In just 11 minutes, third-string quarterback Rick Dockery, ruined his NFL career forever. Playing for the Cleveland Browns in the AFC championship game Rick was unexpectedly called upon when the first and second string quarterbacks were taken out of the game with 11 minutes to go. In those 11 minutes Rick blew a 17 point lead by throwing two interceptions and getting sacked so bad he ended up in the hospital.
When he woke up from his concussion not one NFL team would touch him with a 10-foot pole. Angry fans even started a riot at the hospital. So Rick was pleasantly surprised when his agent called with an offer to play for the Panthers. But Rick wasnt off to Carolina. He was on his way to Parma, Italy.
With Italian football, each team is allowed 3 paid Americans. The rest of the team is made up of players who play for free because they love of American football. The Panthers look upon Rick as their savior. They think he can lead them to the Italian Superbowl to defeat their rival team. But to Rick, Parma is the last place on earth he wants to be and it shows.
My husband is a huge John Grisham fan so I originally picked this one up for him. After he read it he loved it so much that I had to see what all the fuss was about and I loved it too. Rick grows so much as a character in this book and the Parma team just cracks me up. There is a guy with plenty of unnecessary butt clenching, a judge that takes his aggression out on the field and an Italian football diva that liven up the story with their antics.
Ricks romantic interest really threw me in this book. He didnt end up with who I thought he would but I still enjoyed the romance. This is a really fun book that I recommend to all fiction lovers.
Reviewed for Reading With Monie
He's best known for his legal thrillers but my first foray into John Grisham was a non-legal thriller called Playing for Pizza, a fictional account of third-string NFL quarterback Rick Dockery.
Dockery has spent most of his NFL career as a journeyman with the most recent stop in Cleveland. The story kicks off with the AFC Championship game where the Browns are facing the Denver Broncos.
After injuries to the first and second string quarterbacks, Dockery enters the game with 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and a 17 point lead. What follows is one of the worst single game performances in NFL history; Dockery turns the ball over multiple times and the Browns lose. Hes cut from the team almost immediately and instantly becomes the most vilified figure in Cleveland.
As a free-agent with no offers and pending legal trouble the NFLs most infamous goat decides to play football in Italy in a league that amounts to nothing more than semi-pro.
Considering Grisham was the top selling author of the 90s (with 60,742, 288 books sold) I was expecting a little more dramatic flair- this is light and fairly predictable. Nevertheless, I found it to be entertaining and fun, mostly because of the football element.
Publishers Weekly wrote, the writing sometimes lapses into travel-guide and food porn, but it's invigorated by appealing characters and lively play-by-play. I couldnt have said it better myself.
I really enjoyed this entertaining book, despite little knowledge of American football. Loved the setting and writing style, highly recommended.
Fun story about a former NFL player who is down and out and moves to Italy to play American Football. The descriptions of Italy, the food, and the people reminds me of my recent trip to Italy.
Not a typical John Grisham novel but fun, none the less.