Sports Columnist Mike Lupica Talks About His New Book ‘Lone Stars’, Football And Concussions | TODAY

Sports Columnist Mike Lupica Talks About His New Book ‘Lone Stars’, Football And Concussions | TODAY
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>>>BACK NOW WITH FAMED SPORTS WRITER AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR MOTORCYCLE LUPICA AND HIS NEW BOOK FOR YOUNG READERS, “LONE STAR,” A 12-YEAR-OLD FOOTBALL PLAYER HAVING DOUBTS ABOUT THE SPORT HE LOVES. HE SAW WHAT THE SPORT DID TO HIS COACH WHO PLAYED FOR THE COWBOYS AND NOW GETS LOST ON HIS WAY HOME.>>GOOD MORNING.>>GOOD MORNING.>>I’M GOING TO START WITH A COMPLIMENT. YOU HAVE A GREAT WAY OF TAKING STORIES THAT MAKE NEWS IN THE WORLD OF SPORTS AND WEAVING THEM INTO THESE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS, AND I THINK PERHAPS THIS IS THE BEST EXAMPLE OF IT. TELL ME ABOUT WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS?>>WE LIVE IN THE AGE OF THE NEW INFORMATION ABOUT CONCUSSIONS AND CTE AND HEAD INJURIES, AND, YOU KNOW, YOU’RE A DAD, I’M A DAD. FORTUNATELY MY SONS DID NOT WANT TO PLAY A FOOTBALL SO I NEVER HAD TO ENCOUNTER WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO HAVE A TALENTED KID WHO NOW FACES THE RISKS THAT WE NOW KNOW ARE THERE, SO THIS BOOK SEEMED TO ME — IT SEEMS TO BE THE RIGHT TIME AND I SAID IT IN TEXAS ON PURPOSE BECAUSE FOOTBALL IS RELIGION IN TEXAS.>>THE BOOK STARTS IN CLAY’S COACH, COACH COOP. YOU CAN’T PLAY FOOTBALL SCARED.>>YEAH.>>AND YET TODAY PLAYERS ARE PLAYING IT SCARED, ESPECIALLY YOUNG PARENTS. PARENTS OF YOUNG PLAYERS ARE WATCHING THEM PLAY IT, AND THEY ARE SCARED. HOW IS IT CHANGING THE GAME?>>WELL, WHAT THIS BOOK IS A CONVERSATION ABOUT THIS. I — I LAY HOW THE THE FACTS OF THE MODERN WORLD AND THEN ASK PEOPLE TO DECIDE, AND IT IS ABOUT OVERCOMING FEAR, AND ONE OF THE FUN PARTS OF THIS BOOK IS I SET IT AGAINST THE ALAMO WHICH IS ABOUT GREAT COURAGE IN THE FACE OF INSURMOUNTABLE ODDS, AND SO CLAY NOT ONLY HAS TO OVERCOME HIS OWN FEARS ABOUT GOING OVER THE MIDDLE AND TAKING HARD HITS. HE SEES WHAT THE GAME HAS DONE TO HIS COACH, AND HE’S JUST TRYING TO GET THE COACH TO ONE MORE COWBOYS REUNION ON THANKSGIVING.>>I THINK ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS, TAKING IT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD FOR A SECOND AND TALKING ABOUT THE CONVERSATION THAT’S TAKING PLACE SURROUNDING FOOTBALL.>>RIGHT.>>I THINK ONE OF THE GREAT CHANGES HAS BEEN THAT FORMER PLAYERS HAVE STEPPED AWAY FROM THE STIGMA OF TALKING ABOUT THE INJURIES THEY SUSTAINED AND THE LASTING EFFECT OF THOSE INJURIES. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT?>>OH, 100%.>>GUYS LIKE BRETT FAVRE AN PEOPLE LIKE THAT.>>THIS COACH COMES OUT OF THAT CULTURE. HE COMES OUT OF THAT CULTURE, YOU KNOW, YOU’VE GOT TO STICK YOUR HEAD IN HAND NOW WE SEE THE COST OF STICKING YOUR HEAD IN AND HE’S STARTING TO BE CONFUSED AND STARTING TO HAVE MEMORY LOSS, AND THE ONE THING ABOUT THIS BOOK, MATT. I DON’T PUT A BIG SMILEY FACE RIBBON AROUND THIS. THESE KIDS ARE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THERE’S GOING TO BE NO HAPPY ENDING FOR THIS COACH. THEY ARE JUST TRYING TO GET HIM THROUGH ONE MORE SEASON.>>AND YOU’RE NOT TRYING TO, YOU KNOW, PUSH ASIDE SPORTS IN GENERAL BECAUSE THE HISTORY OF YOUR BOOKS HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN A SPORTS OCCUPY AN ENORMOUSLY IMPORTANT ROLE IN A YOUNG LIFE.>>AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK IS THE MOM IS LIKE IT MORAL CENTER.>>YOU LOVE HER AS A CHARACTER.>>I LOVE HER AS A CHARACTER BECAUSE SHE GREW UP IN A TEXAS FOOTBALL-LOVING FAMILY, EXCEPT NOW THAT’S HER LITTLE BOY PLAYING THESE GAMES, AND SO SHE WATCH EDS THEM LIKE A HAWK, AND, AGAIN, I’M NOT PREACHY IN THIS BOOK. I’M NOT TELLING PARENT WHAT THEY HAVE TO DECIDE. AGAIN, I’M HAPPY THAT MY SONS DIDN’T WANT TO PLAY. THEY WERE KIND OF CONSCIOUSOUS OBJECTORS WHEN IT CAME TO FOOTBALL. I’M GLAD I DIDN’T HAVE TO MAKE THAT DECISION OR HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.>>LAST THING, TEN SECOND. CLEVELAND INDIANS WON THEIR 20th NOT A ROW LAST NIGHT. THEY WILL PLAY DETROIT TODAY TRYING FOR 21. THEY WILL LOSE A GAME ON GAME NUMBER.>>21.>>TODAY?>>THEY ARE GOING TO LOSE TODAY.>>LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING.>>YOU JUST JINXED THEM. THE THING ABOUT THE INDIANS. THEY GOT THEIR HEART HAND LEGS BROKEN IN GAME SEVEN OF THE WORLD SERIES. THEY KIND OF SLOGGED THROUGH THE SEASON AND NOW HERE THEY ARE.>>THE TEAM TO BEAT RIGHT NOW?>>OH, SURE.>>BY FAR?>>BY FAR.>>AGAIN, THE BOOK IS CALLED “LONE STARS.” MIKE, ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU.

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