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Book 2 - Chapter 1 - Baltimore Blues


So, after a great vacation (more about that in the next few weeks) I am in a little bit of mourning. Not a whole lot, mind you, but as my team blew any postseason chance last week, there is no more football this season for me.

I have always been a football fan from my very first sentence of "Go Colts!", Baltimore Colts, of course. We were season tickets holders throughout my childhood and if you ever saw the movie "Diner" you'd know how deeply Baltimore football can be ingrained in the blood.

Anyway, I generally have no interest in following anyone else's team - no offense meant - it just isn't particularly important to me. So, if your team, like mine, couldn't get out of their own way this season but you are not quite done with football yet, here are a few suggestions to read while everyone else is cheering for the teams that made it to the playoffs. (But if anyone is wondering I am excited for the Philadelphia Eagles!)

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown - Brown started out writing romances and then morphed into suspense with a tinge of romance to it. I am sure this has widened her audience and she is excellent at the genre. After serving time in federal prison for throwing a game, Griff Burkett is free but who wants a disgraced quarterback? A wealthy industrialist is willing to give Griff a shot at something big but it comes with big strings attached as well as some significant danger.

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham - This is one of my favorite Grisham books. A third string quarterback is given the chance to make NFL history for the poor Cleveland Browns but as luck would have it he blows a 17 point lead and ends up in the hospital with a concussion and no job. His agent is desperate to get him another job and he does, with the Mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy. Redemption comes in a number of ways, it seems, and Grisham's story is funny, fresh, and extremely redemptive.

A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin - Many people have just become familiar with Martin's work in the movie A Mountain Between Us. This novel about a rising football player back from prison is another good one that gets to the heart of what really matters in life.

Fatso by Art Donovan - Art Donovan was an defensive tackle for the Baltimore Colts and many consider him one of the best to have ever played. His autobiography is eye-opening about the early days of the game. While there is a lot of "boys club" stuff about it, you really have to admire the fortitude, wit, and talent of the players in those days. Read this and get a whole different perspective of the "good old days".

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis - Made into a movie with Sandra Bullock, this book details the true story of Michael Oher, the child of a crackhead mother and one of her many johns. Taken under the wing of a rich, evangelical family, he grows into a strong student and football player. Feeling that the book was not always as accurate as Oher would have like, he responded with his own book, Beat the Odds. Either are good selections!

Let me know (in a kind way) what team you are cheering for this postseason and Happy New Year!

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