Best Selling Books by Don Yaeger

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It's Not About the Truth

release date: Jun 03, 2008
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It's Not About the Truth
An inside account of the Duke Lacrosse rape case by the team's former head coach discusses the events that took place on the night of the alleged crime, cites DNA evidence and contrary testimony that supports the accused team members' innocence, and decries the media practices that resulted in damaging prejudgment. Reprint.

Never Die Easy

release date: Jan 18, 2001
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Never Die Easy
"Never die easy. Why run out of bounds and die easy? Make that linebacker pay. It carries into all facets of your life. It's okay to lose, to die, but don't die without trying, without giving it your best." His legacy is towering. Walter Payton—the man they called Sweetness, for the way he ran—remains the most prolific running back in the history of the National Football League, the star of the Chicago Bears' only Super Bowl Championship, eleven times voted the most popular sports figure in Chicago's history. Off the field, he was a devoted father whose charitable foundation benefited tens of thousands of children each year, and who—faced with terminal liver disease—refused to use his celebrity to gain a preferential position for organ donation. Walter Payton was not just a football hero; he was America's hero. Never Die Easy is Walter Payton's autobiography, told from the heart. Growing up poor in Mississippi, he took up football to get girls' attention, and went on to become a Black College All-American at tiny Jackson State (during which time he was also a finalist in a Soul Train dance contest). Drafted by the Bears in 1975, he predicted that he would last only five years but went on to play thirteen extraordinary seasons, a career earning him regular acknowledgment as one of the greatest players in the history of professional football. And when his playing days were over, he approached business and charity endeavors with the same determination and success he had brought to the football field, always putting first his devotion to friends and family. His ultimate battle with illness truly proved him the champion he always had been and prompted a staggering outpouring of love and support from hundreds of thousands of friends and admirers. Written with veteran journalist and author Don Yaeger in the last weeks of Walter Payton's life, Never Die Easy presents Walter's singular voice—warm, plainspoken, funny, self-aware—along with the voices of the friends, family, teammates, and business associates who knew him best at all stages of his life, including his wife, Connie, and their children, Brittney and Jarrett; his teammate and friend Matt Suhey; former Bears head coach Mike Ditka; and many, many others. Walter made Don Yaeger promise that his book would be "inspirational and leave people with some kind of lesson . . . and make sure you spell all the words right." Never Die Easy keeps all those promises.

Turning of the Tide

release date: Dec 14, 2008
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Turning of the Tide
New York Times bestselling author Yaeger tells the electrifying story of the game that broke down the last racial division in college football.

This Game's the Best! So Why Don't They Quit Screwing With It?

release date: Oct 07, 2014
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This Game's the Best! So Why Don't They Quit Screwing With It?
He's fiery, funny--and brutally frank. He's George Karl, head coach of the Seattle Supersonics, and one of the most outspoken men in professional basketball. Opinionated and always passionate about the sport, Karl cuts loose with controversial views on the NBA, the players, the media, sports agents, and the many other elements that make the game great--and sometimes screw it up... in This Game's the Best! So Why Don't They Quit Screwing With It?

Great Teams

release date: Jul 19, 2016
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Great Teams
There is nothing more magical than watching a team come together, to manage adversity as a group, selflessly give to others, to find common purpose. Inspiring that to happen year-in and year-out is what keeps us in leadership. Don Yaeger has studied the best of the best. Now it is our turn to study this book.—Mike Krzyzewski, five-time NCAA Tournament Champion, two-time Olympic Gold Medal Winning Basketball coach, Duke University Men’s Basketball What makes a team great? Not just good. Not just functional. But great? Over the last six years, long-time Sports Illustrated associate editor Don Yaeger has been invited by some of the greatest companies in the world to speak about the habits of high-performing individuals. Delivering an average of 80 keynote speeches per year, Don was approached by his most consistent client, Microsoft, to develop a talk on what allowed some teams to play at a championship level year after year. From Microsoft and Starbucks to the New England Patriots and San Antonio Spurs, what do some organizations do seemingly better than most all of their opponents? Don took the challenge. He began building into his travel schedule opportunities to interview our generation’s greatest team builders from the sports and business worlds. During this process, he has conducted more than 100 interviews with some of the most successful teams and organizations in the country. From those interviews, Don has identified 16 habits that drive these high-performing teams. Building on the stories, examples, and first-hand accounts, each chapter in Great Teams comes with applicable examples on how to apply these characteristics in any organization. Great Teams is the ultimate intersection of the sports and business worlds and a powerful companion for thought leaders, teams, managers, and organizations that seek to perform similarly. The insight shared in this book is sure to enhance any team in its pursuit of excellence. Great Teams Understand the “Why” Great Teams Allow Culture to Shape Who They Recruit Great Teams Run Successful Huddles Great Teams Manage Dysfunction, Friction, and Strong Personalities Great Teams See Value Others Miss Great Teams Know How to Win in Critical Situations Great Teams Embrace Change Great Teams Build a Mentoring Culture Great Teams Have a Rallying Cry It takes a special formula to construct championship quality teams and in this book by Don Yaeger you will be able to see how great teams are formulated. Don Yaeger is Awesome, baby, with a capital "A"! –Dick Vitale, Hall of Fame broadcaster, ESPN Everyone wants to work on or play on a Great Team. The differentiator I’ve noticed is that the best teams pay close attention to and protect their culture and their people. Don Yaeger shows in this book that the same lessons are true on the sporting fields. There’s much to be learned within these pages and I know you’ll enjoy. –Gary Kelly, CEO and Chairman of Southwest Airlines There are so many parallels between building a great sports team and building a corporate one, not the least of which that great culture makes amazing things possible. Great Teams by Don Yaeger provides a roadmap for all of us...in either of those worlds.—GJ Hart, CEO, California Pizza Kitchen

Pros and Cons

release date: Oct 01, 1999
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Pros and Cons
Discloses the names of the convicted criminals in the NFL, the stunning severity of their crimes, & why they're still playing.

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

release date: Oct 24, 2017
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Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates
The little-known story of Thomas Jefferson's battle to defend America against Islamic pirates. Kilmeade and Yeager recount the dramatic events building up to this forgotten war against the Tripoli pirates and the heroics that led to its resolution. They tell the story of a 25 year-old sailor named Stephen Decatur who sailed into the enemy harbour, his boat disguised as a Maltese merchant ship, and William Eaton who led Marines on a 500 mile trek across the desert to surprise the port of Derna. New York Times bestselling authors make history come alive.

George Washington's Secret Six

release date: Oct 18, 2016
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George Washington's Secret Six
When General George Washington beat a hasty retreat from New York City in August 1776, many thought the American Revolution might soon be over. Instead, Washington rallied -- thanks in large part to a little-known, top-secret group called the Culper Spy Ring. Washington realized that he couldn't beat the British with military might, so he recruited a sophisticated and deeply secretive intelligence network to infiltrate New York. So carefully guarded were the members' identities that one spy's name was not uncovered until the twentieth century, and one remains unknown today. But by now, historians have discovered enough information about the ring's activities to piece together evidence that these six individuals turned the tide of the war. Here, Robert Townsend, Austin Roe, Caleb Brewster, Abraham Woodhull, James Rivington, and a woman known only by her assigned number, Agent 355, finally take their place among the pantheon of heroes of the American Revolution.

A Game Plan for Life

release date: Mar 01, 2011
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A Game Plan for Life
The UCLA Bruins coach pays tribute to the individuals who helped foster the values that shaped his career, and shares interviews with people he mentored throughout the years, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.

Best Seat in the House

release date: May 18, 2021
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Best Seat in the House
Jack Nicklaus II shares stories, insights, and lessons he’s learned from his father, the “Golden Bear,” that will delight golf fans of all ages, encourage fathers, and inspire readers to focus on what’s most important in life: family. Best Seat in the House, written with New York Times bestselling author Don Yaeger, gives us eighteen valuable lessons that Jack Nicklaus II learned from his father, PGA champion Jack Nicklaus. Although the “Golden Bear,” as he is known by fans, is widely regarded as the best golfer of all time, with a record number of PGA major championships, his life and values show that true legacy lives on through your children, grandchildren, and others we are blessed to call family and friends. For the first time, the public is given the opportunity to see what made Jack Nicklaus an off-course success, including how he and his wife, Barbara, fashioned fifty-plus years of marriage, understanding that they both had to give of themselves “at least 85 percent of the time” the importance of having boundaries and limits that everyone in the family agrees on how Nicklaus taught his son Jack, who worked as his caddie for several years, to value his competitors and treat them as he would hope to be treated the need to be connected to what we’ll leave behind: our legacies One June day, Jack Nicklaus II had just completed his second round in a Palm Beach County Junior Golf Association tournament and was sitting at the scorer’s table, signing his scorecard, when somebody told him his dad was on the telephone. He was a little frustrated because he didn’t want to be bothered on such an important day, but his dad wanted to know how he had played, so Jack II spent the next twenty minutes detailing every hole and every shot. Afterward, his father said, “Jackie, would you like to know how your dad did today?” Of course he wanted to know, and he felt a little guilty for not asking. “Well, I just won the US Open.” It was Father’s Day 1980, and on that day Jack II learned a valuable lesson that he carried with him into adulthood: family is more important than anything in the world.
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