“Playing Hurt” by John Saunders & John U. Bacon

The Detroit Cast spoke with John U. Bacon about “Playing Hurt: My Journey From Despair To Hope,” a book he co-wrote with the late John Saunders. During his three decades on ESPN and ABC, John Saunders became one of the nation’s most respected and beloved sportscasters. In this moving, jarring, and ultimately inspiring memoir, Saunders discusses his troubled childhood including a physically abusive father, the traumatic brain injury he suffered in 2011 when he fell during a college football show broadcast, and the severe life-long depression that nearly ended his life. Saunders shares the good, the bad, and the ugly, including the lengths he went to in order to conceal his private life from the public. Saunders explains that he did so “[b]ecause I want to end the pain and heartache that comes from leading a double life. I also want to reach out to the millions of people, especially men, who think they’re alone and can’t ask for help.” While Saunders recounts many sadly real aspects of abuse and depression, this book shines light on mental issues that millions struggle with and is an extremely inspiring story of one man’s hard-fought journey from despair to hope.

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