter1 FACE TO FACE
1
MURDER SHATTERS HOME
20
BECOMING DAD
30
MOTHERS TOUCH
38
EARLY YEARS
49
LIVING WITH CHARLIE
63
DEALING WITH TWO LOSSES
76
CRIMINAL TRIALS
87
CHARITABLE APPROACH
147
ATLANTA BOUND
166
NEWTREND
184
ROLE MODEL
199
TALKING ABOUT IT
219
FAMILY BOND
230
LEARNING TO LOVE
243
2007 SEASON
257

PLAYING FOR BOBBY
108
TAMPA BAY YEARS
127
Acknowledgments
273
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Warrick Dunn is a former first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and his professional accomplishments include five 1,000-yard rushing seasons, three Pro Bowl selections, and the longest touchdown run in Atlanta Falcons history. Dunn also became the Falcons' fifth all-time rushing leader.

Don Yaeger is an eight-time New York Times best-selling author, longtime associate editor at Sports Illustrated, and award-winning inspirational speaker. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, son, and daughter.

Bibliographic information