3 Cheers for Grisham’s Playing for Pizza Competition entry: Alright readers, get your pom-poms ready, because I’m about to lead a cheer for John Grisham’s new book Playing for Pizza. “Give me an ‘F’!” “Give me a ‘U’!” “Give me an ‘N’!” “What do ya got?” Fun! “I can’t hear you!”
That’s right, Grisham’s new book is nothing but fun. Matter of fact, it is the perfect little read during the week while one waits for Grisham’s Alma Mata, Ole Miss, to kick-off a Saturday football game. What am I thinking? One only has two weekdays to read if he is a real football fanatic, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Our story opens with 28-year-old Rick Dockery lying in a hospital bed not really sure just how he got there. This confusion makes his agent, Arnie, a bit nervous. Over Rick’s lackluster football career this makes his third concussion—and one is usually one too many—in the NFL.
Arnie retells the story as Rick notices his head throbbing more and more with each sentence. Apparently, third-stringer Rick was called on the field to replace the second Browns’ quarterback to sustain injuries in the Cleveland Browns versus Denver Broncos match-up. This play-off game is all but won as Browns fans begin to head towards the parking lot.
As Rick accepts the snap, the Browns are up by 17 points with only 11 minutes left in the game. Have you ever played the game, “7 Minutes in Heaven?” Well, for Rick this is 11 minutes in the opposite direction as the ball is intercepted three separate times for unbelievable Bronco touchdowns.
Arnie has more bad news. First, Browns manager, Whacker, called while Rick was in his coma to fire him. Second, no one, not even his parents have sent flowers or get well cards. Last, an angry group of drunken fans have staged yell-ins directed at the quarterback’s hospital window for a week.
Hiding in the hospital, Rick is left with only two options; essentially, quit football altogether or play for the Parma Panthers in Parma, Italy. Who? Where?
Arnie’s worked the phones daily while Rick recovered for another NFL contract, but things have been brutal. Even the Denver Broncos-heading to the Super Bowl thanks to Rick-laugh at his offer. The Parma Panthers are the only agreeable team. Their offer, a whopping $20,000 plus room, car, and all the pasta one ex-NFLer can eat.
So, before the next tailgate party, what will you do? “Read! Read! READ!”