Just Kick It: Tales of an Underdog, Over-Age, Out-of-Place Semi-Pro Football Player

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9780743286756: Just Kick It: Tales of an Underdog, Over-Age, Out-of-Place Semi-Pro Football Player
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Darkly comic and highly entertaining, Javier Valdes's stories insinuate themselves in the unsuspecting reader like a heady brew with a strange kick. From the exploits of an urban vigilante to the erotic pleasures exacted from an unrequited love, from a menacing treasure to a family that brings a whole new twist to the meaning of neighbors, People Like Us is seasoned with irreverent takes on Valdes's favorite writers and directors - such as Stephen King and Martin Scorsese - as he delivers a unique array of fascinating and hapless urban creatures.

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About the Author:

Mark St. Amant is also the author of Committed: Confessions of a Fantasy Football Junkie. Mark has regularly appeared on ESPN Classic and has contributed to The Boston Globe Magazine. He lives in Boston with his wife and daughter.

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*Starred Review* As a follow-up to his entertaining examination of fantasy football, Committed (2004), St. Amant thought he would write a book about semipro football: has-beens, wannabes, never-weres, and other oddballs banging each other around on sandlot fields. His first interview was with the coaching staff of the Panthers, based in the predominantly black Roxbury neighborhood of his hometown Boston. Suddenly, St. Amant was writing a different book. His high-school and college soccer experience was enough to land him a job as the Panthers' kicker. In the tradition of George Plimpton's Paper Lion (1967), St. Amant shares the experience of his first year on the Panthers. He's worried about both fitting in and failing on the field, but soon he's caught up in the team dynamic, which is very supportive of a newcomer, any newcomer, even a middle-aged white guy who lives in upscale Beacon Hill. He has some success and the team has some, too, but this isn't a Hollywood story in which the hero kicks the winning field goal to claim the league championship. St. Amant's focus is on his teammates, why they play, and how being a part of something outside their daily struggles enhances their lives. Portions are laugh-out-loud funny, but, at other times, reading through misty eyes will be a challenge. St. Amant documents the timeless magic of team sports, and his words will take former athletes back to the best moments of their sporting lives. A good bet to be one of the year's best sports books. Wes Lukowsky
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