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Book Notes

December 20, 2012

Novel explores college football coaching

(Continued)

The backdrop to this unnamed and fictional university is the Southeastern Conference, best known to the uninitiated as the best college football conference in the country. It includes schools such as Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi and one of its own usually captures the national championship. Football is life in that part of the country. Passions are so intense that fans of in-state rivals like Alabama and Auburn often won’t speak to each other.

What we discover in the midst of this “cavalcade” weekend are situations that could drive any coach to retire. It is what makes coaches earn their gargantuan salaries as much as any victory. The “fans” that show up at these events are obnoxious, overbearing, and “know” exactly what ails their football team.

Imagine having to spend an entire weekend on the golf course with some overweight couch potatoes constantly offering advice on how to run your offense? Even worse is the rich alumnus who knows he can say or do anything and get away with it. Even the fans with their “insider” blogs are there to make noise. A coach simply has to sit there and take it.

Despite the implication, “Love’s Winning Plays” is not an indictment of the system or a defense of coaches receiving bloated salaries. It’s just an insight into a facet of the game that most people don’t know about and provides an amusing story as a backdrop. If you can deal with Majors’ quirky writing style (he leaves out all quotation marks) you won’t be disappointed. Even the “romance” eventually bares fruit.

David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at co.david@4cls.org.

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