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Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery, and…
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Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery, and My Return to the NFL (edition 2008)

by Tedy Bruschi, Michael Holley (Contributor)

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587369,174 (4.6)None
"Tedy gives you something to believe in. Whether we're winning or losing, he holds his head high, and he knows himself and handles himself so well, others can't help but follow him. The way he practices and plays forces you to become a better teammate; the way he demands hustle and toughness forces you to become a better leader; and the way he carries himself inspires you to become a better person. This made his return to playing on October 30 against Buffalo all the more electrifying. The stadium was louder that night than the nights we had raised our Super Bowl banners. Our captain, our leader, our inspiration was back on the field doing what he loved to do. Tedy had spent months rehabbing, had countless doctor visits, and had undergone hundreds of tests trying to play again. Just eight months after our victory in Super Bowl XXXIX, here we were celebrating a much bigger victory on our home field. Sure it was great to win the game, but that night we were celebrating Tedy's return as he showed us teammates, fans, family, and friends what it takes to become victorious in life. "You might be coming to this book as a fan of Tedy's football skills and, don't get me wrong, gaining the insights of one of the best defenders in Patriots history is worth the price of admission, but that's just part of the story. There are a lot of reasons to look up to him, and I promise you will finish this book with an admiration for him on a much deeper level." -Tom Brady (from the Foreword)… (more)
Member:ctmsdali
Title:Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery, and My Return to the NFL
Authors:Tedy Bruschi
Other authors:Michael Holley (Contributor)
Info:Wiley (2008), Edition: 1, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery & My Return to the NFL by Tedy Bruschi

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Being a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots it goes without saying that one of my favorite players has always been Tedy Bruschi. In the era of free agency when so many players switch teams, players that have been with the Patriots for a while become household names in my house. While it may seem silly or odd for a grown man, I remember when I first heard Bru had a stroke. I sat down and watched a tape of the New England win over the Philadelphia Eagles, at times teary eyed believing that Bru had seen his last snap on the football field. I thought there was no way he was going to be able to come back from a stroke. I consoled myself saying at least he got to play in four Super Bowls and was sitting on three Super Bowl rings on a team many consider a dynasty. Some great players, like Dan Marino, never won one. But I digress. Suffice it to say I am biased in this review. I am unabashedly a New England Patriots fan and an even bigger fan of Tedy Bruschi than I was before, if that’s even possible.

In this book Tedy tells his story the way he wants it told unfiltered by the media. It’s about his stroke, the emotionally draining and frightening experience of his recovery, and his difficult decision to come back and play professional football. It’s not about the Xs and Os of the game or recounting a season, but there is plenty about football, the New England Patriots, and what it means to be a professional football player. This is a can’t miss read for any football fan.

This book is extremely well organized. While it is mainly about his recovery and return to football you learn a little about his childhood and growing up in a not quite impoverished, not quite middle-class, broken family in San Francisco. You learn a lot more about his home life and his wife and children and what it was like for them as he recovered from the stroke. And you learn a lot about what his teammates, the Patriots organization, and winning means to him.

Some of the highlights of the book include his impatience with his recovery and a bit of fear at ever regaining his vision and motor skills. It was clearly a tough road back. But the most revealing part of the book was his return to football. I was a fan who was totally jacked up that Bru was returning to the field and assumed that he and the Patriots organization did due diligence to ensure that there was no danger to him before taking the field. But one can never really know what an emotionally gut wrenching decision this was for his family, particularly his wife. Nor did I realize to just what lengths not only he, but his wife and Robert Kraft, went to to make sure it was the right decision. He got multiple opinions from different doctors, not only at the insistence of his wife but the Patriots as well. Of course his wife didn’t want him debilitated on the football field because she loves him. And the Patriots didn’t either, and I’m sure they had his best interests in mind, but let’s face it, the liability and bad publicity for the team that would have ensued had something bad happened would have been a severely damaging blow to the entire organization. And while I followed some of the negative press about Tedy’s return, I should have realized how that got to him and I never really knew that New England fans thought he was crazy. He tells, in great detail, just what an emotional, difficult road it was to get back on the football field. I have screamed “Bru, Bru, Bru, Bru, Bru” in front of my television many, many times, but never so loud as I did when he returned to the field against the Buffalo Bills on a Sunday night in October 2005.

But the bottom line is that Tedy returned to football because he is a football player and that is what he does and it was clear from his doctors that he was in no significant danger. He also returned and felt pressure to perform well to be an inspiration to other stroke victims – not that everyone can necessarily fully recover from a stroke – some aren’t as lucky as Tedy. But as Tedy puts it, for stroke victims, “who they are now, not what they were or hoped to be, is okay” using the words of Trisha Meili, the Central Park Jogger who was brutally raped, beaten and left for dead, and is one of his inspirations. For Bru it could have been “who I am now, a devoted father and family man working in the front of office of the New England Patriots but not a football player, not what I was or hoped to be, a football player fighting to win a fourth Super Bowl, is okay.” Bruschi realizes he was lucky in his recovery and sends out a message of hope, for those who aren’t so lucky, to fight through, saying “what you make of your life afterward” despite any impairments you suffer from, is what matters.

Tedy also talks about football and how much winning means to him. Getting back to normal for him was to not thinking about his stroke anymore but just go out and do his best to help his team win games. His coming full circle was not having the media or fans have a pity party for him. One of the best stories he relays in the book was several games after his comeback and after coach Bill Belichick lost his father, the coach said:

You know what I’m tired of? I’m tired of all the feel good stories abut the Patriots. Bruschi is part of it, and I guess I’m part of it too. Do you know what would be a great feel good story? If we go out on Sunday and beat the Jets.”

For the Patriots, and Tedy, that meant, “let’s get back to normal,” especially since they were, at least by our standards, struggling.

I could go on and on but I will end with two things. First, and least important, Tedy talks about how emotionally upset he was after the New England loss to Denver the year of his comeback, ending their two year run as Super Bowl champions and the chance to make history by winning three in a row. I’m glad he was upset because I was too. I was depressed, physically and mentally, for a week. I know it’s silly but luckily I have friends who are PATS fans who are the same way. I always tell myself I shouldn’t be upset because the players just go and cash their fat paychecks and don’t really care one way or the other. It’s good to know that it’s not true all the time.

Second, and more importantly, a big reason Bru wrote this book was to educate people about strokes, especially their early symptoms so they can be caught as soon as possible and do the least damage, and to provide some inspiration for people who have suffered from strokes.

But Tedy is an inspiration to us all.
( )
  DougBaker | Jul 24, 2019 |
Love him! ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
I always loved to watch Tedy Brushi when I was little and he step up as a great leader of the New England patriots. When I heard he had a book about his recovery I wanted to read it really bad and it is one of the best books I have ever read before.
In this book one of the things that i think was really cool is that at the beginning Tom Brady (New England starting QB present day to and one of the greatest QB of all time) talk about the last few days he was with Tedy before he had a stroke. Tom Brady expresses his feeling and how he felt when Tedy was in the hospital. Tedy Brushi is one of the best Patriots players of all time for their defense and never stops to amaze me.
In this book it tell about when it first happen how he was feeling and the sign of a stroke and how much support he got from his fans what is a great part. Through the book it also says how he recover, challenges he had to face and his NFL carrier and what it might to become in the future.
He was a great player and always will be close in everyone’s heart and it is great to listen to his story. ( )
  ctmsthmo | Mar 4, 2012 |
The book Never Give Up by Tedy Bruschi was a very inspirational book that i really enjoyed reading. It was a great story from start to finish although their were some parts that could be kind of boring. it was a great story because Tedy proved everybody wrong and did what people said was crazy or couldn't be done.
this book takes you through the life of tedy bruschi and shows you what it was like before the stroke , during the recovery and after his return to the NFL. Tedy Bruschi overcame alot of adversity but in the end he did what he wanted to do and felt was right.
this book was different than any book I have ever read but i must say i relly enjoyed reading it. At times boring but it was very interesting and at times it had humor. I would rate this book a four out of five stars. I would reccomend it to anybody who likes sports or is looking for a great story
  ctmsdali | Mar 3, 2012 |
While reading this book, I felt like I was actually living in the shoes of Tedy Bruschi. Tedy has been a hero of mine for years, and reading this book has given me the inspiration to never give up. It starts with Tedy describing the experience he had at his first career NFL Pro Bowl, and then the experience of his stroke a few days later. It also gives you a background of his family life with his wife, Heidi, and three sons Rex, T.J. and Dante, as well as his childhood life in California, and college days as a redshirt defensive lineman for Arizona. Something that is in this book, that a lot of people don't hear about too often, is his relationship with the owner of the team, Mr. Robert Kraft, and head coach Bill Belichick. I highly recommend this book, to anyone who is interested in nonfiction. Very inspirational, and it makes me proud to idolize someone like Tedy Bruschi my whole life. ( )
  koryk | Mar 17, 2011 |
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"Tedy gives you something to believe in. Whether we're winning or losing, he holds his head high, and he knows himself and handles himself so well, others can't help but follow him. The way he practices and plays forces you to become a better teammate; the way he demands hustle and toughness forces you to become a better leader; and the way he carries himself inspires you to become a better person. This made his return to playing on October 30 against Buffalo all the more electrifying. The stadium was louder that night than the nights we had raised our Super Bowl banners. Our captain, our leader, our inspiration was back on the field doing what he loved to do. Tedy had spent months rehabbing, had countless doctor visits, and had undergone hundreds of tests trying to play again. Just eight months after our victory in Super Bowl XXXIX, here we were celebrating a much bigger victory on our home field. Sure it was great to win the game, but that night we were celebrating Tedy's return as he showed us teammates, fans, family, and friends what it takes to become victorious in life. "You might be coming to this book as a fan of Tedy's football skills and, don't get me wrong, gaining the insights of one of the best defenders in Patriots history is worth the price of admission, but that's just part of the story. There are a lot of reasons to look up to him, and I promise you will finish this book with an admiration for him on a much deeper level." -Tom Brady (from the Foreword)

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