Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football

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Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football
Book cover, depicts Freddie Steinmark on the sideline of the Cotton Bowl January 1, 1970
AuthorsBower Yousse and Thomas J. Cryan
CountryUnited States
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
Publication date
1 September 2015
Media typePrint

Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football is a 2015 non-fiction biography written by Bower Yousse and Thomas J. Cryan, and is the exploration of University of Texas football player Freddie Joe Steinmark’s brief life. This is the first book written with complete access to the Steinmark family and their archives, by Freddie’s close friend Bower Yousse and colleague Thomas J. Cryan. The book is an insider’s account of Freddie’s life and the challenges he faced. This book takes the reader through Freddie’s world of family, faith, and athletics, his tenure as a patient, and eventually his role as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, during which time he inspired President Nixon to promote and sign into law the National Cancer Act of 1971, and begin the US’s “War on Cancer.”

Background and summary[edit]

Freddie Steinmark was starting safety for the undefeated University of Texas Longhorns in 1969.[1] In the "Game of the Century" a come-from-behind victory against Arkansas that ensured Texas the national championship, Steinmark played with pain in his left leg. Two days after the game, X-rays showed a possible tumor, and four days after that, a biopsy and surgery to amputate his leg revealed a cancerous growth so large that is seemed a miracle Steinmark could walk, let alone play football.[2]

An undersized player,[clarification needed] Steinmark had quickly become a fan favorite at Texas. What he endured during the Longhorns' 1969 season, and what he encountered afterward, captivated not only Texans but the country at large. Americans watched closely as Steinmark confronted life’s ultimate challenge,[3] and his openness during his battle against savage odds helped reframe the national conversation surrounding cancer and the ongoing race for a cure.[4]

Major themes[edit]

Freddie Steinmark, Faith, Family, Football addresses several aspects of living, including the application of one's practice of faith to the everyday tasks of life, in Steinmark's case, his Catholic faith,[5] as exemplified by the discipline, commitment, and perseverance of praying the rosary daily, and in turn applying these elements to the classroom and the practice field; and then relying on that faith when facing one's mortality, in Steinmark's story, as a young man.[6]


Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football coincides with the major motion picture My All American, starring Aaron Eckhart as Texas Coach Darrell Royal and Finn Wittrock as Freddie Steinmark.[7][8]


The Austin American Statesman, in an article by Jane Sumner, said that “The Authors . . . capture Freddie’s cheerful essence, vividly recreates key games and posits his life against the canvas of history.”[9] The Fort Worth Star-Telegram listed the book as "New and Notable".[10] “Will All the Pages Have a Burnt Orange Hue,” is an article by Jan Buchholz, in the Austin Business Journal, and describes the book as a chronicle of the story of the safety.[11]


  1. ^ Eldon S. Branda, "STEINMARK, FREDDIE JOE", Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 9, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 24, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  2. ^ Steinmark, Freddie. I Play to Win. Boston: Little, Brown, 1971. Print.
  3. ^ "Requiem for an All-American". 7 June 1971. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  4. ^ Eldon S. Branda, "STEINMARK, FREDDIE JOE," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 09, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 24, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  5. ^ "Texas' Steinmark: 'Gentle Boy With a Deep Faith in God'" The Palm Beach Post 11 June 1971: D4. Print. | [1]
  6. ^ "EWTN, The World Over, with Raymond Arroyo date 29 October 2015".
  7. ^ "The First Authorized Biography of the Young Football Legend whose Spirit Captivated Our Country: Freddie Steinmark; Faith, Family, Football". 23 July 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Freddie Steinmark played key roles in big Longhorn football games". 29 August 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  9. ^ "'Freddie Steinmark' A celebration of heart and courage". 2 September 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  10. ^ "New & Notable: College Football Books". 19 August 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  11. ^ Buchholz, Jan (September 2015). "Will All the Pages Have a Burnt Orange Hue?". Austin Business Journal: 3.

External links[edit]