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Never Ran, Never Will: Boyhood and Football in a Changing American Inner City
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Never Ran, Never Will: Boyhood and Football in a Changing American Inner City

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4.64  ·  Rating details ·  22 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
This uplifting story of a youth football team shines light on a group of preteen boys fighting for upward mobility while on the frontlines of monumental shifts in America, living in a community eroding from gentrification and playing a sport threatened by a growing understanding of its risks.

Never Ran, Never Will tells the story of the working-class, mostly black neighborh
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by PublicAffairs
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Lance
Brooklyn is noted for its diverse neighborhoods and the changing landscape of the borough is bringing more wealth and success to many of its residents. However, the neighborhood of Brownsville has felt that some of this success has left it behind. There is a great success story that originates from Brownsville – the youth football program known as the Mo Better Jaguars. This excellent book by Albert Samaha captures the spirit of these football squads, as well as its players and coaches.

The main
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Paul
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Never Ran, Never Will belongs on the shelf next to Kotlowitz’s There Are No Children Here, Wojnarowski’s The Miracle of St. Anthony, and Coyle’s Hardball. This is an important book that poses real questions about what will fill the void if football and other sports disappear from inner cities. The author cares enough to look at all the factors that affect this neighborhood, and confesses in the introduction that he is one of the people who has moved into and gentrified these neighborhoods. His h ...more
Ben Westhoff
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great journalism and storytelling. It tells a story about a part of Brooklyn that's not trendy -- Brownsvile -- through the eyes of a group of at-risk football players who you really fall for.
Kyle
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: football, netgalley
I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

An insightful exploration of the issues facing the youth in several communities across the country. The Mo Better Jaguars are more than just a football team, but rather it is an effective vehicle for the youths facing the crushing realities of the inner city to rise above their circumstances and succeed. This does not always happen, but one can still see how beneficial having a mentor can be for these individuals. The
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Edwin Howard
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
NEVER RAN, NEVER WILL, by Albert Samaha, tells the story of the Brownsville Pop Warner football program called Mo Better Jaguars. Samaha dives deep into the kids lives, their parents, and the coaches and community supporters that all meld together to tell the story of the Mo Better Jaguars.
Rich in history and community pride, Samaha writes of the Mo Better Jaguars with a certain reverence and respect to all the people currently and previously associated with the team. He paints a clear picture
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Dree
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
For this book, Samaha followed a Pop Warner football team form 2013-2014. Based in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the club has a storied past, but the concussion issue is causing all area teams to struggle for players. Focusing on the coaches, several of the best players, and the families, Samaha examines why these kids are playing, why their parents let them, and what they think about it all.

Brownsville is a rough neighborhood, and while some of these kids live there, some are the sons of dads who made
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Arianna Rebolini
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Never Ran, Never Will, Albert Samaha zooms into the pressing, complicated conversations around privilege, gentrification, and anti-blackness in America by examining them within the context of a boys football team in the high-crime and close-knit Brooklyn neighborhood Brownsville. The book follows the Mo Better Jaguars — the coaches, led by Chris Legree, and the preteen players — over the course of five years. And while the games drive the narrative, it's the way the team shapes the boys' traj ...more
Sam Rega
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Albert Samaha's "Never Ran, Never Will" is a page-turning wonder. Started reading and I couldn't put it down. It's a New York story, but it's an American story. If you've read Samaha's work before you'll instantly recognize his attention to detail and his natural way of captivating his audience. It's a must read for people, not just sports fans.
Elizabeth
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Peter Kilkelly
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Oct 15, 2018
Albert Samaha
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Sarah
Oct 01, 2018 added it
Shelves: non-fiction, dnf
The neighborhood and people in this book were really interesting, but there was a lot more play by play football talk than I anticipated, which did not really interest me. I had to return it to the library because someone else had a hold placed on it, and I don't think I'll return to it.
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I tried to read it a few times, but it just did my pull me in. I have so many books that I am excited to read, so I am tabling this one. Maybe later!
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