The Junction Boys
How 10 Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Champion Team
By Jim Dent
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312192938, 336pp.)
Publication Date: September 1999
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant is recognized nationwide as one of the greatest coaches ever. So why did he always cite his 1-9 A&M team of 1954 as his favorite? This is the story of a remarkable team – and the beginning of the legend.
The Junction Boys tells the story of Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant's legendary training camp in the small town of Junction, Texas. In a move that many consider the salvation of the Texas A&M football program, Coach Bryant put 115 players through the most grueling practices ever imagined. Only a handful of players survived the entire 10 days, but they braved the intense heat of the Texas sun and the burning passion of their coach, and turned a floundering team into one of the nation's best. The Junction Boys is more than just a story of tough practices without water breaks. An extraordinary fellowship was forged from the mind-numbing pain. The thirty-five survivors bonded together like no other team in America. They profited from the Junction experience; the knowledge they took back with them to College Station, about themselves and what they were capable of, would be used for the rest of their lives.
In vivid and powerful images reminiscent of Friday Night Lights, Hoosiers, and The Last Picture Show, these young men and their driven coach come to life. The Junction Boys contains all the hallmarks of a classic sports story, and it combines America's love of college football with an extraordinary story of perseverance and triumph.
Jim Dent is the author of The Undefeated, King of the Cowboys, and You're out and You're Ugly, Too (with Durwood Merrill). He is an award-winning journalist who covered the Dallas Cowboys for eleven years and worked in the sports media for more than two decades. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University.
“It’s the best sports book I’ve ever read.”
- Pat Summerall, Fox Sports
"I heard the story of the Junction Boys from gene Stallings when he was on my staff with the Cowboys. Those guys were some of the toughest to ever play the game. Jim Dent has really brough the story to life in a book any football fan would like to read."
- Tom Landry, former coach of the Dallas Cowboys
"...the best book on a sports topic I've read in years."
- Furman Bisher, The Atlanta Journal Constitution
- Sports Illustrated
"You'll want to laugh, you might even want to cry, but you'll know what legends are made of by the time you finish this book. They'll be talking about this book for a long time."
- Texas Aggie Magazine
"...highly readable...Dent manages to celebrate the myth and recreate the mystique of the Bear while not glossing over the consequences of the coach's uncompromising drive to win."
- The Birmingham News