Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope

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Hachette Books, Aug 8, 2017 - Biography & Autobiography - 328 pages
For the first time ever, the popular late host of ESPN's The Sports Reporters and ABC's college football openly discusses a lifelong battle with depression.

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.

I invite you behind the facade of my apparently "perfect" life as a sportscaster, with a wonderful wife and two healthy, happy adult daughters. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am truly grateful. But none of these things can protect me or anyone else from the disease of depression and its potentially lethal effects.

Mine is a rare story: that of a black man in the sports industry openly grappling with depression. I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly, including the lengths I've gone to to conceal my private life from the public.

So why write a book? Because I want to end the pain and heartache that comes from leading a double life. I also want to reach out to the millions of people, especially men, who think they're alone and can't ask for help.

John Saunders died suddenly on August 10, 2016, from an enlarged heart, diabetes, and other complications. This book is his ultimate act of generosity to help those who suffer from mental illness, and those who love them.

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An Oasis of Love
Playing with Fire
He Aint Heavy
Looking for a Little Relief
The Drug Business
Moving Out Moving On Moving Back
Falling in Love
A Family of My
The Worldwide Leader
Our Sister
Livin in America
The Psych Ward
Dr Dangerous
Falling Backward

Go West
Getting Married
Country John Saunders
Chasing a New Dream
Making It in Moncton
Bright Lights Big City
Big Man in Baltimore
Scaling Mt Sinai
Learning to Walk
A HighStakes Stroll in the Park
Ready for Prime Time?
Testing Testing
The Damage of Doctor Dangerous Revealed

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About the author (2017)

John Saunders was a legendary ESPN and ABC sports broadcaster, known to millions of Americans as the face of college football and the arbiter of thoughtful sports journalism on ESPN's The Sports Reporters. Saunders passed away on August 10th, 2016.

Twitter: @johnreporters

John U. Bacon is the New York Times bestselling author of, among other titles, Three and Out, Fourth and Long, and Endzone.

Twitter: @johnubacon

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