Saturday, March 13, 2010

Playing for Pizza, John Grisham


Book 6 of My Old Man's Challenge.

An NFL backup quarterback has a really bad day: he throws three passes that get intercepted by the other team and they score, (whoops) and gets slammed by tacklers resulting in a bad concussion (ouch) and a promiscuous cheerleader is claiming he is the father of her unborn child (hmm). Driven out of town by angry fans, the only job his agent can get him is a small time outfit in Italy.

The Parma Panthers are thrilled to have a real NFL quarterback. They are sure he can lead them to the Italian Super Bowl, but he has his doubts about that. Not only does he have to try to live down his worst failure as a pro, he has to get used to a new culture, new food, new entertainment and a stick shift in tiny streets. (His first attempts at driving a teeny Fiat are just hilarious).

I liked the book, but it's not a book I'm going to let my kids read. There are loose morals and plenty of partying and booze going on at the after game parties. And while the main character finally understands that a string of one night stands really isn't fulfilling, he only manages to become monogomously promiscuous. I found the macho locker room humor annoying. I was surprised I liked the story at all seeing as how I'm not a football fan. Parents might want to discuss the importance of integrity, perserverence, balance in life and the importance of friendship with their teens. I think teen boys would appreciate this book, I'm just not sure I would WANT a teenage son to read it.

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