I, Darryl Stingley, am a living example of what happens when violence is allowed to dominate a game""--because, in a 1978 exhibition game, wide-receiver Stingley (New England Patriots) was purposely injured by Jack ""Assassin"" Tatum of the Oakland Raiders. . . and has been confined to a hospital bed or wheelchair ever since. After a preview of that 1978 horror, Stingley goes back to fill in his early years as a black Chicago kid, a reluctant high-school football player (bribed by his brother to try out for the team), an unwed teenage father, a rising recruit at Purdue, and a valuable player for the Patriots. Then comes the post-injury hospital ordeal--with two months in Intensive Care, a ""halo"" of painful metal holding his head in place, surgery, a myelogram (""the world's worst torture""), near-death from collapsed-lung/pneumonia. . . and survival as a quadriplegic. However, though at first bitter and resistant to therapy, Stingley switched to a positive attitude, turned away from suicidal impulses, developed useful movement in his right arm, and now feels ""blessed by God. I don't mind being His tool. I see myself as being an example."" He still hopes for miraculous recovery, and for the return of common-law wife Tina--who, unequipped to deal with the situation (and driven off by Darryl's interfering mother), lives apart from him, with their two sons. A sad, straightforward, but inspiring story--partly for football fans, partly for readers of spiritual-uplift testimony.