“Irving Titans” by Jeff Dawson
Football (American), professional, fiction, Cowboys
January 24, 2015
3 1/2 of 5 stars (good)
It was 1989 and the Irving Titans were declining into oblivion after spending decades as one of the elite professional football teams. Enter a new owner who is ready to tear everything apart and brand the franchise as he wants. This includes firing a legendary coach and replacing him with a successful college coach whose ego is one of the few that can match the owners.
If the reader is a football fan from that era, this might sound very familiar. This fictional story about the Irving Titans is billed as a farce based on the exploits of the real Dallas Cowboys from that time. Just change the names and a reader would believe he or she was reading about Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Irving and the rest of the Cowboys during their glory years in the early and mid 1990's.
The parallel universes of the Titans and the Cowboys are striking and I was impressed with how the author made the fictional team so much like the real one. Both fired a legendary coach, both traded the star running back to a team called the Vikings for many draft picks that would become key players (wonder if the fictional Vikings did better with that running back?) and in both cases, one of those star players, a wide receiver, found himself in trouble with the law over ladies and cocaine.
The "snow" that was in the possession of the Titans receiver was supplied by the backup quarterback Jimmy Stone, the protagonist of the novel. His account of those seasons with the Titans reads like a trashy novel with lots of drugs and a LOT of sex.
That last part is important because one of the ladies who services the players, coaches, owner and even a sportscaster holds them all hostage because she holds the goods on all of them. Charlene Rivers fits the stereotype of the woman who sleeps her way to the top.
While the book is certainly raunchy and not for those readers who would be easily offended, it is EXTREMELY funny. I was in tears at times especially when the author would describe Charlotte's antics. Her character and Jimmy's were both well developed and a reader can't help but like them even if their actions are less than honorable.
I did find the story hard to follow at times and it did read as a sleazy novel which is not my thing, at least when reading a book on sports. But for an entertaining and hilarious book, this fits the bill. Rated at three and a half stars, rounded up to four for Amazon and Goodreads.
Did I skim?
No – there were so many laughs in this book, I wanted to make sure I read all of them.
Pace of the story:
This book was a fast paced read, as the antics of Charlene and the owner were so outrageous and hilarious that it was never a chore to read the book and it would be leaving me wondering what else could happen.