Playing for Pizza: A Novel

By John Grisham


Rick Dockery is the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. within the AFC Championship online game, to the shock and dismay of just about everybody, Rick really will get into the sport. With a seventeen-point lead and simply mins to head, Rick presents what's arguably the worst unmarried functionality within the background of the NFL. in a single day, he turns into a countrywide laughingstock—and is instantly reduce by way of the Browns and avoided via all different teams.

But all Rick understands is soccer, and he insists that his agent discover a workforce that wishes him. opposed to huge, immense odds, Rick eventually will get a job—as the starting quarterback for the potent Panthers . . . of Parma, Italy. The Parma Panthers desperately desire a former NFL player—any former NFL player—at their helm. And now they’ve acquired Rick, who is aware not anything approximately Parma (not even the place it's) and doesn’t communicate a notice of Italian. to claim that Italy—the land of excellent wines, tremendous small autos, and football americano—holds a couple of surprises for Rick Dockery will be whatever of an understatement.

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The fellow pointed out himself as a legal professional and had whatever to do with athletics and advertising. He spoke swift Italian, and over the telephone it sounded much more pressing. Sam frequently survived through interpreting lips and hand gestures. The legal professional ultimate y received to the purpose. He represented Fabrizio, and Sam before everything notion the child used to be in hassle. no longer infrequently. The attorney used to be additionally a activities agent, with many football and basketbal avid gamers on his roster, and he desired to negotiate a freelance for his buyer. Sam’s jaw dropped an inch or . brokers? right here in Italy? There is going the sport. “That son of a complain walked off the sphere in the course of a game,” Sam acknowledged within the tough Italian identical. “He was once disenchanted. he's sorry. It’s noticeable you can’t win with out him. ” Sam bit his tongue, counted to 5. preserve cool, he advised himself. a freelance intended cash, anything no Italian Panther had ever sought. There have been rumors that a few of the Italians in Bergamo received paid, however it used to be unheard-of within the remainder of the league. Play alongside, Sam proposal. “What form of agreement do you might have in brain? ” he requested, quite businesslike. “He’s a very good participant, you recognize. most likely the easiest Italian ever, don’t you think that? I price him at thousand euros a month. ” “Two thousand,” Sam repeated. Then the standard agent’s trick. “And we're chatting with different groups. ” “Good. retain conversing. We’re now not . ” “He may well reflect on much less, yet no longer a lot. ” “The solution isn't any, friend. And tel the child to stick clear of our box. He may possibly get a leg broke. ” · · · Charley Cray of the Cleveland publish slithered into Parma overdue Saturday afternoon. one among his many readers had stumbled around the Panthers’ website and used to be intrigued through the inside track that the best Goat on Cray’s record was once hiding in Italy. the tale was once just too strong to disregard. Sunday, Cray bought in a cab at his lodge and attempted to provide an explanation for the place he desired to cross. the motive force was once no longer acquainted with “football americano” and had no inspiration the place the sector was once. nice, inspiration Cray. The cabbies can’t even locate the sphere. the tale used to be starting to be richer by way of the hour. He ultimate y arrived at Stadio Lanfranchi thirty mins earlier than kickoff. He counted a hundred forty five humans within the stands, forty Panthers in black and silver, 36 Warriors in white and blue, one black face on every one crew. At kick-off, he envisioned the gang at 850. overdue that evening, he complete his tale and zipped it worldwide to Cleveland, in lots of time for the Monday morning activities distinctive. He couldn't be mindful having quite a bit enjoyable. It learn: large CHEESE within the PIZZA LEAGUE (P A RMA , IT A LY ). In his depressing NFL profession, Rick Dockery accomplished sixteen passes for 241 yards, and that used to be with six assorted groups over 4 years. at the present time, enjoying for the Panthers of Parma in Italy’s model of the NFL, Dockery handed these numbers. within the first part! 21 completions, 275 yards, four touchdowns, and, the main incredible stat of all—no interceptions. is that this an analogous quarterback who single-handedly threw away the AFC identify video game? an identical no-name signed by means of the Browns overdue final season for purposes nonetheless unknown and now thought of the best Goat within the historical past of professional soccer?

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