cover image Courage Beyond the Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story

Courage Beyond the Game: The Freddie Steinmark Story

Jim Dent. St. Martin's/Dunne, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-65285-2

In this detailed though ultimately disappointing biography, Dent (The Junction Boys) again turns his attention to the glory days of college football, chronicling the sadly truncated life of Freddie Steinmark (1949%E2%80%931971). As an undersize sophomore starter at safety for the University of Texas, Steinmark possessed intelligence and guts, which made him an invaluable contributor. But as a junior in 1969, Steinmark's play dipped, and everyone couldn't help notice that he walked with a limp. Steinmark completed the regular season in tremendous pain; doctors discovered a bone sarcoma and eventually removed the young man's cancer-ravaged left leg. Dent's biography of a courageous student-athlete grappling with adversity starts promisingly before becoming submerged in country-fried descriptions (a strong-armed quarterback could "throw a football through a car wash without it getting wet"), interminable game recaps, and profiles of seemingly everyone Steinmark ever met. (Aug.)