A Celebration of New Sports Books

It was the biggest crowd that we have ever had and it’s more than just the crowd. I thought there was a lot of passion and chemistry from our student body and that means a lot – that’s what sticks out to me. I’ve never seen the amount of numbers and support from the students. They are a part of the win as far as I’m concerned.”  Jacksonville State Head Coach Jack Crowe- JSU Weekly Press Conference, September 12 2010

     I’ve worked at  JSU for over eight years and this has been one of the most exciting fall football seasons I’ve ever experienced. The season started off with JSU Gamecock’s magical victory over Ole Miss which propelled JSU into the ESPN spotlight for weeks. From the stadium dedication which brought in a record crowd to all the homecoming festivities, I thoroughly enjoyed going to the games and sharing some school spirit with students, faculty, alum, and Gamecock fans everywhere .

     Even more excitement spread throughout campus when Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, the Honorable Roger Bramble, invited our own Marching Southerners to lead the 2012 New Years Parade in London. As the 2010 fall football season comes to a close, I can definitely say that I am so proud of our student athletes, band members, and all the students who have come out to show their school spirit this year. Although, JSU’s football season has come to an end, luckily, there are plenty of other exciting JSU sports to keep us entertained throughout the winter, spring, and summer. Right now we are in Basketball Season. Go Gamecocks!

     In the meantime, for all you sports enthusiasts, new sports books are starting to arrive! I’ve arranged a list of some of our new titles by sport with links to Amazon reviews. 


     As JSU Gamecocks consider their move to the FBS division, there are definitely some interesting debates which have been sparked for years about the fairness of the BCS. Read about the BCS and some of the viewpoints surrounding it’s controversial history in the following books.

Football is an honest game. It’s true to life. It’s a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.”
~-Joe Namath

We are inclined to think that if we watch a football game or a baseball game, we have taken part in it. ~John F. Kennedy

     After Thad Burton’s controversial article “Locker Room not a Place for Women” appeared in the October 7, 2010 issue of JSU’s Chanticleer (student newspaper) , a concerned patron donated the following books. These books are for those who want to to learn how to watch football like a man (beats chest like a wild beast).  Actually, I’m not a guy but I love the game of football. If fact, if Mr. Burton is going to stereotype women, it would seem that most women should love this game. It’s full of passion, drama, emotion (highs and lows), heartbreaks, ecstatic moments of pure joy, and lots of gossip. Listening to the Paul Finebaum Show is like tuning in to a daily soap opera.

     But back to the books. Holly Robinson Peete and Howie Long, while targeting these books to women and “dummies,” have actually written two thoughtful books for beginner fans and even those who follow football regularly. They go beyond the basics and delve into more challenging aspects of the game. I’ve quizzed several of my guy pals who are football experts on some of the rules, strategies, and history I’ve learned from these books often to find these die-hard fans suprisingly clueless! After reading the books, I was pleased to find myself guessing penalties before the broadcasters and referees called them and getting them correct. What I’ve learned most is that the more you learn about this game, the more fun it is to watch. I’ve read both of these books and highly recommend them.  Holly Robinson Peete is married to Rodney Peete, former Pro football QB for the Philadelphia Eagles and Howie Long played as defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders and is an NFL broadcaster.  

     So next time you’re at Burgess -Snow Field rooting on the Gamecocks, make sure you brush up on your knowledge of the games. There’s nothing more annoying than fans screaming with excitement about a pass that’s obviously not going to be caught. By the way, I challenge Mr. Burton to a mock football game broadcast…

     Auburn Coach, Gene Chizik, sparked off a debate on football and religion early on in the 2010 season, when he described Auburn’s win over Clemson as “a God thing.” After the SEC Championship, Chizik and Auburn QB, Cameron Newton, repeatedly mentioned “God’s blessing.” Cameron Newton also stated “a wise man said if God is on your side, who can be against you?” Who knows? They are going on to play in the BCS National Championship.  Over the last year, several books have addressed the intersection of religion and football, particularly in the South. Interestingly, one of the most fascinating books on this topic was written by Chad Gibbs, a die-hard Auburn fan. Go figure. Check out his blog, Chad Gibbs,  to learn more the author of this recently-published book.

     Before moving to Alabama, I was a huge baseball fan. I like to boast that I was in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in 1995 at the  winning game when the Atlanta Braves clinched  the World Series against the Cleveland Indians. I used to spend summers sitting out on my porch in Buckhead, GA, listening to Skip Caray broadcast the Braves games. Years 1991 and 1992 were the most memorable. I remember having very heated debates with folks at the University of Alabama, where I was attending classes, about which sport, baseball or football, is the “True American Pastime.” I thought there was something so unwholesome about all these Alabamian’s claims that football was the real American pastime. I even wrote my first English 101 paper on the 1991 Atlanta Braves victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

     Strangely, it wasn’t until I left UA to come to Jacksonville State University that I started to get into college football (Gene Stallings had just resigned in 1996 when I started my college career at UA until I left in 2002 so I didn’t miss much). Now I root for our JSU Gamecocks and have added “Roll Tide” to my daily vocabulary. It’s nice to have two football teams to root for in Alabama. However, for me, this past season was all about our Gamecocks. That being said,  I still think there’s nothing better than sitting in the bleachers on a beautiful summer day watching a baseball game. Looking forward to watching some JSU baseball next season!

     In general, there seem to be more books published about baseball than any other sport. The Houston Cole Library’s collection on baseball history is spectacular. In part, this has been due to the efforts of Mr. Harry Nuttall, one of our reference librarians, who is a baseball history buff. Take a look at the latest treasures in our sports collection on baseball:

     I love all sports. Since I love running as a hobby, I tend to love be partial to track and field. Check out more new sports which we are in the process of adding to our library collection.

     Also, don’t forget, it’s basketball season right now at JSU!  Be sure to take a look at our men & women’s Basketball schedule and come out to support the Gamecocks.















Recent Young Adult Acquisitions

Recent Young Adult Books in the Houston Cole Library