Authors Behind Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football Launch Audiobook
Sammy Steinmark says Freddie Steinmark was the 'older brother every kid wished he could have.'
“Freddie’s faith just brought him through everything,” Sammy Steinmark, Freddie’s kid brother told The Stream’s Nancy Flory.
Freddie Steinmark was a hero of the Friday night lights in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, back in the 60s, leading his team to the State Championship. But more than that, his faith guided everything he did. And he would need it, as time would tell.
“When he was a child, I think he realized that God had given him great talent. And Freddie was super smart. And he was a very humble kid. … Freddie took everything seriously. Everything counted,” said Sammy. The book about Freddie’s life, Freddie Steinmark: Faith, Family, Football, was released in 2015. The audiobook, with the same title, is now available.
‘A Different Type of Guy’
Freddie, seven years older than Sammy, took his little brother everywhere. Sammy would watch Freddie practice football at the local high school. Sometimes, Freddie would even take Sammy along on his dates. “I don’t know how many older brothers back then would’ve taken a little kid to go with him everywhere. So he was just a different type of guy. He was just a different type of guy. … He took me everywhere with him. So I was with him every day, every sport, every practice, every game. Yeah. Just was the way it was.”
Guided by Faith
“Faith was the most important thing in Freddie’s life,” Bower Yousse, co-author and narrator for the audiobook, told The Stream. “So, faith, family, football, really is a great summation of who Freddie was. Everything he did was guided by his faith, everything. This is a guy who went to Mass every morning. This is a guy who said the Rosary before every game. I remember sitting next to him in the locker room before games, and he would be very quiet, you know, praying the Rosary. I mean it just — faith guided everything he did.”
After high school, Freddie went to play for The University of Texas. “His number one goal in life, really, when he talked about it, was to go to Notre Dame,” said Sammy, who was the voice for Freddie in the audiobook. “That’s where he wanted to go to school. Well, they didn’t want him,” because he was too physically slight. Then Texas won the 1969 game against Arkansas, becoming national champions in “the game of the century.”
The Longhorns were slated to play Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, but it wouldn’t happen for Freddie. Just after the National Championship game, Freddie was diagnosed with cancer. There was a tumor on the bone in his leg. The next day, his leg was amputated. He would never play football again.
Enduring Suffering Well
Freddie endured chemotherapy and sickness that comes with that, but he endured it well, always looking to put a smile on someone’s face who asked him about his health, Sammy explained. “‘How are you doing? How is your mom?’ … He would always turn it around to make somebody else feel better.”
‘God’s Plan for Me is Good’
Freddie didn’t want to have a book written about him, his high school victories or college championship — at least in the beginning. “It wasn’t to be about him,” Sammy said. “He said, ‘The only way that I would want anything like this about me in there, I don’t want it about me.’ He said, ‘Through my story, if it can help one person, even just one person with their journey of cancer or devastation or any type of adversity that hits them, if my story can help them in any way deal with that, then God’s plan for me is good. That’s what it’s supposed to be.'”
“Freddie’s story is all about faith,” said Bower. “And, you know, anyone who’s paying any attention to what’s going on in the world knows that there are lots of voices calling for us to return to our faith, to, you know, get our moorings back. And geez, of all the people I can ever think of, I think he probably best exemplifies somebody who lived his life according to faith.”