I am an avid reader and normally I wouldn't come on here and share what I read but I felt since this book is UT centric and there are several readers here who probably were at UT during that era or were following the Longhorns during their 69' championship season that some of you might find this useful when looking for a new book to read or just nice to revisit that time in history. Now that my incredibly long sentence is complete, follow me after the jump for the review.
First things first, Jim Dent is an incredible author. Dent writes exclusively about football and more times than not it is about football stories that take place in Texas. If you haven't read Twelve Mighty Orphans or The Junction Boys (I know, I know, still a great story) then you are really missing out.
As most Longhorn fans will know, Freddie Steinmark was a small safety from Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He came here with Bobby Mitchell to play for Coach Royal in 1967. After having a great year on the Freshman team, Steinmark earned a starting job on the 1968 squad that went 8-2. He was an integral part of that team, allowing the defense to play a 4-4 because of how trusted he was in coverage. He also registered several interceptions and was one of the few sophomores to ever start for Coach Royal during his tenure.
The next year, the 1969 season, Steinmark came in primed for another great year and a run at the National Championship. However, during the summer he started experiencing pain in his leg. Being that he was just a tough guy and didn't want to lose his spot, Steinmark never brought up the pain that was bothering him and played a whole season of college football with bone cancer that by the end of the season had all but devoured his femur.
I won't go on past this point for anyone that does want to read the book. I think I only gave a summary that most would know by virtue of being a UT fan and follower. Regardless, the book is wonderful, even if you're not a fan. Dent does a fantastic job of telling a story that is relatable and makes you feel like you are there as it occurs. He also does a wonderful job at tugging on every emotion as you read, making it easy to laugh at one moment and find yourself on the verge of tears the next. I strongly recommend any and all readers and UT fans out there to give this a read.