Posted: January 3, 2008 in Stories
Five Little Church Princesses After Class Tonight


There’s nothing better on a cold day like today than curling up with a good book. Which is why you shouldn’t pick up John Grisham’s Playing for Pizza on a cold day like today.

It pains me to write this because I like John Grisham. He’s an Arkansas-Mississippi boy. He’s an SEC fan. He seems to be a really good guy. He actually called me on the phone after Hurricane Katrina and donated a lot of money to our Habitat for Humanity affiliate to help build houses for needy people.

And I enjoy reading his books.

But not Playing for Pizza.

Well, now, I should qualify that last thought. I sort of enjoyed it. It is a fine story about football, and I like football. There just isn’t much to it.

Playing for Pizza is a story about a stereotypical semi-dumb jock who ends up playing football in Italy after his career falls apart completely. There’s sort of a hint at redemption in the storyline, but not much of one. In the end, he wins a game, gets the hot young girl, that sort of stuff…

I make it a point to read Grisham’s books eventually. I think he does a great job with the legal thriller (The Street Lawyer is my personal favorite). He told a great Christmas story in Skipping Christmas. I enjoyed A Painted House, mostly because it was set in the area where I grew up. I’ve ordered his one nonfiction book (I’ll report on it later).

But his two sports stories, Bleachers and Playing for Pizza… well, not so good.

Disclaimer: I am VERY thankful to my mother-in-law for giving me her copy of the book. I would have spent money to purchase it because I was definitely going to read it. She told me she didn’t care for it, but thought I might since I understand football. Well, I do understand football, but that didn’t help much. I can only imagine reading it without understanding football.

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