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QB: My Life Behind the Spiral

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,539 ratings  ·  321 reviews

In the most candid and compelling sports memoir since Andre Agassi’s riveting bestseller Open, former San Francisco 49er, Super Bowl champion, NFL MVP, and Hall of Famer Steve Young gives readers an unprecedented and stunning inside look at what it takes to become a super-elite professional quarterback.

Steve Young produced some of the most me
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,539 ratings  ·  321 reviews

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Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
NFL legend Steve Young shares his thoughts on a life of football, family, and perseverance in this great memoir. Being a lifelong BYU Cougars and San Francisco 49ers fan, I was excited to read this story straight from the man himself. Young had an incredible football career capped with a Super Bowl Championship. However, behind the thrills of the game he had a decades-long struggle with anxiety that led him to seek treatment. He also felt the pressure of being LDS and single in a culture that st ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a treat to read about the life of a fellow GHS classmate, Steve Young. I, like many others from the class of 1980, have been following the career of this extremely talented and incredibly kind individual. Although the chapter on Greenwich was quite short, it nonetheless, was certainly exciting to see what he had to say about some of his true and trusted friends-along with some fun photos. I loved Young's recollection of how many of his friends and our fellow classmates supported his religio ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, mens, sports, athletes
If you like reading play-by-play football descriptions, then this is the book for you (if you don't, then there are large chunks to skim). I read QB because I'd heard his radio interview about how he conquered his anxiety and wish he'd gone into more depth on the source and solution - on this and many other things.

I give it 3 stars because the book is superficial -- just reporting on his amazing achievements -- without going into much explanation or reflection on what goes into creating this or
Chase Preston
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. I thought it contained some great insight on dealing with anxiety, being LDS and in the limelight, as well as the pressures of succeeding a legend. I really like how he resolved himself and his approach to the game. He gave up on the unrealistic expectations and trying to compare himself to Joe and Jim. Instead he decided that he was just going to go out there and see how good he could become while living and being satisfied with the results knowing he gave it his all. ...more
Max Vaterlaus
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Steve Young's playing years were before I watched football so I didn't know much about his career or life. I enjoyed the book but thought he missed opportunities to talk about how he dealt with his anxieties.
Clinton Hutchings
This was a great read. You probably have to enjoy football - and the more you can recall specific games from the '90's, probably the better. It was so enjoyable to go back in time to Young's BYU, USFL and 49er days. Lots of Xs and Os - which I loved, but I think at times it was a bit hard for Robbie - my 12 year old son who doesn't know a lot about football, and certainly not players from the 90's - who I read this book with. Steve seems to be a terrific model in so many ways. I'm glad Robbie co ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
An auto-biography worth reading if you are a 49ers fan, a football fan and enjoy books, or a Mormon who grew up during the Young era. Although the play-by-play got a bit tedious, I thought it critical to really understanding what Young is all about on and off the field.
Benjamin Burr
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can't honestly say that I like sports as much as the next guy. This isn't because I don't like sports, but I find that most guys like them more than I do. I can say that I like reading biographies and autobiographies more than the next guy. On a regular basis I try to work a good, sprawling biography into my mix of reading. When I heard that former BYU and 49ers quarterback, Steve Young, was releasing and autobiography, I put it on my list of books to read. When I heard that he would be signin ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. The only thing keeping my rating from going higher is the ridiculous thought that I had about midway through QB: "There's too much football in this book." Not sure exactly what I was expecting from Steve Young's biography, but the play by plays got a little much for me. He had a very long career and I hung in there for several years' worth of games, but admittedly started skimming the games in the second half of the book. I did slow down for his injuries, which were frequ ...more
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
We'll-written and fascinating.
Madisen Stone-Lew
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
I would love to give this a 3 1/2. There are certain aspects of Young’s story I would have liked him to elebrate more. I don’t think it was easy opening up about his anxiety but it seemed rushed and glanced over in the book. I would have liked more details about that. Some of the football was repetitive to me but he is famous for being a football player... Some of the stories he told felt a bit random and but I think he was trying to write for several groups like 49er and LDS fans.
I had a hard
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I enjoyed this much know than I expected. I had no idea that the legendary quarterback of the 49ers struggled with debilitating anxiety off the field that almost kept him from playing on the field. I loved reading about the path his life took, the people who influenced him and even the exciting plays of the game. I even looked up a clip or 2 you tube. What a determined human being.
Gil Bradshaw
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Keep in mind I'm a die-hard Mormon and BYU football fan and a third generation die-hard San Francisco 49er fan who grew up playing football in the 90s! On top of that I attended BYU Law School and grew up in Provo--running into him three or four times. This book was written for me. The thing is, I've even been keeping up with the Forever Young Foundation from a distance. I think it's time I donated.

This is what my October to do list looked
LAPL Reads
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A facetious question posed by an NPR radio host lured me into reading Steve Young’s memoir, QB: my life behind the spiral. Did the pro football Hall of Famer receive special treatment at Brigham Young University where he played quarterback because he is the great-great-great grandson of Brigham Young?

With outstanding high school achievements, Young was readily admitted to the university, but the football team listed him as number eight on the depth chart for the quarterback position (future Chic
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"How good can you become?" That was the question that Stephen Covey posed to Steve Young that gave him pause. It's a question I now ask my myself. How good can I become?

There are so many reasons to admire this book, but I want to focus on Steve Young's unremitting faith. In a book that chronicled much of his football life, he shared personal information that detailed his struggles, his faith, and his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He shared experiences where he m
Henry Leaman
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Young does an excellent job going through his entire professional career. His story is inspiring: he details how he went from a 6th string QB at BYU to become a starter, then a professional, then an NFL rookie, and so on a so forth.

Two things stood out to me:
1. Steve Young's writing is incredibly humbling. He writes candidly about his faults and insecurities, and it really helps the reader connect with Young. It sheds away the "over confident" jock/pro athlete stereotype, and replaces it with a
Boni Peterson
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would actually rate this 3.5 stars, but I rounded up. This was a book club selection, not one that I would pick up on my own. I am glad I did read it as I was surprised at how interested I was in his career and how things came to be. I did a bit of skimming since he literally described in detail pretty much every game he played including all the stats that go with it. I have to say, having watched my boys play football the past couple of years have helped me learn about the game and understand ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
I didn't have high hopes for this one, but it ended up being amazing. I'm now an expert on all things Steve Young. I'm also completely horrified by a lot of things about the NFL, namely the concussion issue and the fact that they will just inject lidocaine into broken ribs, jammed fingers, sprains, etc so players can keep playing without pain. It was fun to read his accounts of playing football for BYU, and it was fun to see so many familiar names in his stories: Jim McMahon, Kyle Whittingham, N ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I was young when Steve Young was in his prime time, so it was interesting to read about his life and learn about his struggles with anxiety. He was lucky to have some great friends who helped him a ton!! I kept thinking what a drain he would have been.

And interesting to read about him living in Joe Montana's shadow for years. Although I skimmed soooooo much because it felt like he gave a play by play of pretty much every game he ever played in... No lie.

Also crazy how many injuries in football
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
"They made sure to always have milk for me" (Young, 32)
This quote this a reason I choose this book. Young had a very similar upbringing to me, as he was also a Mormon, and it was cool to see how similar Young was to me. This quote is referring to how Steve Young would not drink alcohol and how he was always offered milk at parties.

I like this book because it gave a lot of technical football terms. It also gave Steve Young's perspective of some famous plays like his run against Minnesota and the
Van Reese
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great behind the scenes look at professional football. If you are moderately interested in football or Steve Young or both, you will like this book. At times I would think, "Steve, you are living the dream. What are you complaining about?" At least in this case, however, living the dream involved concussions, contusions, cuts, and controversy. Also, a lot of hard work and discouragement.

Steve Young had a lot of help to get where he ended up; coaches, players, family, and friends. One
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've read in a long time. I could hardly put it down. The writing flows so well and it's such an easy read. The behind-the-scenes story of Steve Young's football career from high school onwards is revelatory and I found myself cheering for him to lead his team to come-from-behind victories as he explains his struggles from his perspective during famous 49ers games.

I love how he also unashamedly shares his Mormon beliefs as if it's commonplace. You can tell he deeply is dev
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From QB to husband and father

Steve young takes us through the years of his football career. Little did we know that there was much more going on than the football highlights that were so evident. Wrestling with anxiety, growing spiritually, and searching for the right woman to marry. All things that other people do, but being a great football player seems to have made them all more torturous, or at least more difficult. Once again we see it is hard to live a normal life in the spotlight. Maybe w
Colona Public Library
I really enjoyed reading this book and re-living all of Steve Young's famous games. I learned a lot about his childhood, and did not realize how hard he had to work to get where he is. I had no idea he suffered from anxiety. He was pretty healthy for most of his NFL career. I did learn that for all the concussions that he received he did not show many of the symptoms. From watching it on TV, I had a different view, and was glad to see his point of view. Steve Young talks about being a Mormon in ...more
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put this book down! Absolutely loved the story, lessons and journey of Steve Young's life. I loved the book even more when I found out he wrote it for his kids. Thanks Steve for sharing it with the rest of us. I'm hoping to incorporate it into my 8th & 9th grade reading classes because I think my students can relate to many of the pressures Steve faced as a teen. I also think it will inspire them to be true to themselves, persevere and learn to view challenges with optimism and as a ...more
Francisco Alvarez
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 Stars. I enjoy bios when the biographer reads their own story. It's a great story about grit and determination, two words we forget all to easily these days because the word talent gets put on a pedestal. Steve really talks about the struggles of being true to himself while the forces of fame, business, and family push in contradicting ways. Each reader will relate with different parts Steve Young's life. No better role model exists today for Americas future footballers and aspiring profes ...more
Jared Rossean
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every football fan should read this... this should be required reading for BYU and SF 49ers Football Fans. Super honest and incredible glimpse into Steve Young the man and an amazing backstage pass to Steve Young the football player. His recall of specific plays and their descriptions are just awesome. Why are you still reading this? Go get this book now! The only thing I wish was different is I wish Steve Young had read the whole audiobook himself and not just the introduction.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For BYU football and SF 49er fans, this book is a lot of fun to read. Steve Young is a remarkable person, and I was amazed by his work ethic, drive, and toughness. Young provides details on key games throughout his career, giving you a fascinating inside-the-huddle view. I had no idea how challenging his anxiety was, and he is very candid about his struggles. I was also struck by how brutal college and professional football can be.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
This is one of the best autobiographies I have read in a while. We gave this book to my dad for Christmas, and both he and my mom loved it (and my mom is not really into sports). Steve Young is very candid in this book. He talks about his success (he's not bashful about it, just keeping it real) and his struggles. I had no idea that he had such paralyzing anxiety. I recommend this to everyone, but especially to those who also suffer from anxiety.
Sarah Jane
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My biggest takeaway from this book: if you want to be a starter prepare yourself mentally and physically every game as if you will be the starter. I no longer play sports at a competitive level, but I have already been able to apply this attitude in other aspects Of my life. Excellent read and a must for any sport enthusiast.
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