Lone Star Book Blog Tour: The Republic of Football by Chad S. Conine

Legends of the Texas High School Game
Chad S. Conine

Genre: Texas Sports History / Biographies
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Number of pages: 288

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Anywhere football is played, Texas is the force to reckon with. Its powerhouse programs produce the best football players in America. In The Republic of Football, Chad S. Conine vividly captures Texas’s impact on the game with action-filled stories about legendary high school players, coaches, and teams from around the state and across seven decades.

Drawing on dozens of interviews, Conine offers rare glimpses of the early days of some of football’s biggest stars. He reveals that some players took time to achieve greatness—LaDainian Tomlinson wasn’t even the featured running back on his high school team until a breakthrough game in his senior season vaulted him to the highest level of the sport—while others, like Colt McCoy, showed their first flashes of brilliance in middle school. In telling these and many other stories of players and coaches, including Hayden Fry, Spike Dykes, Bob McQueen, Lovie Smith, Art Briles, Lawrence Elkins, Warren McVea, Ray Rhodes, Dat Nguyen, Zach Thomas, Drew Brees, and Adrian Peterson, Conine spotlights the decisive moments when players caught fire and teams such as Celina, Southlake Carroll, and Converse Judson turned into Texas dynasties.

“This is a wonderful, well-written book, full of compelling details and stories. A ‘must read’ for any Texas football fan.” —DAVE CAMPBELL Dave Campbell’s Texas Football


 University of Texas Press


Five Stars

The Republic of Football is a journalistic-style collection of football facts, statistics, stories, and anecdotes, ranging from the 1940s to the early 2000s. Chad S. Conine captures the spirit and over-the-top excitement of the phenomenon that is Texas high school football.

Even if you’re not a fan of football, you will easily be swept up in the accounts of grit and great plays that put teams and rising stars on the path to becoming champions. While the book is obviously filled with statistics, Conine factors in the human side as well. He shows how some teams struggle and claw their way to the top, while other teams rocket toward those trophies at lightning speed.

Every chronicle in this book is different, but they all have many things in common. What impresses me the most are the high school boys coming into their own on the Texas gridiron. These stories are about football, but they are also about young boys building character through discipline, hard work, patience, camaraderie, and respect for the teams, the coaches, and themselves. These kids learn how to handle defeat and mistakes with dignity and determination to improve and win. These kids are playing a sport they love, and many go on to play in college and the NFL. Many take that hard-learned work ethic into other professions as well. These stories show the long-lasting and far-reaching effects of the game.

The Texas-sized pride for high school football jumps off each page as coaches and players recall with astonishing detail the plays, the players, the teams, and those agonizing and thrilling moments that shaped their lives and their journeys.

While this book primarily highlights football game facts and exciting moments on the field, I’m reminded of my own dance team days during my senior year. I remember the excitement each week, the decorated lockers and hallways, the cheering and screaming during the games, the halftime shows, and the larger-than-life entity that is and will always be high school football in Texas. And let’s not forget about those Homecoming Mums. Those things are massive!

My favorite quote from chapter 3: “You’re never going to be successful if you give up. You have to finish the test. You have to finish the game. You have to finish life.”

Conine is a freelance sports
journalist who has written for the Sports Xchange, Reuters, and Golf.com, among others. He has been covering Texas high school and college football since the late 1990s. He lives in Waco, Texas.






  September 5 – 19, 2016


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Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

9/5 – Review – Hall Ways Blog
9/6 – Promo – The Page Unbound
9/7 – Review – Margie’s Must Reads
9/8 – Guest Post 1 – StoreyBook Reviews
9/9 – Author Interview I – Blogging for the Love of Authors & Their Books
9/10 – Promo – Kara the Redhead
9/11 – Review – Reading By Moonlight
9/12 – Trailer – Texas Book Lover
9/13 – Guest Post 2 – Missus Gonzo
9/14 – Review – It’s a Jenn World
9/15 – Author Interview 2 – Chapter Break Book Blog
9/16 – Review – Country Girl Bookaholic
9/17 – Guest Post 3 – The Crazy Booksellers
9/18 – Promo – A Novel Reality
9/19 – Review – The Librarian Talks

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