Asher Price

Dec 4, 2019

Earl Campbell

Yards After Contact

University of Texas Press 2019

purchase at bookshop.org Earl Campbell was a force in American football, winning a state championship in high school, rushing his way to a Heisman trophy for the University of Texas, and earning MVP as he took the Houston Oilers to the brink of the Super Bowl. Asher Price's exhilarating blend of biography and history, Earl Campbell: Yards After Contact (University of Texas Press, 2019) chronicles the challenges and sacrifices one supremely gifted athlete faced in his journey to the Hall of Fame. The story begins in Tyler, Texas, and features his indomitable mother, a crusading judge, and a newly integrated high school, then moves to Austin, home of the University of Texas (infamously, the last all-white national champion in college football), where legendary coach Darrell Royal stakes his legacy on recruiting Campbell. Later, in booming, Luv-Ya-Blue Houston, Campbell reaches his peak with beloved coach Bum Phillips, who celebrates his star runner’s bruising style even as it takes its toll on Campbell’s body. Drawing on new interviews and research, Asher Price reveals how a naturally reticent kid from the country who never sought the spotlight struggled with complex issues of race and health. In an age when concussion revelations and player protest against racial injustice rock the NFL, Campbell’s life is a timely story of hard-earned success—and heart-wrenching sacrifice.
Paul Knepper is an attorney and writer who was born and raised in New York and currently resides in Austin. He used to write about basketball for Bleacher Report and his currently working on his first book about the New York Knicks Teams of the 1990s is due out next year. You can reach Paul at paulknepper@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @paulieknep.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Paul Knepper

Paul Knepper used to cover the Knicks for Bleacher Report. His first book, The Knicks of the Nineties: Ewing, Oakley, Starks and the Brawlers That Almost Won It All was published in September 2020. You can reach Paul at paulknepper@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @paulieknep.

Learn More

Also Hosted By Paul Knepper