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Is what CNBC's Darren Rovell says about James Blake's newly released book "Breaking Back." Good for James, I'll be getting the book soon.

Here's the article: (and a little crap about venus williams)

Monday, 9 Jul 2007
Venus Williams' Extra Win And The Best Athlete Book I've Read
Posted By: Darren Rovell
Topics:Marketing | Advertising | Sports


Venus Williams might have won more than $1.3 million for winning Wimbledon on Saturday, but she'll pick up an additional check from the folks at Reebok. The company signed Williams to the largest endorsement contract in women's sports history in December 2000, but due to the on again, off again nature of her play the company chose not to renew Williams after the three-year deal expired. But she still gets paid to wear the Reebok brand even though she's not technically pitched on the company's roster of athletes.

"Reebok and Venus Williams have had a longstanding relationship and we are proud that she continues to support the brand by wearing Reebok performance footwear and apparel both on and off the court," said Todd Krinsky, the brand's vice president of sports and entertainment marketing.

It's a nice win for Reebok, but it is a bit strange considering she has absolutely no presence in any of their advertising campaigns and can't even be found on the company's Web site.

Meanwhile, it was hard not to notice that much of Williams' box--including boyfriend golfer Hank Kuhne--was wearing hats with the EOS Airlines logo on it. It was an incredible coup for the airline, which advertises its business class 757 service from New York to London. As the competition has heated up for cheap, luxury service to London from the New York airports-- Maxjet and Silverjet to name a few--EOS undoubtedly had some extra Web hits over the weekend thanks to curious tennis watchers who wanted to find out what they were all about. Williams and her family took the airline to Wimbledon.

The Best Athlete Book I've Ever Read
I spend much more time reading business books than sports books. That's in part because I think books about athletes are usually downright awful. They tell us about things we already know about, they are for the most part badly written and, for this reason, only sell to hardcore fans who are willing to pay $24.95 in hopes of finding one story they haven't heard before.

The new book written by tennis star James Blake, co-written by Andrew Friedman, is called "Breaking Back" and it's quite simply the best athlete book I've ever read. Why was it so good? Because Blake's story--his father's death, contracting zoster, breaking his neck and his subsequent comeback--is so good that the tennis is the least significant part of the book. In fact, I counted a 60-page stretch in which not one tennis match was ever mentioned.

Most athletes write books when someone approaches them. But their years in age or their time on the court, field or wherever they play doesn't automatically qualify them as having enough worthy of an autobiography. Blake's comeback story is so rich that almost the entire book focuses on just one year of his life.

His story might have been told over and over again on Oprah, Late Night with David Letterman and in countless magazine articles, but Blake held enough back to give the reader tales he or she never heard. Are you ready for this? I cried on page 93, 103 and 110. I'm not sure if you will too (because I was reading from the galley copy), but if you don't get touched by Blake's bad luck turned good story, you're simply not human.

Lastly, the book is clearly in Blake's voice, something that doesn't always happen when an athlete and a writer collaborate. From a tennis coach who prefers to talk more than hit balls to parents who value education more than the game to a group of fans who are among the closest friends an athlete has ever had, Blake's story is worth the money HarperCollins is asking for. And the best part is that although the book ends, his career moves on and the story will continue before your eyes.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/19677553
 

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His story might have been told over and over again on Oprah, Late Night with David Letterman and in countless magazine articles, but Blake held enough back to give the reader tales he or she never heard. Are you ready for this? I cried on page 93, 103 and 110. I'm not sure if you will too (because I was reading from the galley copy), but if you don't get touched by Blake's bad luck turned good story, you're simply not human.
Throw in every time he plays a match.

Why by the cow if you can get the milk for free? I'm not going to pay to read a sob story that I already know by heart.

Guess I'm not human, but he isn't the only person in life to overcome horrible things. He's not even top ten when it comes to tennis players that have over come tremendous odds.
 

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What about Guga who watched his father die when he was umpiring a tennis match at 9? He could write a book too... ah, he won several things, he doesn't need to cash in on books. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What about Guga who watched his father die when he was umpiring a tennis match at 9? He could write a book too... ah, he won several things, he doesn't need to cash in on books. :lol:
People would love to hear from Guga, I know I would. He should write a book. People are interested to hear these stories, and hey, it boosts tennis' popularity.
 

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Good ol' black athlete worship in the states is strong as ever I see. I find it curious how guy that states "The Best Athlete Book I've Ever Read I spend much more time reading business books than sports books." has any idea wtf he is talking about in regards to "sports books".
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's amazing what happens when I try to make a serious thread. :rolleyes:
 

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Scott Draper's book looked nice, I might pick up a copy of that too.
 

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John McEnroe's book called "Serious" was a damn good one. He talked about a lot of things with their real names. Very good read. The worst one has to be Greg Norman's "The way of the Shark". The man is so full of himself. He considers himself as a great business person, yet he would be nothing without his career in golf.
 

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:yawn: Why would anyone want to read this garbage. Im sure if you have ever watched tennis, you have heard his story a million times. Do yourself a favor and donate the $25 to charity instead.
 

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Throw in every time he plays a match.

Why by the cow if you can get the milk for free? I'm not going to pay to read a sob story that I already know by heart.

Guess I'm not human, but he isn't the only person in life to overcome horrible things. He's not even top ten when it comes to tennis players that have over come tremendous odds.
Well I've got the book from the library instead of buying, and I'm page 80 and it's a good read. I know we've heard the story time after time, but rarely directly from James. His description of the net post accident was tremendously scary and frightening, and I had never known just how scary and frightening before this book.

And I don't agree that he's not an exceptional case of survivng horrible odds - I mean if he didn't make a split-second decision to move his neck slightly right before slamming into that net post in Rome, he would have been paralyzed for life. To think he made the top 4 about two years after that is wonderful!
 

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I'm cannot wait to read it. Call me a hardcore tard, I don't care.

Reading the detailed story in a full book is much different than hearing the basic clips on TV or in a news article.
 

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I suppose that not so many people come through the series of illnesses and other problems related to health. James suffered a lot when he contracted a very harsh form of Ramsay-Hunt syndrome bringing so much pain (which almost ended James career), broken neck and his father death to cancer.
I personally recovered from testicular cancer twice (including when the illness recurred in mediastinum), got through 40 days of chemotherapy and 40 days of radiation and I know how joyful it is to wake up every morning alive.
 
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