Cohost, Fox & Friends
Author, IT’S HOW YOU PLAY THE GAME: The Powerful Sports Moments That Taught Lasting Values to America’s Finest (HC/ Harper Collins, 2007)
Feature reporter/anchor for NEWSPORT TV, hosted Newsport Journal, and anchor for Scoreboard Central
Anchor/director at WLIG-TV in New York
Brian Kilmeade: The Value of Sports
The 700 Club
SPORTS SHAPING GREAT LEADERS
Following on the heels of his New York Times bestselling hit The Games Do Count, Brian Kilmeade’s newest title, It's How You Play the Game: The Powerful Sports Moments That Taught Lasting Values to America’s Finest is an inspiring collection of stories that show how sports have influenced America’s best and brightest.
During a time when many athletes, from high-school to the professional level, and their overzealous fans have forgotten what it means to be a team player, Kilmeade brings back the real meaning of sportsmanship and proves that on the playing field of life, it’s not all about winning.
It's How You Play the Game features 90 different interviews with pro-athletes, politicians, Hollywood celebrities and world leaders. Though he includes some professional athletes, Kilmeade doesn’t focus on their professional athletic careers. Instead, he shares the moments that improved their lives. “I don’t want his championships, I want how he got there,” Kilmeade says of the stories he collected.
As for the celebrities and world leaders, Kilmeade focuses on how they have taken the lessons they’ve learned on the field to the business world and came out winners. Kilmeade takes a look at how they gained character. “This book isn’t written to make great athletes, but great people,” he says.
A few people whose stories are featured in the book include:
PAT ROBERTSON: Founder of the American Center for Law and Justice, Christian Broadcasting Network, and the Christian Coalition; Host of The 700 Club.
Robertson tells a story that began in his prep school days. He had to pick something to play and he chose boxing as his sport. He says he didn’t do it to become a great fighter, but to get in great shape. Still, Robertson wound up on the boxing team. He was competing in the Golden Gloves fighting heavyweights at the age of fifteen.
Robertson learned a lot from his boxing days. In one fight, Robertson got a punch that put him through the ropes, but got back up and fought his opponent to the standoff. He writes about the memory, “To this day, I am proud of that, and though I’m seventy-six years old, I still remember the punch and the fight like it was yesterday. Why? Because it taught me to always search for the edge in any situation. Find out what you have that the other guy doesn’t have and then try to overmatch your opponent in everything you do. Sure, a man or woman may be stronger, faster, and younger than you, but there is always something that God gives you that could give you an edge, if you choose to use it.”
EVANDER HOLYFIELD: 4-Time Heavyweight Champion; Bronze Model, 1984 Olympics; National Golden Gloves Champion, 1980.
Holyfield recalls his early experiences in sports, first as a 110 lb. football player who watched from the sidelines, then as a new boxer wanting to quit when he was beat twice for the Junior Olympic title. Fortunately, for
boxing fans everywhere, Holyfield’s mother wouldn’t let him quit. Instead she told him that after he beat that opponent, if he still wanted to give up, then he could quit. Well, he did beat that opponent, but when his mom told him that he could then quit, he said, “Are you crazy? Why would I quit after beating my toughest opponent?”
Holyfield’s story teaches a valuable lesson about making adjustments in life. He didn’t quit, even when he didn’t think life was fair. Instead, he studied how he lost and came back each time a better fighter.
GEORGE PATTON: Achieved Rank of 4-Star General, 1945; Awarded 12 U.S. Medals, including a Distinguised Service Cross with One Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver Star with One Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart; Awarded 11 Foreign Medals; 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympian, Modern Pentathlon; U.S. Army, 1909-1945.
General Patton’s grandson James talks about his grandfather and how important sports were to him. He says that his grandfather thought playing sports was a way to prepare for battle and believed that competition brought out the best in people. He tells about Patton’s experience with playing football in college, saying, “He saw football as a true test of strength and courage. When he tried it himself he found that although he loved it, he wasn’t very good at it. His way of coping was to try harder.”
Patton was quite slim in college, but gave his all on the football field. He tried to make the first team, but he kept breaking bones. In a letter to his future wife, Patton wrote her bad news about a broken arm. The letter demonstrated how he wasn’t going to give up: “I will be out five weeks and that gives me four more weeks of this, my last season. I have already devised a brace so hope to get in again,” he wrote.
Kilmeade says he decided to write this book after reading about Patton’s life in football.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: 16th President of the United States, 1860-1865; U.S. House of Representatives, 1847-49; Illinois House of Representatives, 1834-42.
The author of a book about President Lincoln, Doug Wead, discusses Abe’s fortitude in wrestling. He says that Abe was very strong and his father would set up matches for him. Abe would irritate his father by shaking hands before and after the fights and not finishing off his opponents as his father would have preferred. Wead tells of one match where Abe shook hands with the boy he’d just defeated, even though the other boy didn’t play fair. Abe’s father thought this made Abe look weak, and the people in the audience got really mad about Abe’s display of good sports conduct. The boy he’d just defeated actually stood up for him and stopped the angry crowd. Wead continues by saying that Abe lost both times he went into battle against Indians. Surprised by his losses, Abe concluded, “No matter how good and big you think you are there is always someone better and stronger.”
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Radio Talk Show Host with 13.5 Million Listeners Each Week; Marconi Radio Award for Syndicated Radio Personality of the Year, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2005.
We know him as a radio talk show host, but as a child he was a pitcher for his Little League baseball team and continued on to the Babe Ruth League. When it came time to try out for the high school team, Limbaugh considered himself a shoo-in. He was shocked when the coach posted the list and his name wasn’t on the roster. From that day on, he decided to examine his failures so he could learn from them.
From there, Limbaugh decided to join the high school football team. He remembers running sprints at the end of practice and pacing himself. He didn’t want to get winded too quickly because near the end, the coach would announce that the first three players to reach him could head to the locker room early, and he wanted to be one of those three. He usually was, but the coach eventually caught on and asked him about it. When Limbaugh confessed to pacing himself, his coach responded, “In this game and in your life you do everything full-out all the time, that’s the only way you can reach your full potential,” Limbaugh recalls. He says he has never forgotten that lesson.
BRIAN’S LESSONS LEARNED
In addition to telling other people’s stories, Kilmeade also talks about how childhood sports shaped his life. In one memory he talks about playing a soccer game in college, 1500 miles from home with no one there to watch him. He says with the pressure lifted, he did incredibly well. He concluded that he created his own pressure and expectations for himself. “How I processed that pressure would ultimately determine my performance,” he writes. “I had never felt so free on the field in my life because I knew no one was judging me and I wasn’t judging myself.” He continues, “I put pressure on myself, because my self-esteem was tied into what I did on the field. If I played bad, I was bad. If I played good, at least for a few days, I was good.” This lesson has helped him learn that how we handle pressures defines how we do later in life, as well as the degree to which we enjoy the process.
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