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It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium: Football and the Game of Life
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It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium: Football and the Game of Life

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  412 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Book by Bradley, John Ed
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2007 by ESPN
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Andrew Shaffer
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bradley has written a thoughtful, somber, and poetic memoir that reads as the flip-side to Jason Peter's drug-fueled Hero of the Underground. Every page is brimming with emotion, whether it's love or hate of the game of football. While the cover prominently features an LSU logo and colors, don't be fooled--this book is for all college football fans, not just LSU fans.

As some other reviewers have commented, there's not much action here, so it's not a rip-roaring read--it doesn't ever fully grip t
Dan Solomon
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
This isn't exactly a football book, but it's definitely more a football book than it is most other things. It's just not X's and O's. Instead, it's about being so scared that your best days happened when you were so young that you've got too much life to live after them. And that's a football story, for sure. You just needn't care much about the game to relate to it.

It's also a book about writing, in about as explicit and direct a way as it is about football. Which is to say: it's a really pers
Tom Gase
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In a tribute to the author, when I finished this book I threw it on my reclining chair next to my bed and uttered, "Sonobitch." I did this because early in this book the author, John Ed Bradley, said he wanted to someday write books where people did that like his roommate did in college. Well, Mr. Bradley, mission accomplished.
This is quite simply one of the best books I've ever read. The first chapter may be the best writing to open a book I've ever read.
The book will make you laugh, cry and
Lori Ware
Jan 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I just finished reading this book. It is about Life after LSU football. It could be life after any team! It was interesting, but mainly I wanted to tell the author to get a life and move was just football after all (and I am a HUGE LSU fan!). Not a must read, but if you want to feel better about your life NOT being in too big of a rut, this could be a good one!
John Eisenberg
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written football memoir.
Nick Black
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-nyc
well-written and heartbreaking.
Jonathan G

The book I have read is, It Never Rains In Tiger Stadium by John Ed Bradley. My book has 285 pages and is published by ESPN Books. The reason I chose to read this book is because I play football and this is a football book and I felt like i could relate to this one the most. Sports illustrated said this book was “the best sports book of the year.”

The main character in this book is John Ed Bradley, he is important because this book

he wrote is for his coach and he ties in with all the prominent ch
Jun 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: college football fans; sports fans in general; my LSU peeps (yes, I used the phrase "peeps").
My actual review for The Advocate:

Advocate staff writer

John Ed Bradley spent four years in the spotlights of Tiger Stadium. He spent the next 20 in their shadow.

Like many Louisiana boys, he believed playing football for LSU was the best thing that could happen to an athlete. He never considered what that meant for his life after LSU football — what happens to a man who peaks at age 22.

In the autobiographical It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium, the Opelousas native chronicles his struggl
Apr 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a pleasantly surprising sports memoir that, I'm embarrassed to say, I grabbed because of the cover and snippet comments from Esquire and NPR inside the jacket. You can't tell a book by it's cover (I thought it was fiction) but it can steer you towards a good read sometimes.

John Bradley was football star on a very good LSU team under much loved college coach Charlie Mac. They didn't win an NCAA Championship during his years there (he started every year) but they did just miss beating
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Casey, Michael
If Tim O'Brien played college football at an SEC school and wrote a book about it, this would be that book.
It's not so much about his playing days at LSU, but how one handles life after one's playing days. Some would call it living in the past of being unable to let go of one's glory days, but it's more than that.
I never got the feeling Bradley missed being a football player as much as he missed his teammates and coaches and what they stood for.
If there's a book about playing football honorably
Tony Perez-Giese
Sep 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
First of all, this is not really a football book. Secondly, it's not a very good book, but that might just be because I really dislike books where the author keeps on reminding the reader that the whole thing is about him wanting to be a writer.

The author played football at LSU and I guess the main point is that he desperately wants to leave football behind him to -- you guessed it -- become a writer. But even though he points out that he wants to be a writer every other page, he hardly ever dis
Patrick Hewlett
May 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
I'll try to be as unbiased as possible with the former LSU offensive lineman. I'd really liked John Ed Bradley's Sports Illustrated features, both LSU-related and not, for years. With It Never Rains..., it simply seemed like Bradley couldn't remember enough to warrant a full book. Towards the end, nostalgia, melodrama, self-pity, and college-aged selfishness kind of take the reader off track. Still, it's a book about late '70s, Charlie Mac-coached LSU football, and that's more than enough for me ...more
Brian DiMattia
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This may be the best written book about sports I've ever read. At least it's the most deeply personal. As a biography, this really describes a man at odds with his own life, and as a work of literature I instantly understood the "throw a book across the room" scene. I felt exactly that way about this book.

In fact, don't think of this so much as a sports book, or a coming of age book, or a dealing-with-unfulfilling-expectations book. This is a man's honest reflections on a part of his life and wh
May 06, 2008 rated it liked it
For anyone who loves LSU and found it hard to leave, for any reason, this book will make you laugh, cry and in the end still have to deal with the depression that you can no longer wake up late for class, just pass biology and still party on a Wednesday night eating raw oysters at the Chimes and trying to put you name on the wall - and still there is football game Saturday and maybe a quiz Friday - whatever, my beer is empty.
Stacy Lewis
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started out just OK, but the last few chapters are nothing short of beauty. This is what makes/made (before every program started cheating) college athletics the purest form of sports - the concept of team. Much like I feel love for the other residents in my residency, the author feels love/devotion/loss for his football team at LSU. The shared struggles, joy over winning, sadness over losses forges a bond that he can never recreate the rest of his life.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Interesting insight into the football scene at a college powerhouse, LSU. The author is a former center for LSU who knows and vividly describes life that is LSU football - and likely football at other colleges that place a real emphasis on the game. The book is highly enjoyable, whether one is an LSU fan or not.
April Hedges
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Full review here:

This book is really for the hardcore football fan. Bradley delivers interesting anecdotes about his life as a football player and his life as a writer, but he doesn't seem to enjoy either.
Nov 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports, biography
A self-examination of leaving your youth behind and finding one's own identity. A heartbreaking look at the almost-paralyzing pull high school and college sports have on those trying to leave it behind. John Ed Bradly (Washington Post, Sports Illustrated) has always ranked high on my list of favorite sportswriters.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a auto biography about having a very successful senior year playing football for LSU and how he knew he had to walk away to fulfill his dream of being a writer. He describes the extreme difficulty it is to be part of the team with the bonds that are developed and walk away. Very insightful.
Wayne Edmondson
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This isn't just a book about LSU football, although there's meat in here that you want to strap the pads on and run through the tunnel. This is a book about forging one's own identity, doomed romances, and heartache. I loved it.
May 18, 2009 rated it liked it
It is not necessary to be a former athlete to understand the feelings of loss and uncertainty of the author after leaving college - it is something many people feel as they enter the "real world," but it hits John Ed Bradley a bit harder. Great for LSU Tiger fans!
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved how it talked about LSU and being able to visualize some of the things and feelings he described, but this was by far one of the slowest books I've ever read. I think it took me 4 months to finish it.
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Man plays college football. Man becomes writer. Man yearns for football, wallows in youth and the sentimentality of the past. Like my life, except without the first sentence. Lovely, when it is not overly sentimental.
Agatha Donkar
Supremely heartbreaking autobiographical story of an ex-LSU football player and his life after football. Not what I was expecting -- I was thinking something more like Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer -- but a good read regardless.
Nov 05, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was an interesting depiction of what happens to an athlete when they must separate from their craft and enter the real world. I found the hero hard to get behind just because football had messed up his mental outlook so much, but overall I enjoyed the book.
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
One of the most depressing books I have ever read. John Ed's woe is me dribble gets old very fast. Gave it two stars because of the LSU nostalgia and Baton Rouge landmark references that I enjoyed reminiscing about.
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was actually more about the author dealing with life after playing football than it was about LSU football but it was still a good read, although a bit sad since even at the end he still couldn't let his football playing days go.
Apr 07, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored the first half of the book (so much nostalgia for the excitement surrounding LSU football!), but felt that ultimately this book would have been an amazing magazine article. The second half of the book spent far too much time musing about his stymied life post-college football.
Jul 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A good book, very well written. Describes the college football experience in the late 1970's very accurately. Having said that, I sort of got tired with the author - and kept saying to myself - hey bud - QUIT FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF.
Mike Lyons
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: football fans; LSU fans
This book showed me what an attachment can develop to a sport when one devotes his/her whole life to it and how hard it can be to walk away from. It reminds one that the athletes we revere are human and must go on with their lives and find ways to discover themselves beyond athletics.
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