New Books Network

Jonathan Gelber

Tiger Woods’s Back and Tommy John’s Elbow

Injuries and Tragedies That Transformed Careers, Sports and Society

Skyhorse Publishing 2019

New Books in MedicineNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books in SportsNew Books Network June 10, 2020 Bob D’Angelo

Today we are joined by Dr Jonathan Gelber, author of the book Tiger Woods’s Back and Tommy John’s Elbow: Injuries and Tragedies That Transformed...

Today we are joined by Dr Jonathan Gelber, author of the book Tiger Woods’s Back and Tommy John’s Elbow: Injuries and Tragedies That Transformed Careers, Sports and Society (Skyhorse Publishing, 2019). Gelber is an orthopedic surgeon with the Olmstead Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota. A long time athlete, Gelber examines several athletes through the prism of the “Cobra Effect, ”a phenomenon that occurs when an attempted solution to a problem results in an unintended consequence. And sometimes, that solution might even make the original problem worse. Drawing on his vast medical background, Gelber looks at athletes such as Len Bias, Hank Gathers, Magic Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Lyle Alzado and more. And, of course, Tiger Woods and Tommy John. The situation of every athlete Gelber examines, he asserts, usually has two effects: the obvious one, and a secondary outcome that was unexpected. The flawed evangelism of Alzado, who used steroids and later had brain cancer, or the death of Bias, which resulted in a change in drug laws in the United States, are two pieces of a fascinating narrative that is certain to provoke more discussion about athletes, sports and society.


Bob D’Angelo earned his master’s degree in history from Southern New Hampshire University in May 2018. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and spent more than three decades as a sportswriter and sports copy editor, including 28 years on the sports copy desk at The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. He is currently a digital news producer for Cox Media Group. Bob can be reachedatbdangelo57@gmail.com. For more information, visit Bob D’Angelo’s Books and Blogs.