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Publisher Description

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–for 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, has never been to Europe, and doesn’t speak or understand a word of Italian. To say that Italy holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.

Christopher Evan Welch
hr min
September 24
Random House Audio

Customer Reviews

Dorkfish ,

A Sweet Story

As the title of the book suggests, the story line is a light hearted tale about an American escaping his past an re-discovering why he fell in love with the game of football in the first place. Along the way, he also discovers the joys of living in Italy as well as what is really important in his own life. There is a lot of discussion about the game of football as well as a lot of discussion about the wonders of Italian food. I believe that Grisham does exactly what he sets out to do: take the reader to life abroad through the eyes of a young man that has never crossed over the American border. I think that Grisham falls a bit short in the development of some of the books characters. Rick's first romantic interest and Parma's famed wide receiver are among those in the book that really could have been explored in much greater, and more interesting detail. If you don't have an interest in football, Italy, food, or only can accept Grisham as a mystery writer, than this is not a book for you. It is also not a book for those interested in the up tempo pace associated with his mystery books. However, if you want to be transported to another place where life is looked at a bit different than your own, this is an enjoyable, sweet and uplifting story.


Two books for the work of one

This book is so boring that I'm not going to finish it. And it's especially disappointing because I liked The Broker and because audiobooks are expensive.
Grisham spends much too much time describing meals which may be mouth-watering but were already very well described in The Broker. And if the American lawyer in The Broker had some finesse, this character is the stereotype of a hick (uh, what's a euro?) with no manners, no curiousity, nothing at all that would want you to read on. I imagine that he will eventually become the wordly man that he should be but not on my watch. If you haven't read The Broker, and if you don't mind reading about the journey of an idiot, go for it.

SJSharksfan27 ,

Really good book

Great football story...u learn a lot about some small things in Italian football which are all tru through this fictional story...if u like Grisham its a great read and its nice to have something out of the courtroom!

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