Comeback Season: How I Learned to Play the Game of Love

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( 43 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781416557111: Comeback Season: How I Learned to Play the Game of Love

In "Comeback Season," Cathy Day, author of the highly praised novel The Circus in Winter, tells the heartwarming story of how she got back in the game of love -- thanks to her favorite football team, the Indianapolis Colts.
In 2005, Day, an Indiana native, moves to Pittsburgh to start her dream job. She's thirty-seven, a college professor, an acclaimed writer -- and still single. Psyching herself up, she thinks, "This is the year for the Colts and for me." Instead, both Day and quarterback Peyton Manning face heartbreaking end-of-season losses: the man in her life decides to punt, and the Colts fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the eventual Super Bowl champs. Her blue heart broken, Day vows that if the Colts can come back in 2006 and try again, so can she.
Inspired by Manning's legendary perfectionism, Day spends the off-season "in training." She gets in shape, imagining that she's Rocky Balboa running through the Philadelphia streets to the tune of "Gonna Fly Now." She quits smoking. She reads dating primers. She watches Sex and the City. She takes notes. She asks everyone she knows, "Um, do you know any men my age who aren't married?"
Come preseason, Day reluctantly joins an online dating service and goes on practice dates while the Colts play practice games. Indy goes 1-4 in the preseason, which is better than Day's record of 0-4. Lonely and dejected, Day returns home to watch Colts games with her family, who are full of well-intentioned relationship advice -- much of it bad.
The 2006 season finally arrives. Each week that fall, the Colts battle a new adversary and Day faces her enemies: her own romanticism, indecisive men, and her biggest foe, the singles industry. Friends and family deliver impassioned pep talks but can only watch anxiously from the sidelines as Day marches bravely into bars and coffee shops to meet perfect strangers. On the way to the Super Bowl, she discovers that the key to winning -- in both love and football -- exists somewhere between Trying Everything and Letting Go.
Honest, touching, and frequently hilarious, "Comeback Season" tells a timeless story about our need to feel connected to people and to places. This year-long chronicle of one woman's journey will resonate with anyone who's ever looked for love...fumbled...recovered! and kept charging down the field.

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Review:

"Cathy Day has delivered an immensely readable and thought-provoking meditation on what it means to be smart and single in the early twenty-first century. "Comeback Season" reinvigorates feminist literature for the modern woman -- and through the unlikely lens of football, no less. This book deserves many stadiums' worth of readers."

-- Alicia Erian, author of "Towelhead"
"A moving, funny, and thoroughly absorbing account of one writer's quest for love. With frankness and verve, Cathy Day navigates online dating, location blues, and other hurdles that single professional women face. The result -- at once a reckoning and a study of longings held and choices made -- is an irresistible read that will have you cheering for Cathy Day."

-- Bich Minh Nguyen, author of "Stealing Buddha's Dinner"
"If anything could possibly be sweeter than a Colts Super Bowl win, it's reading Cathy Day's "Comeback Season". Tighter than a Manning spiral, truer than a Vinatieri kick, more poignant than a Dungy halftime speech, this book is a winner."

-- Jon Wertheim, "Sports Illustrated" senior writer, author of "Running the Table", and native Hoosier
"Cathy Day's story of her search for love (or, at the very least, a Colts win) is as compelling as a good novel -- it has suspense, surprising twists, and, in Cathy herself, a protagonist both complex and compelling. I root for the Colts, but by the last pages of "Comeback Season" I was rooting for Cathy more; just like our favorite team, she leaves it all on the field."

-- Christopher Coake, author of "We're in Trouble"
"For all of us ladies coming back for another season as singles, Cathy Day has written a smart, funny, and touching book. I don't know football, but I know dating, and Cathy Day has got it right. What I love most is that she does that almost impossible thing: she offers us a realistic ending that's also filled with hope. This is a terrific book."

-- Shannon Olson, author of "Welcome to My Planet"

From Publishers Weekly:

While the premise of this memoir by novelist Day (The Circus in Winter) is promising, the narrator comes across as self-absorbed and whiney; the story of a 30-something professional's search for love in her new home of Pittsburgh, Pa., neither inspires nor consoles women in similar situations. Indiana native Day has a way with words and successfully incorporates quotes from classic sports movies and legends in her personal story. The parallel she draws between her beloved Indianapolis Colts football team's comeback season and her attempt to win at the game of love—including imaginary postgame recaps of her relationships and the inspiration she draws from her team's personal stories of hardship and triumph—is effective, if a bit contrived. Readers are witness to the play-by-play of her setbacks: failings of various dating services, the unfavorable demographics of Pittsburgh's dating scene, her now seemingly irreversible choice of profession over family. Momentary reflections on the lives of her relatives and the role they play in her life are heartwarming, but so short-lived that they seem nearly accidental. Readers will walk away with a larger knowledge of the Colts' 2006 season, but little else. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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