The Road to the Horseshoe and Beyond
How a Small-Town Athlete Benefited from Ohio State Football to Build a Life
by Dr. Rex Kern, PhD
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 11 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 8 Feb 2022
Mascot Books, Amplify Publishing
“Legendary stories about my dear friend Rex Kern abound. His heroics at Ohio State electrified crowds and inspired reverence from an entire generation of Buckeye fans.
“I was there as his competitor and teammate, confidante and friend, as well as his occasional partner in mischief. Our brotherhood was forged by a common purpose and an unforgettable championship run.
“Now Rex tells his story, and I was delighted to learn things about him that I didn’t know even after more than fifty years of close friendship. He wrote this as a gift to his sons and grandchildren—to tell in his own words what it was really like—but it is a gift to all of us. From a barbershop in Lancaster to a prayer breakfast at the White House to a College Football Hall of Fame ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria—and to the many doctor’s visits and surgeries in between—he walks us through a life always defined by humility, grace, and perseverance. His devotion to family, friendship, and faith in the midst of often debilitating pain is endlessly inspiring.
“Rex Kern is not just a football legend, he is a champion at everything that matters in life.”
—Ron Maciejowski, “Super Sub” of the “Super Sophs,” OSU 1968-69-70
“Rex, the race chapter was very well done. Hopefully, others will read the book and realize race issues are … about compassion and caring for your fellow man. Glad to endorse your book.” —Archie Griffin, Ohio State football 1972-73-74-75, 1974 and 1975 Heisman Trophy winner.
“I really enjoyed this book on many levels... ” —Kirk Herbstreit, football analyst, ESPN.
“The book gives the reader a glimpse into Rex’s whole life … (H)e has always had INTEGRITY.” —Steve Hayes, son of Woody and Anne Hayes.
“Take Woody’s advice this time—don’t PASS on this book!" —Jeff Kaplan, former member of Coach Hayes’s coaching staff, then his “brain coach.”
“Enjoy an inspirational story about an All-American kid who became an All-American example… ” —Jerry Lucas, former Ohio State basketball player and memory expert.
“This book is an American story, forged in the heartland of this country and buttressed with compassion, steel, and common sense.” —E. Gordon Gee, President, The Ohio State University, 1990-1997.
“What an extraordinary gift!” —Ellen Havens Hardymon, business associate and friend.
“Reading this book of Rex’s life experiences was a joy..." —Ernie Accorsi, General Manager, Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants.
Average rating from 2 members
Ohio State legend, Dr. Rex Kern recalls the defining eras of his storied life with thoughtful insight and much gratitude. His take on his Woody Hayes years is something fans of both men should not miss. And his discussions on the equally legendary Rose Bowl games of the late 1960s could be considered required reading for any past, present, or future Buckeye. For readers searching for football non-fiction, a sports history of The Ohio State University, or American Midwest nostalgia will find it in Kern's genuinely heartfelt memoir
Subtitled: How a Small-Town Athlete Benefited From Ohio State Football to Build a Life
I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I used to collect football cards back in the 1970s. My baseball card collection is much larger because the stores in the small town where I grew up didn’t always get enough inventory of cards for non-baseball sports after the first half of the decade. Anyway, one of the player cards I remember from back in those days was for a cornerback with the Colts, who at that time hadn’t left Baltimore for Indianapolis yet. When I saw the listing on Net Galley for a book written by Kern, I couldn’t pass it up.
My normal expectations for a sports biography include a short section about the player’s childhood, a year-by-year detail of their career and stories about the players they played with and against, and some details about their life after retirement. This biography/memoir deviates from that model. Kern intends it as a compendium of advice for future generations of Kerns and a tribute to his family, his coaches and teammates, and others who have mentored him throughout his life.
Rex Kern is about twelve years older than I am, so although we didn’t grow up at exactly the same time, there are enough similarities between his childhood years and my own that I could identify with what he had to say about growing up in a small town. I recall several of his college teammates and opposing players from by football card collection as well. Kern had a lot to say about his relationship with long-time Ohio State coach Woody Hayes, faith, and other topics that were important enough to him to want to share with readers.
I gave The Road to the Horseshoe and Beyond four stars on Goodreads. It made me think about the advice I’d want to give my own descendants, even if it didn’t fit the normal structure of a sports biography.