I work for a newspaper. Not the most auspicious career these days. But one of the cool things is that we receive advance copies of books. The publishers send them to our books editor in hopes of getting a review published. He gets dozens of books every day and obviously can’t review them all. For some reason he thought I might like to have this one.
I wasn’t even half way through Bobby Orr’s youth hockey coach Royce Tennant’s forward and I already had goose bumps.
There have been a lot of human beings that have done remarkable things, but the ones that have my highest degree of admiration are the ones that found a way to be remarkable human beings as well. I, like all hockey fans, always stood in awe of Bobby Orr’s accomplishments. But I also had the opportunity to get a small glimpse at what kind of person he was on one November evening in 2005. I have long suspected that Bobby Orr might just be one of those rare people.
After reading this book, I’m very confident my impression was spot on. It is clear in the first few pages what a remarkably humble man Bobby Orr is. When I made that same remark to the books editor that gave me the book, he asked me, “Do you think it was false modesty?” “No, no I don’t,” I answered. “I believe the man was being totally sincere.” I also found myself wondering if humbleness like that exists anywhere in today’s sports world.
If you’re looking for dirt, don’t bother buying this book. Mr. Orr writes like the gentleman. With one understandable exception, he doesn’t have an unkind word to say about anybody.
Besides the very entertaining anecdotes on his career and the people who impacted his life, what I found most inspiring was his remarkably honest and refreshing opinions on the matter of parenting and coaching the young athletes of today. If you are currently a hockey parent, this book is a must read.
At one point in the book, Mr. Orr talks about meeting golf great Arnold Palmer for the first time. He speaks of how wonderful it was to find that someone you’ve long admired from afar, actually exceeds your expectations. That is the feeling you’ll have when you’ve turned the last page of this autobiography. If you want to find out what an unbelievable hockey talent Bobby Orr was, there are better books for that. What you’ll get from this book, more than anything else, is what a gracious, decent and grounded man Bobby Orr really is.
The book is scheduled for release on October 15, 2013.