Yesterday, I read Playing for Pizza, by John Grisham. I was supposed to be writing, but I like pizza, so I picked it up during my wanderings and looked at it. Then I was hooked.
And what’s funny is I don’t like football, but I loved it. (I did skim the play-by-plays.) I’m not a huge Grisham fan, but I loved it. I hated how he used cliches to portray Italian culture, but still I couldn’t put it down. I hated how some of the characters acted in puzzling manners without motivation, but I still read it in one sitting.
I loved his description of the meals. Boy, was I hungry!
Here’s the inside blurb:
Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game against Denver, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams.
But all Rick knows is football, and insists that his agent, Arnie, find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in face now be a starting quarterback. Great, says Rick--for which team?
The might Panthers of Parma, Italy.
Yes, Italians do play American football ...
So I highly recommend a flip-through, I bet you’ll end up reading it. It’s funny how compelling it is, how it draws you in. Both my stepfather and stepbrother would probably love it (being Browns fans, football fans, and Italians who enjoy a good story about Italians), but they’re not big readers. They’d love the movie, if it was done with good actors.
I hope they make a movie out of it, because then they’ll smooth out a few of the character issues, you know? Sometimes the movie is better than the book. Tighter.
What do you think?