John Saunders was one of the most successful sportscasters in America. Yet depression tormented him throughout his life. Those who saw him on TV covering college football or hosting ESPN’s The Sports Reporters had no idea what he was going through when the cameras were off.
Shortly before his death of natural causes in 2016, Saunders completed work on his book, Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope. In the book, he chronicles his lifelong battles with depression, which he largely concealed from the public. He wrote the book with the idea that by sharing his story, he could provide hope for those who have suffered like he did. Mitch Albom wrote the forward, while Saunders collaborated with New York Times bestselling author John U. Bacon to complete the book.
Playing Hurt is our selection for the May meeting of LTPL’s Generation Next Book Group. Our meeting is on May 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Red Brick Cafe, 8952 1st Street in Baroda. This will be one of several programs we are looking to roll out over the next year related to mental health.
We invite patrons 18 and up to join us on May 23 for our discussion of Playing Hurt. Pick up a copy at the circulation desk, and come prepared to have a thoughtful discussion on working through depression and helping those who need it. While the story Saunders tells is difficult to read, it is important to discuss what he has to say.