Well--I really don't know how to explain this book other than WOW--this was a good read. It is about college football and it is a hard read. This is a true story If I Don't Six: means if he doesn't loose his scholarship or get married he can go for the "full ride". This means not caring who you hurt to get there. This is the story of Elwood Riley six foot 275 pounds and football is his ticket out of Cleveland into University of Michigan. But to become a "fella" will mean damage to alot of people, sepecially himself. Don't say you weren't warned if you start this--you won't put it down. Excellent read.
What is it about the Great Lakes State? In this searingly dark and funny first novel, Reid, once a lineman for the University of Michigan Wolverines, puts the college gridiron to the fire the way former Dallas Cowboy Pete Gent, once a receiver for the Michigan State Spartans, did years ago for the pros in his rollicking classic, North Dallas Forty. Reid's protagonist, Elwood Riley, like Reid himself, is a block-of-granite, working-class kid who assumes he's reached life's end zone when his high school exploits nab him a football scholarship to Michigan. But he's got brains to match his brawn, and a growing awareness of himself and beyond himself that's desperate to break free. In the locker rooms and huddles of Big College, Cash Cow, move-'em-through-the-system football, even a little awareness encroaches into rah-rah values; it sends the metaphysical penalty flags flying.
What Riley sees around him is that the system stinks. Winning isn't just everything, it's the Holy Grail. His small-minded coaches will stop at nothing--steroids, humiliation, pain, abuse--to grab it, nor will his teammates (with nicknames like Napalm, what do you expect--serenity and circumspection?), and the university sees him as little more than fuel for the "Big Blue" machine on its ineffable march to the Rose Bowl.