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The Long Snapper [Kindle Edition]

Jeffrey Marx
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jeffrey Marx, The Long Snapper chronicles one of the most improbable and inspirational sports stories of our time. Marx, the New York Times bestselling author of Season of Life, tells of Brian Kinchen’s remarkable journey from Bible teacher to New England Patriot to Super Bowl champion in this transcendent tale of football and faith.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Marx is the New York Times bestselling author of Season of Life and The Long Snapper: A Second Chance, a Super Bowl, a Lesson for Life. He is also the recipient of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He has also written for numerous publications, including Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Baltimore Sun. Marx lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and heartwarming 22 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the inspirational story of Brian Kinchen, a retired American footballer who was plucked from his new job as a teacher to cover for an injured New England Patriot. Kinchen went all the way to the Superbowl and played a crucial role in his team’s success – although most people are not aware of the pressure and mental anguish that he went through. A truly heartwarming story – none of the brash self-confidence of many other sports biographies here.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a heartwarming memoir of courage, faith and how Brian Kinchen listened to his heart and God ... 11 Feb. 2010
By D. Fowler - Published on
Brian Kinchen had been one of the best long snappers in the business, but frankly in an occupation like that a cheerleader would be more noticeable. He just did his job, did it well and walked off the field confident in his ability. His confidence also extended to his family, his faith in God and later in his young students at Parkview Baptist. He'd played in the NFL for the Browns, the Dolphins . . . both great teams until he ended up as an expendable player. He thought he had it licked when the Packers called him, but all too quickly his luck ran out when they unceremoniously dumped him when they decided they would make do with two tight ends. "Coach wants to see you. Bring your playbook." It was back to Louisiana for Brian because anyone who heard those words was a goner.

He was devastated, but just kept on trying. Rejection after rejection after rejection can break a man, but Brian somehow decided against repeatedly punishing his ego and decided that he would return to school and become a teacher. It was said that "the more things you can do the better chance you have of sticking around," but that only seemed to work early on in his career. With a wife and four kids he needed to be steady, to make and living and teaching would give him stability. Kinchen never figured he was going to end up being a long snapper, but teaching wasn't in his field of vision either, but he knew God does things for a reason and if he was meant to be a teacher, he'd be a good one.

Things were going well, but when he got a call out of the blue from Scott Pioli, a former Cleveland Browns teammate, telling him that New England wanted him to try out for them, he was uptight. He was too old, way too old to go through the heartbreak of rejection again. His wife Lori was encouraging and when he asked his classroom they were behind him. Brian stepped on that plane knowing "God created opportunity." Lori would take over his classroom until he returned. There was only room for one long snapper on the New England Patriots. Would Brian be able to show Him what he was made of after all these years? Could an old dude cut the mustard and more importantly, as one of his students asked, "Does God want him here or does God want him there?"

This was a heartwarming memoir of courage, faith and how Brian Kinchen listened to his heart and God. The reader need not be a football fan to enjoy this memoir, however there is enough "football" to satisfy those who do, save the die hard fan. I couldn't find anything I didn't like about this well rounded memoir and just kept on rooting for the underdog page after page. It was one of those books that say to the reader "you can do it" without laying out page after page of instructions and devotional quotes. Brian Kincher, his family and his classroom are just waiting in the pages of this book to tell you that you can do it too!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Book 25 Jan. 2010
By Martha Brasher - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"The Long Snapper" is a captivating novel that any sports fan should read, especially young athletes with aspirations of playing professionally. It will inspire, motivate, and uplift the reader. This story makes dreams like playing professional ball, and excelling at it, seem very plausible and possible. The life story of Brian Kinchen is one that will warm your heart, beautifully retold my Jeffrey Marx. A must read.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a football fan, read THE LONG SNAPPER . . . non-fans will find it inspiring, too. 20 Jun. 2012
By Blaine Greenfield - Published on
THE LONG SNAPPER (HarperOne) by Jeffrey Marx is the improbable true story of Brian Kinchen, a 38-year-old father of four and seventh-grade Bible teacher whose professional football career had been over for three years. Or so he thought.

Then, one day out of nowhere, he received the call of a lifetime from the New England Patriots . . . their regular long snapper was injured, and he was being asked to fill-in for the remainder of the 2003 season and the playoffs.

I got caught up in Kinchen's story right from the beginning . . . the author, a Pulitzer Prize-winner for another book I loved, SEASON OF LIFE, had me pulling for this snapper that I didn't even remember from when he played. My lack of recollection apparently wasn't uncommon:

* All of a sudden, everyone was talking about the importance of long snappers. One of the best lines came from Hall of Fame kicker Jan Stenerud, who tried to put into perspective the general indifference toward a snapper until something goes wrong. "It's like a bad intersection," he said. "Most times, there is no stoplight until there's an accident."

As the games progressed deeper into the playoffs, it almost seemed like I was getting more and more into the snapper's head:

* Approaching the line of scrimmage, Brian told himself: I'll remember this moment for the rest of my life. This will define my career. So much for being able to block out everything but this mantra of relaxing and releasing. Making things even worse, his mind then took an abrupt dive to a terribly negative pairing of images: He thought of Trey Junkin throwing the bad snap that cost the New York Giants a playoff game the year before. And he briefly contemplated the ugly, painful concept of throwing the ball over Walter's head. With so much at stake, such a blunder would be dramatically worse even than the Junkin fiasco that had generated so much media attention and had caused so much anguish for the man and his family.

I won't ruin the ending if you don't recall the story; however, this paragraph in the last chapter made me realize that Kinchen had his priorities straight:

* A highlight video offered glimpses of Brian playing tight end and scoring touchdowns in collegiate and NFL games long gone. Family, friends, and former teammates took turns sharing lighthearted jabs and poignant memories. The most intriguing statement of the evening came for the honoree himself. "The success-oriented part of my life is over," Brian said. "Now it's time to move on to significance."

If you're a football fan, read THE LONG SNAPPER . . . non-fans will find it inspiring, too.
3.0 out of 5 stars Even Belichick Likes This Guy 7 Mar. 2010
By John McLaughlin - Published on
Jeffrey Marx tells us the remarkable story of 38 year old Brian Kinchen, the long snapper. From his improbable journey from 7th grade religion teacher to the super bowl in a matter of months, Kinchen is an easy person to root for. A great family man, wonderfull husband, and a world class athlete. He has been given a chance from out of the blue to play the sport he loves one final time, and to leave the game on his terms.
I really would have given this book 5 stars if the author didn't focus so much on the religous beliefs of Kinchen. Obviously faith plays a prominent role in his life, but I would have preffered to read more about the football side of things. Especially when you think about what a crucial role he played in such a historical play in the super bowl.
The book is an easy read that should be worth your time. This book was not as Seasons of Life, but it was a solid effort.
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a decent book 2 Jan. 2010
By Robert Guyette - Published on
Marx follows up "Season of Life" with the story of Brian Kinchen, who was called to be the long snapper for the Patriots late in the season they ended up beating the Panthers in the Super Bowl. Kinchen was a 7th-grade Bible teacher at home with his wife and four kids in Louisiana at the time, three years removed from his 13-year NFL career. The book takes the readers through his uncertainty about whether to return, the pressure of the NFL world, and the mental anguish that goes along with all the physical pressure to perform. Overall, it's a nice story, one filled with faith and religious-based themes. It's a story of a good guy who makes good. As far as personal inspiration, it falls well short of "Season of Life", which I absolutely loved. The reader will feel good for Brian and the kids he teaches, but that's about it.
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