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The Junction Boys: How 10 Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Champion Team
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The Junction Boys: How 10 Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Champion Team

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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  890 ratings  ·  52 reviews
The legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant is recognized nationwide as one of the greatest coaches ever. So why did he always cite his 1-9 A&M team of 1954 as his favorite? This is the story of a remarkable team--and the beginning of the legend.

The Junction Boys tells the story of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's legendary training camp in the small town of Junction, Texas. In a move
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Paperback, 290 pages
Published September 9th 2000 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published September 10th 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,466)
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Wes
It’s captivating to hear the events that these young men endured at the command of Coach Bryant.

From a football player’s perspective this book reiterated the mental strength that’s necessary on the field to force thoughts or feelings of pain, discomfort, and other weakness and make them secondary to completing your duty each down between whistles. (Maybe not to the extent that these young men did, but to some some extent none the less)

From a Marine’s perspective this book helped me realize that
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Jay Jessmer
Always appreciated Coach Bryant for being a winner, but honestly had never dug much into his TRUE history. After this book, I have even more appreciation for who and what he was and did for the sport. It doesn't take very long reading to actually FEEL that you are part of this team. You begin to bond with both players and coaches, and at times find yourself bruised, batterred and breathing heavily right along with them. This book is a MUST READ of any fans of the sports genre. So many of the na ...more
Caleb D'aniello
The Junction Boys is a non-fiction book about Paul Bear Bryant and his transformation of the Texas A&M football program. Bryant took about a hundred and fifty or so players, most of which were hardly players at all, and took them all on a ten day trip to a place called junction where the Texas A&M football program would be forged. Most of the players on Texas A&M's team were only on the team because of the ties there fathers had to the school and very few had a real passion for the g ...more
Jeff
They would have put him in prison if he tried that with today's kids.
Jim Thomas
When I was just a kid,I was once one of the biggest Aggie football fans. It was during the time that this book describes. How Bear Bryant took some raggedy good ol' boys and made them into a contender for a national championship. The training they endured during that hot summer after Bryant arrived would never be allowed today. It was so hard on them, some suffered permanent damage. He wanted to see who could survive. Nothing could physically beat them down or they'd be gone, off the team. Some ...more
Mark
Great book. Jim Dent's "The Junction Boys" catches the essence of Bear Bryant at Texas A&M before he got to Alabama and what made him great -- told with honesty about Bryant's harshness and brutality and how hard he drove his players. The story tells about Bryant taking three buses of A&M football players to a place called Junction Texas where a prolonged rain drought was occurring (for pre-season camp) and coming back with only one bus because the majority of the players had quit. There ...more
Cory Salitrik
I read the junction boys how 10 days in hell with Bear Bryant forged a champion team at Texas A&M. It was the best book i have read relating to sports. It was like i was actually on the field with these boys with the amount of detail that was in the book. I have never read another book like this one, there was pictures of some of the key players they had. I thought that was really cool cause after hearing about these boys i got to see pictures of them. All of the boys looked almost just lik ...more
Skipr
If you like college football, and if you're from the South, and you're old enough to have been following the sport when Bear Bryant reigned as The Man at Alabama, then, like me, you'll enjoy this book. But, also anyone who is interested in the deep changes in American culture over the last 50 years, especially the changes in the way boys are raised, and the way that "tough" American has been replaced with a "kinder, gentler" America will find this book fascinating.

Bryant epitomized the virtues o
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Dave
Another book I had read in years past, that I had forgot to record. The book is a classic book about a sports icon before he became an icon. The book is set in 1954, Bear Bryant, had just taken the job as head coach of Texas AM coming over from The University of Kentucky. He found the AM Program in disarray, and set out to find who would be able to put pay the price of discipline. He put the players through a hell physical exertion and demanded incredible things of the players. Each day fewer an ...more
Steve Melton
I can't say how much I loved this book. At least enough to tell you to stay the hell away from the ESPN tv movie of it. At least until you've read this. Most stories and depictions of the Junction Camp stress the horribleness of the conditions and the sruelty of Bear Bryant. While this one did not pull any punches in that regard, it also showed the human side of the great Bryant, and what this 10 day camp did for his football team.

While this could never happen today, I almost wish I could have b
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Glenn
Dent's book is not for everyone: it details the days of 1950's old-fashioned football. Days that involved a lot of cracked bones, cussing, whisky, girls, and hard knocks. New head coach, Bear Bryant, was especially hard on the Texas A&M boys that had not seen a championship season in many years. Their first summer camp was spent in the Texas heat at a small town named Junction, a dirty, seven-year drought forsaken spot on the map. Of the 110 boys that started the training, only 42 finished t ...more
John Hirschi
Not sure why this book gets so much praise. The writing sometimes sounds like the script to a NFL films feature. Other times it's ok, but never really grippping. As for the subject matter - Paul Bryant was an idiot. He was young, and times were different back then, but his coaching style is apalling. One of his boys almost dies of heat stroke, but he continues to deny water during practice? This book made me ill at times. His players were tough, but they were tough before he started coaching the ...more
Dustin
Very excellent book. Recommend for everyone, not just Aggie fans.
Larry LaFreniere


I didn't go to A&M nor did I play football. I did go to the Air Force Academy in the late 1970s. The lessons of The Junction Boys remind me of basic cadet training and the Doolie year. Determination and perseverance to overcome physical and emotional pressures help build uncommon bonds of friendship and character. I enjoyed Dent's writing style, especially the frequent similes: "Bryant stared impatiently at the floor. In a monotone as flat as Lubbock, he said, 'We didn't come out here to eat
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Fredrick Danysh
His first year as head football coach at Texas A7M, Paul "Bear" Bryant took his team to pre-season training in Junction, Texas, during the middle of a severe drought. As a harsh taskmaster under deplorable conditions, he ran off two thirds of the team. The book tells the story of that football camp and continues with brief descriptions of several games. In his struggle for excellence he broke maany young men and almost killed one. For those that worship fooltball, this work presents the dark sid ...more
Cynthiaj
Mar 28, 2011 Cynthiaj rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my brother, the Aggie
Recommended to Cynthiaj by: co-worker Best
Would really like another half star for this one. I don't read many non-fiction books for entertainment, but this was one with a great story. Anyone of my generation who hadn't heard of Bear Bryant must have been living in a bubble in a garage somewhere. But not everyone knows that he started at Kentucky then did 3 years at Texas A&M. Great story about the beginning of his tenure there and the effects that had on the players and on Bryant himself. And I did not realize that Don Meredith migh ...more
Greg
Very good story! Jim Dent covers Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's four years spent as Texas A&M's football coach; particularly his first fall practice in Junction, Texas where he weeded out the wheat from the chaff. Bryant comes across as harsh at times as even he admitted later on, but the boys on his team, those who survived Junction, looked at him as the transformative figure in their life. Bryant always said that The Junction Boys, who made up his ONLY loosing season in football, was his favor ...more
Carol
I bought this book at my college's annual book sale and liked
it more than I thought I would. It is the story of Bear Bryant accepting the Head Football Coach position at Texas A & M. They had had a losing team and he takes them to a place called Junction, TX for camp. Two busloads of football players went to Junction and one partially filled bus came back. The story of what happened in those 10 days is interesting. Bryant seems to have been beloved even by those
who could not make his team.
Carmon   Simon
Amazing book!! OF course I already respect and love the Bear!! ROLL TIDE!!! This book pretty much takes you through a grueling football camp with Texas A & M while they were under the direction of head coach Paul Bear Bryant (make the sign of the cross) :)

It is amazing to think that human beings went through all of that torture for football, and became a Champion team!!! It was a very good read. I recommend it to any football fan :)
Herschel
I think this was an epic piece of sports literature written about the toughest sonofabitches West of Junction Texas! Not a a Texas A&M fan however what those men did during Bear Byrant's regin as Head coach was beyond amazing. I gathered alot of inspiration to futher my own educational goals in pursuit of my own happiness by just reading about a team of survivors!
Anthony damiani
Read this book for summer reading and instantly bought it when I was done with it. Very inspiring football story
Mark
Jim Dent does a bang up job, again. Interesting that although the Junction trip is often lauded as some sort of bygone testament to toughness and a "better day" in sports even though everyone pretty much thought it was a bad idea, even Bear Bryant, and most considered it barbaric at the time. We weren't tough in previous years, just dumber.
David
Amazing to see how players were treated in this tough sport almost 60 years ago. No water during scrimages in 100 degree heat. You would never hear of that today. But the few who survived for the two weeks at the Junction trsining camp in 1954 with Bryant can certainly be called a band of brothers.
Daniel Bruce
One of the best stories I read. Doesn't matter if you like A&M, Alabama, or football in general. Describes Bryant in a positive light but still allows the reader to draw their own conclusions about the events.
A must read for football fans and a great read for people in general.
Mdabear
This was a quick and easy book that was well written. The story flowed with ease and made it hard to put the book down. It captured the good and the bad with Bear Bryant, and really focused on the players and their thoughts of them. Good read.
Kim
It was amazing to me what they went through to become such a successful team and was neat to hear about what they went on to become. The only downside to this book was the language, Bear Bryant had quite the temper and saucy mouth.
Jamie Sears
I know some people think coach Bryant was a great coach but, just because you product a winning team, that doesn't make youa great coach. I know it is true, but can't believe some of the things he did to his team.
Jeffrey
Great book - not only for the football fan, but also for a look at what rural Texas was like during the draught in the 50s. Paul Bryant did not mess around as a coach - pretty crazy the things he put them through.
Joe Drape
This is rip roaring story telling based on old fashioned shoe leather reporting. You feel like your in camp with the Junction Boys, which is no easy feat. Dent has a wonderful voice and nails the telling detail.
Tom
Sep 05, 2008 Tom added it
Incredible true story of a tough group of young men, and a tough coach. I watched Bear Bryant as a successful leader of players, but I didn't know of his time as an Aggie. Wow!
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