Playing for Pizza

Playing for Pizza

Book - 2007
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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 he 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 fact now be a starting quarterback. Great, says Rick--for which team?

The mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.

Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player--any former NFL player--at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers--at least until a better offer comes along--and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma--not even where it is--has never been to Europe, and doesn't speak or understand a word of Italian.

To say that Italy--the land of opera, fine wines, extremely small cars, romance, and Football Americano -- holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2007.
ISBN: 9780385525008
Characteristics: 262 p. ;,22 cm.


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Mar 14, 2018

Ugh. Timewasting book, then. Timewasting book, now. John, you could do better than that!

Sep 20, 2017

This reads like a promo for italian tourism. I agree with previous comments that some parts of the story seemed pointless. I didn't sympathize with any of the characters. Main character didn't have any kind of depth that's for sure -- his concern in the wonders of italy is where all the cheerleaders are. This book made me hungry at best when I read the copious and intricate descriptions of every Italian meal or snack they had, of course served by (or among) cute italian ladies with a dreamy accent, dark features, blah blah blah....Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

May 03, 2017

Another great Grisham novelette that differs from his usual themes involving the law. He is a lawyer; thus, his numerous well known books are from personal knowledge--he was a trial lawyer and a congressman. I am particularly fond of his nonlaw books like this and Calico Joe, my favorite Grisham story. He knows his baseball and football it seems; I cannot say for sure since I am no expert on either, but this story and Calico Joe are just great stories.

Jul 23, 2015

not a bad little story about put in a strange environment. some humorous football stuff but not a very memorable book. still worth a read just to see that grisham is capable of things besides legal thrillers

Nov 06, 2012

a simple tale, well told

Aug 16, 2012

I don't know a lot about football but I thought it was a good book. More a story about a guy going through a football life and finding love.

technojoy Feb 19, 2012

The characters aren't terribly compelling, some plotlines fizzle out without any obvious reason for their being there in the first place, and the ending is inconclusive at best. Doesn't make me want to read more by this author.

Mar 17, 2009

This is not really a tale of football but the different perception of sports and camaraderie in two different countries, a falling football star renews his love to life by escaping to Italy to play the sport that he used to love and finds meaning in his life.

Jan 06, 2008

Not very good. I didn't care about the characters and kept expecting something good to happen.

Cathy Dec 14, 2007

A humorous story about a washed up quarterback who gets a second chance to redeem himself playing football in Italy. Especially funny is the main character's attempt to fit into the Italian culture, after living all his life in America.

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Aug 01, 2018

Cooper_Erin thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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