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Playing for Pizza

by John Grisham

      Rick Dockery, third string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns got into the AFC Championship game with just minutes to go and a 17 point lead that guaranteed they were going to the Superbowl. Then Rick starts throwing interceptions, losing the game and any chance of a Superbowl for the Browns. This makes Rick the most hated player in Cleveland. It also makes him untouchable throughout the league, with no team willing to sign him to a contract.

His agent, Arnie, finally locates a team that wants and needs him. The only problem is that the team is the Panthers of Parma, ITALY. Rick is forced to accept the offer since no other team wants him and he faces a paternity suit by a team groupie, even though he is innocent. He isn't even sure where Italy is.

He soon becomes familiar with his new environment, from small cars, tiny locker rooms, other players who play for the joy of it and for pizza, to no cheerleaders, small stadiums and smaller audiences, Italian food and opera.

John Grisham's name has become synonymous with the legal world. Playing for Pizza is a direct departure for him. From the field of lawyers and court rooms, we are transported to the football fields of Italy. This is part travelogue, part discussion of Italian gastronomic delights (all mouth watering), part romance, and, of course, part play by play accounts of all "the football Americano". This is a delightful, enjoyable romp with Dickery in his adjustment to all things Italian. Especially hilarious are his attempts to drive and to park with a stick-shift small car, and his introduction to opera.

This is guaranteed to give the reader much enjoyment and many laughs...even to a seasoned football fan.

The Book

September 2007
Fiction / adult / adventure
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The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2007
© 2007