The book that inspired the ESPN documentary 151: The Greatest Streak is now Revised and Updated!
By 2002, The Streak—a historic 13-year run of consecutive wins by the Spartans, a high-school football team from Concord, California, that couldn't be beat—was still going strong. In this revised edition of When the Game Stands Tall, author Neil Hayes, who had unrestricted access to the De La Salle team, writes from the inside about the games, the players, and their visionary coach, Bob Ladouceur, who managed to amass the highest winning percentage in football history (.995) through standing for something greater than winning. The book, which also features interviews with major sports figures like Bill Walsh and John Gruden, is a revealing portrait of the coach who believed above all in instilling basic life skills where winning is not the goal, but merely the byproduct of playing the game.
The Streak had become a national story long before it ended in September 2004. In this revised paperback, Neil Hayes catches up on the lives of the main characters and takes readers through the final tumultuous year. What results is a timeless and inspirational story of struggle, tragedy, and triumph.
About Neil Hayes
Neil Hayes is a sports columnist for the Contra Costa Times newspapers, a 195,000-circulation chain of daily newspapers based in Walnut Creek, California. He is a frequent guest on Bay Area radio stations, and his column is distributed nationally by Knight-Ridder wire services. He has twice been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors for his enterprise reporting and has won numerous writing awards from the Pro Football Writer's Association of America. He lives in Pleasant Hill, CA, with his wife Charlee and their two children, Nicholas and Riley.
About John Madden
John Madden, the legendary NFL broadcaster synonymous with football for millions of fans nationwide, has an ability to explain the game's finer points with an idiosyncratic sense of humor. After 21 seasons as a game analyst for CBS and Fox, he is in his third season as the expert analyst for "Monday Night Football."
About Tony La Russa
Tony La Russa, the St. Louis Cardinals manager, is a former Bay Area resident who zealously follows De La Salle and considers Bob Ladouceur a true authority and coaching guru, as well as a personal friend. He has used Ladouceur quotes to inspire and motivate his own St. Louis Cardinals players.
About Bob Larson
Bob Larson, the award-winning photographer, has been allowed behind the scenes access to De La Salle's program for more than ten years. He documented the team's national record setting 73rd consecutive victory as well as the school's 100th straight win. Larson also created a photo documentary of the 2002 season. His black and white photos evoke both the public spectacle and personal faces of De La Salle's intriguing 'Streak.'
"The core of the program’s success extends well beyond sports. It is a remarkable blueprint that has applications not only in business but also with your family and friends."- Tony La Russa."There are lessons in this book for everyone. And the most important lessons don’t have anything to do with football, or coaching, or winning."- John Madden"Human vulnerability gets equal time with athletic invincibility throughout Hayes’s book."- San Francisco Chronicle"Remarkable..."- Pro Football Weekly