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Reviews of NO BED OF ROSES:

Reviews by former UW players:

"Great read! Anyone considering walking on to ANY program should read your book. Your Holy Name detail brought back some memories that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. This will be mandatory reading for my boys when they are in high school."
Brad Ziegler, former UW football walk-on and current Wisconsin businessman and father of four Badger-wannabe boys.

"As a former player with Chris during the 1990-1994 seasons at UW, I was simply amazed at the raw authenticity of this book as Chris’s story slammed me right back to the beginning of the Alvarez era where we shared many of the same emotions: joy, sadness, excitement, fear, anger and pride. Chris captures the true essence of how it feels to be a part of something bigger than yourself and what it takes to be a true champion. This should be required reading for anyone with aspirations to compete at the college level in any sport, both as a source of what to expect at the next level and, more importantly, as inspiration to achieve."
Phil Chavez, Milwaukee Municipal Judge

"Badger fans, if you want a real 'insider' look on what your favorite team is all about, this is as real as its going to get."
--Jake Wood, Wisconsin Badger lineman('01-'05) and Marine Corps Corporal

"This is a really good read. I try to tell people about my experiences on the team but they don't understand. This book will help them understand."
--Dan Schneck,'92-'96 UW linebacker

"Chris has done a great job recalling a time in UW's athletic history that was both challenging and triumphant. Many times that reflection bears greater significance then when actually living through it. 'No Bed of Roses' details the story of how the culmination of many events awoke the sleeping giant of the Big Ten and turned the University of Wisconsin Badgers into Rose Bowl Champions. A great read!!"
--Yusef Burgess #98, starting linebacker on the 1994 Rose Bowl team

Reviews by Media/Authors:

"Chris Kennedy was one of college football's "true amateurs" -- a walk-on, non-scholarship player who sweated and worked in practice, and rarely got into games. Yet he was part of the program as the previously downtrodden University of Wisconsin Badgers staged one of college football's stunning turnarounds in the early seasons of Barry Alvarez's coaching tenure and Rose Bowl victory.

With the perspective of an insider with lingering loyalty to his coaches, teammates and school, yet with the the keen-eyed perspective of the actor and writer he became, Kennedy delivers an intimate and candid account of the Badgers' thrilling turnaround years.

It also illustrates one of the underplayed strengths of college football, that even the guy playing on the scout team at practice and almost never in the games is both a contributor and a part of the lasting camaraderie. This is no "Rudy" tale; Kennedy was a legitimate college football player on the fringe. His absence of a personal agenda – he touchingly admits he dreamed of individual glory and heroics, but was neither big nor talented enough to attain them -- enhances rather than diminishes the tale."

It's almost as if he planned it this way.
Terry Frei, ESPN Magazine, Denver Post, and author of

"In many ways, this is a love story, and the object of Kennedy's affection is 
football. There's no other way to explain his commitment to the Wisconsin 
program, which at the time he joined it did not offer prestige, a winning tradition, 
or for that matter, playing time. The beauty of his account is that even after 
discovering, and challenging, the imperfect realities of the system, Kennedy 
learned to embrace it, warts and all. He has succeeded in producing the rare 
sports book that is neither rah-rah nor rip job, and provided a road map for all 
those motivated to follow in his footsteps."
--Adam Mertz, Sports Editor of The Capital Times

An inside look at the world of big-time college football, Kennedy walks through the good and the bad, the blood, sweat and tears of the football machine. Kennedy gives a rare, refreshingly honest look at the inner workings of one of American’s favorite games.
Brent Neevel, The Waunakee Tribune

An inspiring story on how hard work and dedication can make a dream come true. If there's a Badger fan on your holiday list, this would be a great gift for the holidays.
Susan Siman, WISC-TV Live at Five Co-Anchor

If you are a fan of the Badgers or just college football, THIS is a great book! There's poignant parts, funny parts, sad parts. This a terrfic read. Chris has really hit on something here. You'll want to get this book."
Rob Starbuck, WISC-TV AM Co-Host

Reviews by Readers:

"I just finished reading "No bed of Roses" and found it thoroughly entertaining. As a fan, I attended many of the games in Mr. Kennedy's career during the rebirth of Badger Football and it was fun to relive that period from a totally different perspective. The authors dedication and perseverence to the program during that time need to be applauded. I think this should be required reading for incoming student athletes, walk-ons and scholorship athletes alike, regardless of the sport. If you could fill a team with Chris Kennedys, you may never lose a game."
--Richard Fortmann (Oconomowoc, WI) on

"It’s an interesting tale from a young man who hails from Waunakee and was a member of Barry Alvarez’s first class of freshman players in 1990.

By his own admission, Kennedy received very little playing time during his four years as a member of the Badgers. Kennedy’s tale is very personal, focused on his trials and tribulations as a non-scholarship athlete. But he offers an inside view of the UW football program, Alvarez and his assistants, his teammates, the games and his life as a student athlete.

There is one great scene in which Kennedy recounts Alvarez’s pep talk before the Michigan game. “This is it men,” Alvarez tells the players in the UW locker room. “I’m heated up. They’re out there running around like it’s their ******’ field. Last time I checked, this was OUR house.” As the players start grumbling, the coach continues. “And what do you do to someone who comes into your house? You kick their ass! They think they can roll out those…ugly ******’ helmets and we’ll just lie down.” Of course, the Badgers won a game that was marred by students being trampled in the victory celebration.

“No Bed of Roses” is a must read for all Badger fans and it rekindles the magic of the 1993-94 Rose Bowl season. His ego aside, Kennedy is a sympathetic narrator who achieved his goal of playing big time college football.
--ViennaBadger on