This is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon Audiobook, by L. Jon Wertheim Play Audiobook Sample

This is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon Audiobook

This is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon Audiobook, by L. Jon Wertheim Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Keith Szarabajka, Sam Sommers Publisher: Random House Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: February 2016 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9780399566936

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

09:57 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

18 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

07:33 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


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Publisher Description

This is Your Brain on Sports is the book for sports fans searching for a deeper understanding of the games they watch and the people who play them.  Sports Illustrated executive editor and bestselling author L. Jon Wertheim teams up with Tufts psychologist Sam Sommers to take readers on a wild ride into the inner world of sports.  Through the prism of behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychology, they reveal the hidden influences and surprising cues that inspire and derail us—on the field and in the stands—and by extension, in corporate board rooms, office settings, and our daily lives.  In this irresistible narrative romp, Wertheim and Sommers usher us from professional football to the NBA to Grand Slam tennis, from the psychology of athletes self-handicapping their performance in the boxing ring or the World Series, to an explanation of why even the glimpse of a finish line can lift us beyond ordinary physical limits.  They explore why Tom Brady and other starting NFL quarterbacks all seem to look like fashion models; why fans of teams like the Cubs, Mets, and any franchise from Cleveland love rooting for a loser; why the best players make the worst coaches; why hockey goons (and fans) would rather fight at home than on the road; and why the arena t-shirt cannon has something to teach us about human nature.  In short, this book is an entertaining and thought-provoking journey into how psychology and behavioral science collide with the universe of wins-and-losses, coaching changes, underdogs, and rivalry games. — Boston Globe, Best Books of 2016, Sports

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“Narrator Keith Szarabajka describes the action, so to speak, in a comfortable tone. When someone is quoted, he shifts into a generic imitation, which fits the bill here, separating the authors’ words from the well-placed quotes from athletes…It’s a good listen for anyone who wants to delve into the scientific and psychological side of sports beyond the diagrams of Xs and Os.”

— AudioFile 


  • “Eye-opening, captivating, and hilarious.”

    — Amy Cuddy, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Wertheim and Sommers wield serious research…[that]is, by turns, hilarious, slightly frightening, and always illuminating.”

    — David Epstein, New York Times bestselling author
  • “A rollicking read that offers dozens of sparkling insights into social psychology, cognitive science, and behavioral economics.”

    — Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author
  • “This collection of smart and witty essays…help[s] readers better understand the games people play both on and off the court, the field, the ice, or…the ring.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • “The book’s entertaining and somewhat flippant style belies its function as a literature review that introduces scores of cleverly constructed studies of how humans think and react through the lens of sports…A fun book.”

    — Library Journal
  • “A strong case for the lunacy of sports as rooted in basic human neuroscience and cognitive tendency…Wertheim and Sommers give us a chance to understand ourselves and perhaps get a grip before we totally lose it.”

    — Kirkus Reviews

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About the Authors

L. Jon Wertheim, an executive editor at Sports Illustrated, is the author of several books and co-author of two New York Times bestsellers. His work is featured in The Best American Sports Writing.

Sam Sommers is an award–winning psychology professor at Tufts University. His research has been covered by Good Morning America, NPR, Harper’s, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives near Boston with his family.

About Keith Szarabajka

Keith Szarabajka has appeared in many films, including The Dark Knight, Missing, and A Perfect World, and on such television shows as The Equalizer, Angel, Cold Case, Golden Years, and Profit. Szarabajka has also appeared in several episodes of Selected Shorts for National Public Radio. He won the 2001 Audie Award for Unabridged Fiction for his reading of Tom Robbins’s Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates and has won several Earphones Awards.