Playing Hurt Information

From Wikipedia
Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope
Playing Hurt cover art.
Author John Saunders
John U. Bacon
CountryUnited States
Subject Memoir
Publisher Da Capo Press
Publication date
August 8, 2017
Media typePrint ( hardcover), audiobook, e-book
ISBN 978-0306824739
OCLC 995048699

Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope is a memoir written by John Saunders with bestselling author John U. Bacon, published posthumously on August 8, 2017. [1] [2]


Saunders, a journalist and broadcaster of over thirty years for ESPN and ABC, published Playing Hurt in 2017. [3] [4] The memoir is divided into four parts and spans Saunders' life from his time growing up in Canada to the final years of his life and deals with topics like Saunders' ongoing battle with depression, his numerous suicide attempts, his recovery in the wake of his on-set brain injury in 2011, and his heart attack in 2012. [5] Saunders and Bacon had begun work on the book prior to Saunders passing away in August 2016 at age 61. After Saunders' death, Bacon continued to work on the manuscript with the help of Saunders’ family, friends and physicians. Bacon said of the book, “ the end this is John’s story, told from his point of view, based primarily on his recollections.” [1]

The foreword was written by Mitch Albom. [6]


Playing Hurt debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. [7] The book has received positive reviews and Saunders has received praise for his openness and authenticity, with Awful Announcing calling it an "important, enlightening read." [5] [8] [9] The Washington Post described the book as, "dark, edgy, revelatory and quite sad." [10]


  1. ^ a b Richard Deitsch (17 June 2017). "In posthumous memoir, John Saunders details depression struggles, suicidal thoughts". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  2. ^ Matt Schudel (16 August 2016). "John Saunders, longtime ESPN sports announcer, dies at 61". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Holding on to hope: An excerpt from 'Playing Hurt'". ESPN. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Family of late sports journalist John Saunders open up on his struggle with depression". ABC News. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b Joe Lucia (28 August 2017). "Playing Hurt, John Saunders' memoir, is an eye-opening tale of depression hidden from the public". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  6. ^ Bill Bender (9 August 2017). "John Saunders' gripping battle with depression told through 'Playing Hurt'". Sporting News. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  7. ^ "John Saunders: My Dad Turned Best Day Of My Life Into One Of The Worst". The Post Game. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  8. ^ Hannah Withiam (12 June 2017). "When lost ESPN icon considered ending it all on a bridge". New York Post. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  9. ^ Bob Ryan (23 September 2017). "ESPN's John Saunders lived a painful life". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  10. ^ Wil Haygood (18 August 2017). "Sportscaster John Saunders' quiet battle with the demons of depression". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 October 2017.

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