Two of the great pillars of sports in the 20th Century were George Halas and Art Rooney. Mind you, they were very different people. But both carved out careers for themselves that involved a lof of discipline. George Halas had a strong family and he exhuded a confidence in the future, even at very difficult times–Depression, war, and more. Rooney grew up in a world of sports characters, boxing, baseball, and gambling, but family ties were also very important. They were both law abiding and kept their faith in God throughout their lives. Both were fond the Rosary and both were men of princple although they sometimes had to deal with people who had little.

Halas was a hands on team owner and was always trying to get better at coaching and managing. He had great respect for the toughest of athletes and he had confidence that he could lead them towards the good. Rooney  had wider interests than Halas and counted on others to coach.  Rooney’s greatest success came after he settled on Coach Noll to lead his Steelers and gave Noll power to build it his way. Both men’s teams are considered great sports franchises today, decades after their deaths. Both men’s families are philanthropic and steadfast in their principles.

Neither men believed in codling others. They had great respect for those who made something of themselves even in tough circumstances. Both lived with tough circumstances themselves as young men, but both had family that encouraged them to be tough and they encouraged others to be the same.

If you are in publishing like Sporting Chance Press, you spend your time with facts and stories, you don’t create them. You can promote the good things that others have done, but your role is more passive. Yet, it’s important for us to promote the stories and legends of the past that lead to good, not the stories of the past that just lead to frustration, anger, and even worse.

There are many angry people out there today. Focusing on the bad can become hypnotic and even debilitating. Focusing on others who made good with their circumstances, even if those circumstances were very challenging, can be encouraging. Here are the books that Sporting Chance Press has published that promote the good:


Baseball’s Winning Ways is written for enjoyment, inspiration, and information by the author of The 10 Commandments of Baseball, J. D. Thorne. Winning Ways explores baseball history and high profile players both current and past. American history highlights provide a more complete point of reference. The drama of the game, its history, baseball superstitions, statistics explained, and more provide features of interest to all fans from age 12 on up. The central theme of the book is baseball’s winning ways, those principles essential to the game itself that naturally values that parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches want to pass down that are as important now as ever. The last portion of the book includes learning aids: a quiz, discussion questions, a glossary, an exercise on virtues used by Ben Franklin, and extras that make the book especially relevant and useful.


PAPA BEAR AND THE CHICAGO BEARS’ WINNING WAYS reviews the exciting story of George Halas and his dynamic role in professional football. Halas who was present in the first days of the National Football League (NFL) all the way into the modern age of football. Author Patrick McCaskey, a Chicago Bears Vice President and Director, is a grandson of Papa Bear George Halas. McCaskey highlights his grandfather’s life with key events from the 20th century. McCaskey follows Halas as a student, athlete, soldier, coach, team owner—a man of commerce and community. Halas’s 20th century path is laid out before readers. PAPA BEAR AND THE CHICAGO BEARS’ WINNING WAYS includes some of the coach’s important words of wisdom that young people need today to achieve success.


Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships examines the football lives of the greatest coaches in NFL history–those won the most NFL Championships. Who were the greatest coaches in NFL history? How did they succeed? Some coached in the early days of professional football and some later, but all made vital contributions. Pillars of the NFL looks at these interesting and important coaches: Bill Belichick, Paul Brown, Guy Chamberlin, Weeb Ewbank, Joe Gibbs, George Halas, Chuck Noll, Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, and Bill Walsh. Pillars sheds light on the early lives, backgrounds, playing years, and teams of these great coaches. Contributions to the game are examined, photos and illustrations enhance the presentation.


The 10 Commandments of Baseball is an enjoyable mix of professional baseball stories and the author’s affectionate retelling of his own amateur baseball experiences. Whether male or female, young or old, the reader is pulled into great baseball moments that make the baseball commandments come to life with compassion and humor. The focal point of the book is the classic, but little-known, 10 Commandments of Baseball, the baseball principles created by Major League baseball’s most successful manager, Joe McCarthy.


Public Bonehead, Private Hero is a great American story of baseball’s Fred Merkle, who was at the confluence of Progressive Era history and baseball legend. The book sets the stage historically and then recounts the most famous play in baseball history. A young New York Giant, Fred Merkle, walks off the base path after the apparent end of a hotly contested game only to be ruled out later on a rarely enforced technicality. The Giants cried foul. The press focused all of its muckraking venom on the unfortunate Fred Merkle and christened him bonehead for the remainder of his life; insuring his fame as baseball’s number one scapegoat. Public Bonehead, Private Hero reveals how baseball fans and the press never tired of recounting the bonehead episode and seeing Merkle relive the ignominy. The book discloses that the cartoon character that was Fred Merkle in the public eye was the opposite of the sensitive, intelligent man who went on with his life and career with courage and determination. Who was Fred Merkle and how his story resonates with our own struggles is the heart and soul of this new work by journalist and Merkle fan Mike Cameron.


TUITION REBATE: When Children Do Something Wonderful, It’s a Return on Investment is the sixth book in Patrick McCaskey’s popular Sports and Faith Series published by Sporting Chance Press. True to its title, TUITION REBATE features themes that have an educational flavor. Chapter titles include Commitment, Blessings, Birth, Lost then Found, Giving, Hard Knocks, Family Lessons, Facts, Stories, Coaches, and Books. Like all Sports and Faith books, TUITION REBATE offers interesting stories, sports segments, personal reminiscences, faith experiences, and the author’s humorous musings. TUITION REBATE reaches out to touch readers’ hearts at times, while always settling into McCaskey’s positive and humorous approach to life. Each book covered in the Sports and Faith Series provides an image of a significant force for good. TUITION REBATE features Michael McCaskey, Patrick’s oldest brother who was a Peace Corps volunteer in the early stages of President Kennedy’s program and later served as Bears’ President, CEO, and long-time Chairman.


Poems About the Gospel II features another 150 short works written by Patrick McCaskey. Each poem provides the author’s own take on an individual passage of one of the Evangelists that are often read at Mass and other Christian services. The poems reveal the thoughts and feelings of a modern man responding to the Gospel with faith, humility, and humor. The author’s poems remind us that the Christian faith is just as alive today as ever, and the inspired writings live alongside all our foibles and culture. The author’s sense of reality rushes in at unexpected times with a “time out” for humor. Readers are struck with all the author’s variety of thoughts that fall as they might, but never take away from the faith distilled. A 45+ year veteran and Vice President of the Chicago Bears, Patrick McCaskey is the grandson of founder George Halas. McCaskey has written many books on sports and faith. He serves as Chairman of Sports Faith International an initiative which recognizes people who are successful in sports while leading exemplary lives. The author also chairs WSFI Catholic Radio that broadcasts to northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin.