The Long Snapper
A Second Chance, a Super Bowl, a Lesson for Life
By Jeffrey Marx
(HarperOne, Hardcover, 9780061691393, 256pp.)
Publication Date: September 2009
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Brian Kinchen was a thirty-eight-year-old husband, father of four, and seventh-grade Bible teacher whose professional football career had been over for three years when the New England Patriots called on December 15, 2003. With the Patriots riding a ten-game winning streak and the playoffs only a few weeks away, they needed a fill-in for the obscure but vital job of snapping the ball for their punter and kicker—a long snapper. Brian had received similar invitations to tryouts that yielded only disappointment—the teams always went with a younger guy. But could he really turn away from the chance of a lifetime?
The Long Snapper chronicles Brian's remarkable journey as he and the Patriots seek the ultimate trophy. Unfortunately, the dream come true turns into a personal nightmare as Brian struggles both on and off the field, and the pressure to perform on the biggest stage in professional sports nearly causes him to walk away. Seven weeks after leaving the classroom, however, Brian overcomes his greatest fear and snaps the ball on the historic game-winning field goal with only seconds left in the Super Bowl.
As told by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jeffrey Marx, The Long Snapper is the story of a man who finally achieves the success he has always wanted. Brian Kinchen's championship ring is a powerful status symbol for all to see. But his journey forces him to reexamine what really matters, and he realizes the true measure of a man has nothing to do with status: life is not about prestige; it is about passion and purpose. It is about impacting the lives of others.
Jeffrey Marx is the New York Times bestselling author of Season of Life and recipient of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.
“Jeffrey Marx captures a remarkable story, and reveals a very human athlete with faith, doubt, and an underappreciated skill. The Long Snapper would be marvelous fiction; that this account is the ultimate truth is its great joy.”
-Bob Ley, ESPN
“Don’t we all long for one last chance? Don’t we all dream to do it over again? Anybody who has ever had those pangs will love Jeffrey Marx’s beautiful and uplifting story about a guy who had opportunity dropped into his lap.”
-Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated
“Jeffrey Marx has done it again, only better than ever. The improbable story of Brian Kinchen blooms in Marx’s gifted hands. Thoughtful and inspiring, The Long Snapper is a quite simply a joy to behold.”
-Rick Telander, Chicago Sun Times
“A great story.”
“A real-life inspirational story of a young man .... Kinchen’s unexpected opportunity was wonderful on its own but more so because it clarified what was truly valuable in his life: marriage, family, and teaching. Nicely done, with plenty of insider football action.”
“Jeffrey Marx tells Kinchen’s story with wit and grace, spotlighting a position often lost in the NFL trenches.”
“You’ll find yourself asking some core questions about what matters and what doesn’t...Marx tells the tale with simple eloquence.”
“A compelling read.”
“The book is a lesson about achieving your dreams, and realizing that what you’ve sought all along was right in front of you the whole time.”
-Fellowship of Christian Athletes
“A page-turner that succinctly captures the true-life story of football player Brian Kinchen.”
“A moving-right-along recounting of one of those odysseys that screams to be made into a movie. It is much, much more than your conventional “sports book.””
“The Long Snapper is an inspirational and compelling tale of New England Patriot Brian Kinchen’s journey from seventh grade Bible studies teacher to Super Bowl champion.”
-New Orleans Times Picayune