Boss Hardhead. The Old Man. That's what they call Harold Gravely, the football coach who made his reputation thirty years ago in the dressing room of the Sugar Bowl when his infamous "tenpenny nail" speech inspired his team to win the national championship. Now sixty-three, and after years of losing, Harold still believes in his legend. But in the unnamed Southern city where Harold coaches, and where college football is as important as religion or money. people are clamoring for his resignation. Beseiged by irate fans and threatened with retirement by the University's board of supervisors, Harold fights back, turning his doctor's diagnosis of terminal cancer to his own advantage. Who, after all, would fire a dying man?