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Team of Destiny; Book Report by Adventuroo

Well, my DW never found time to read the book that I gave her last Christmas. Sat down about a week ago and finished today. Would give it a A+ or a 100, but Thurl (who wrote and actually published it - Big T Productions) had a few Typo’s…and usually I’m not a proofer…. So, it gets an A almost PLUS.

Actually, from a content perspective, it is perfect. A bit different as he published it as a motivational work as well. White Fang, because I seem to know more about him from reading between the lines, as well as many others should find it enjoyable…. Especially on some flights.

Readabiiity or perhaps the level needed for comprehensive understanding is excellent. Easy to read…easy to grasp….no need to look up words put into the text to show off some high faluting vocabulary. I would read for at least 2 hours and never get tired or bored.

Filled with trivia and well researched….save Bucknell is in LEWISBURG, not Louisville, PA. A few transposed dates…like 1891 instead of 1981. A few others since two surnames were the same, but spelled differently.

The real crux of the book is the interviews with so many of the folks associated with the team. Every coach, player and even Beverly Sparks. Who dat? The white haired lady that I have watched since 2006 sit behind the WP Bench and see all the ex-players come up and hug her. My seats are on the sideline and I often wondered about her. She talks about working for Sloan, Valvano, Robinson and Herbie…she was the secretary to all of them…and loved Lowe…

Other folks who barely get any spotlight have their moments. I knew that Max Perry was an owner of Al Smith Buick and he was influenced heavily by V’s “marketability”. He and his wife received a very upscale and expensive outfit for their first child, Maxie. Every child and grandchild has worn that outfit and has their picture made in it for their scrapbook.

Jim Rehbock went back to school and was a PA (Did you know that, PACPA?). He then went into medical management and still works for Bunn HS, but is an usher at Walnut Creek and the PNC. I have a buddy there and will look him up. I remember him grabbing V when he got emotional and might have ventured out of the coaching box and got a T. Tommy DiNardo is still a Project Engineer (Associate Director) for Merck. I did a LOT of the things he does and enjoyed that “Oh, BTW, can you move this plant” tasks in addition to my prime role as Safety and Environmental Director.

BTW, V DID have a pair of scissors GOLD PLATED and showed then to the team and said they were for cutting down the nets when they won the National Championship...but when they had the annual No Balls…no dribble practice which had the “cut down the nets drill”, they used plain ones. Someone STOLE or confiscated then during the Houston Ceremony and Reeb’s is still LOOKING for them.

Tommy Abetamarco is listed last, but his stories and his adventures are wonderful. He has coached at Rutgers and is an assistant at Iona. He said that when V shook hands with Coach Smith before the second game in the ACC Tourney, he said, with a straight face. Jim, you have to beat us and win the ACC Tournament to even get an NCAA bid and then turned and walked away. V actually physically assaulted and was strangling the Alphabet Man and V’s dad, Rocco, pulled him off…read the book and find out WHY..

I was ROFLMAO when Thurl included one of V’s Corporate Motivational speeches (to keep Pam dressed like a trophy wife). Summarizing, V paints this picture…reporters were asking him how he would handle the devastation of the loss to Houston. There were only 27 OTHER NCAA coaches with a ring. There would be 50 MILLION a viewers and it would be the most watched history of basketball. He remembered how Coach Smith calmly shook John Thompson’s hand and disappeared into oblivion. He quickly formulated a plan to be 28 and have his destiny recorded….

In order to be successful, you had to market and sell yourself as well as your product or services….so he also laid out his own “personal” marketing plan to make sure he was remembered in history. He planned for the ending and kept the score close and out coached Guy Lewis and it would be one nail biter last second shot. Whitt was the emotional leader, so he would take it and make it. Then Lorenzo spoke up and said he wanted to make the ONLY dunk, which was what Guy Lewis said would win the game. OK..that was the plan.

NOW, it was V’s turn. The running around like a crazy man with a look of disbelief was all STAGED. In reality, he had an alternate ending, Whitt would run, in slo mo, from one goal and he from the other and meet at half court and hug and that would be “The Shining Moment”. He has these sales guys believing this.

He then closed and said….win the game or contest and give credit to your team, but market yourself for the next conquest. I laughed and cried. Little did he realize that that footage would become the trademark of the NCAA Tournament and no one ever shows stodgy old Dean. AND, then it hit me…and I cried…he was able to do just that and the footage from 83 is the pinnacle or signature of the V Foundation…

I highly encourage you to reread the reviews and buy the book….and I will read it again…just like I listen every year to “Lifetime Contract”.



  • 1984Met1984Met Posts: 987

    Thanks Roo! Sounds like a good read.

  • RickRick Posts: 2,980PFN Referee

    Great read Roo. I am going to get the book.

    Great point about V vs Smith. No one ever talks about Smith. At all. F him.

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 3,858

    Trivia question. Which person in the book, all of whom were close to Valvano, got a FREE meal, probably poultry, from a Kentucky restaurant owner….prior to his rise to legendary status, because they played the piano and sang during the meal?

  • whitefangwhitefang Posts: 158

    Roo, ordering the book now. Paperback version for the beach in a few weeks. I’m sure I’ll enjoy. I’m a read-a-holic, especially nonfiction.

    Roo since we’re talking books, I just reread a book I picked up a few years ago you might enjoy if you haven’t already read it. A Voyage For Madmen. Fascinating story of the 1968 sailing around the world race sponsored by a UK newspaper. ‘68 doesn’t seem that long ago to us in our 3rd trimester, but at the time no one had done it singlehandedly without stopping or resupply. No GPS, no satellite phones, no motor, few weather reports. Good short beach read. Appeals to the engineering mind.

  • MikePack89MikePack89 Posts: 248

    I really enjoyed the book and as Roo stated, very easy to read. The ONLY issue I had with it was the book ended. I wanted to keep going and hear more stories.

    On a related note, from a motivational perspective, I have used several of the V quotes to with my sales team.

  • TheAliasTrollTheAliasTroll Posts: 3,390PFN Referee

    Here's a PFN affiliate link to the book on Amazon .. although might could get it cheaper elsewhere.


  • 1984Met1984Met Posts: 987

    TAT, does that mean PFN gets some much needed funding? If so, I will use the link.

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 3,858

    I can't recall where I wrote this....or if I wrote it here. I had to do some "awards" banquets for my facilities I was, sometimes, the presenter as the Corporate guys did not make it or I had to be the warm up for the big guns.

    I would listen to Jimmy V's "Lifetime Contract" and use some of his stories or quotes or use the 1983 Team as an example of what chemistry and teamwork and a common goal could achieve.

    I was also able to "reach" the more seasoned workers (as I was there myself) and convince them, as well as my team leaders in the plants, that Safety and Environmental goals impacted them personally as well as globally.

    Jimmy V's legacy lives on in my former division as we were at the bottom of the League in both "sports" and after we became the UCLA (Basketball) in Environmental, then I got handed the new assignment of Safety....and they were, when I left....setting records that John Wooden would have been envious of...

  • TheAliasTrollTheAliasTroll Posts: 3,390PFN Referee

    It does, but if you find it cheaper please do get from there! PFN will survive! Thanks though, Met!

  • RickRick Posts: 2,980PFN Referee

    I ordered it for my kindle. At my age it helps to make the font bigger.

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 4,601PFN Referee

    Rick - I finally relented and got "progressive" lenses this February. Life-changing stuff, like getting cataracts removed. I don't have to take off my glasses (and I am super near-sighted) to read anymore!

  • RickRick Posts: 2,980PFN Referee

    Oh, I have had progressive lens for a long time. My problem is I have really bad near sighted distance vision to go along with my bad reading vision. So if I get the full reading prescription required the "sweet spot" of vision which is in focus becomes so small I struggle to see. So I have to dial back the reading strength. And my glasses cost more than $500 with insurance.

    I am not sure if what I just said makes sense but it is something that I have been struggling with for a while. I quit trying to read regular books. I have thought about getting laser surgery just so I can go to normal reading glasses.

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 3,858

    Laser surgery, as long as you have complete confidence in your surgeon is an OK option. However, you will always be restricted to iron or open sights on a firearm or to a telescopic scope with conventional crosshairs.

    The laser surgery, typically, when you have any type of red dot 🔴 optic, gives you multiple dots….so you might not know which one to use. Results vary and many have a “grouping” of Red Dots.

    if you think, as many shooters do, that as you age, Red dot 🔴 optic will be your “salvation” then do your research first. A friend had a laser procedure to correct something, not the “sharpen my eyes” and he has to “try out” an optic and use his variable or progressive lens.

    Some optics give him two distinct red dots and others just one with a few pin hole gaps in them,

  • Vawolf82Vawolf82 Posts: 1,208PFN Referee

     And my glasses cost more than $500 with insurance.

    Same here. I decided to roll the dice with Zenni Optical and got a pair with progressive lenses for $125. I'm now on my second pair from them.

    The only problem I had was that I found that I couldn't see the dash good while driving. So I got a pair of sunglasses from zenni with only distance correction. Problem solved.

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 3,858

    Interesting. We get a “discount” from our Opthalmogist as we have been with that practice for years. $500 is not uncommon.

    I have three pairs of glasses. Plain (Red temples of course), Non Polarized sunglasses custom tinted to a gradient and color that I liked….which they sent off the cheap pair of Foster Grants to “match”.

    The last pair is a yellow tint shooting goggle style. Lo and behold, I use them a lot for more than just shooting, On an overcast day, I wear them as it brightens up traffic when driving.

    Probably out of date information, but the last two pairs were “digital” ground lenses which are sharper than the old process….that is probably standard now, but they were much better.

  • RickRick Posts: 2,980PFN Referee

    I buy my sunglasses from online glasses companies. I end up lowering the bi focals even more. The challenge becomes the center focus. Going back to the "small in focus center point", it becomes paramount that the focal point is centered on my eyes and that is hard to get from on line companies. I know it sounds ridiculous.

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 4,601PFN Referee

    I wear clip-on sunglasses, because I have given up on society.

  • TexpackTexpack Posts: 3,491

    Oldest kid has had great luck with Warby Parker. $49 or $99

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 3,858


    Downloaded a Kindle copy. DW, a Kindle freak and a WC library card holder showed me the trick of understanding Peter Nicols’ vast vocabulary.

    I was well into it and armed with my new touch and learn tool, I found this one.


    Eldritch is an English word used to describe something otherworldly, weird, ghostly, or uncanny. In contemporary culture, the term is closely associated with the Lovecraftian horror.

    Seems like it is a perfect hotsie totsie word to describe the current state of NCSU’s Sports programs….

    To me, it is a perfect match….

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 3,858

    White Fang,

    Finsihed the Voyage of Madmen. Excellent and enjoyed

  • whitefangwhitefang Posts: 158

    Roo, good deal. My kind of book and thought you might enjoy it too.

    After CWS and before CFB season - the “dead period” -maybe we can start a “book thread” for us nonfiction nerds ;). That’ll be during “beach season”. Always looking for a good read this time of year. Team of Destiny was delivered to the house, and it’s going to the beach for the 4th weekend.

  • GsoPackBackerGsoPackBacker Posts: 1,391

    I'd be up for a book thread as I could use some good recommendations for some nonfiction.

    Haven't read much in the past 2 years and what I have has been a little too dry.

    There is a book that that I'm considering rereading when I'm at the beach in a few weeks. It's one I picked up in a small bookstore on Coronado Island a few years ago.

    It's called "Pit Bull: Battle Over An American Icon" by Bronwen Dickey (lives in Durham, I believe). I picked it up since my son had just bought a Pit Bull off of Craigslist from a trailer park outside of Asheboro for $35. Admittedly, the dog has been great though.

    I'd recommend it not for the dog content (although that's good), but because "it's for anyone interested in race, class, history and the complexity of media narratives.".

    Makes you rethink a lot of things.

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 3,858

    For those that like nostalgia and history and also a view of something that might have been in their lifetime…..three recommendations.

    Yeager…..an Autobiography. Really great book. One of the true swashbuckling American heroes. White Fang would find similarities with the sailors. Yeager was not a Gee Whiz MEA grad. He never made NASA. He did the dirty work as a test pilot and he saved his life by knowing where the fuel discharge was. He also carried a survival kit on his flights and the medics used his key ring jewelers cable saw to cut him out of his helmet and his burns treatments were unbelievable.

    Iacocca…..an Autobiography. Same deal. Mr. Mustang. I worked for a supplier that refused to give Chrysler any concessions. When Chrysler bought AMC, the purchasing VP still had his Grudge list and cancelled our funding on a Fuel Injector line….so it stopped in mid development and installation. I was the Project Manager and it was mothballed for several years until Harley finished funding it.

    All Corvettes are Red. Story of the on and off development of the C5 Vette. BUT, WHITE FANG….and others….it is an insiders look at the GM structure and how fragile the company was. Unbelievable for me who has lived through some interesting management and philosophy changes. There was a cult “swamp” that hid and even stole money to keep the Vette from being killed off. When Rick Hendrick had to recover from the tragic plane crash that literally decimated his management team, he turned to a lifelong friend that had done all his financial work and was the #2 partner in a large local CPA firm. That Individual was my wife’s boss and he retired and restarted and mentored the new guys. That would be a great book story. BUT, Rick hired some guys that he knew and trusted from GM. One was an EX GM high level Exec that funneled millions from his Assembly Plant’s “Engineering” budget to the skunk works or the barely visible C5 team. Sort of a “swamp thingie”. The guy bet his career that GM would eventually release and restore funding, but he kept it going for 2 years. Eventually the outside auditors caught it…AFTER the Corporate funding had been approved and the funds were transferred BACK to his plant. Jim Perkins (memory) was that guy. I sent my wife’s ex boss a photocopy of the pages from the book where he was called into a staff meeting snd had us resignation ready…. My wife’s boss had a lot of fun with that in Rick’s staff meetings.

    have at it.

  • Pack78Pack78 Posts: 786

    Still remember what a great read is Fighter Pilot about Robin Olds (memoir put together by his daughter Christina)-All-American lineman at West Point, double ace in WWII, 4 confirmed kills in Vietnam, Commandant at the USAFA. Real stud and an exceptionally engaging recap of his life and times.

  • PackPACPackPAC Posts: 579

    I would like a book thread as well. I really enjoy history, I'll check out some of the recommendations above. Not a GM guy but the Corvette book sounds really interesting.

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