Breakdown: A Season of Gang Warfare, High School Football, and the Coach Who Policed the Streets

( 4 )

Overview

A cop-turned-coach takes youth from gang-ridden streets to the gridiron

From the author of Irish Thunder comes the true story about the collision of violent crime and high school football in a tough New England town. Friday Night Lights meets Boyz n the Hood in this book about a football coach—also a cop on the gang beat—who pulls kids off the streets and puts them on the field with a combination of kindness and intimidation.

In Breakdown ...

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Breakdown: A Season of Gang Warfare, High School Football, and the Coach Who Policed the Streets

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Overview

A cop-turned-coach takes youth from gang-ridden streets to the gridiron

From the author of Irish Thunder comes the true story about the collision of violent crime and high school football in a tough New England town. Friday Night Lights meets Boyz n the Hood in this book about a football coach—also a cop on the gang beat—who pulls kids off the streets and puts them on the field with a combination of kindness and intimidation.

In Breakdown (whose title alludes to a pregame psyche-up ritual), Bob Halloran gets inside the life-or-death struggles of student athletes from the Bloods, Crips, MS-13s, and Latin Kings in Chelsea, Massachusetts--the Boston area's cruelest city. While exploring the anger, fear, and violence of these young men, he follows the Chelsea Red Devils as they vie for a championship and the players try making football their way out. Meanwhile, tough-love coach James Atkins serves as a cop in the Chelsea Police Department’s Gang Unit, asking for his players’ blood, sweat, and tears on the field . . . and hoping their blood doesn’t spill off it. Will football be their way to a better life, or will street life forever haunt them?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“It’s fourth down with life to go in Bob Halloran’s powerful Breakdown, where a simple walk home from school in Boston’s bleakest neighborhood is often a lesson in sheer survival. However, these troubled teens from brutal backgrounds find solace and shelter in a dingy locker room and in a coach whose tough words and tough love become their beacon of light. Halloran deftly navigates the violent worlds of street life and football while introducing us to one of the most interesting characters in sports journalism. You’ll be thinking about this coach and this team long after you’ve put the book down.”
–Casey Sherman, bestselling author of The Finest Hours and Bad Blood
 

“Bob Halloran’s Breakdown gives powerful—and sometimes chilling—insights into the struggles and challenges of trying to bring hope for a better life to students who daily face a world of gangs, drugs, dysfunctional families, and a bleak future. . . . [His] storytelling skills, gained from twenty years as a New England news and sports anchor, shine through. . . . [A]n inspiring story of building up the human spirit.”

–ForeWord Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599219042
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Bob Halloran is the author of Irish Thunder and the weekend news and sports anchor at WCVB-TV in Boston, Massachusetts. Formerly an ESPN anchor and columnist for espn.com, he has been a news and sports anchor in New England for more than twenty years, and he writes a weekly column for the Boston Metro newspaper. 

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Table of Contents

Preface vi

Chelsea Red Devils Roster x

Chapter 1 Welcome to Chelsea 1

Chapter 2 The Black Italian 30

Chapter 3 The Gang Unit 49

Chapter 4 "P" and the Latin Kings 63

Chapter 5 Senior Night 76

Chapter 6 Fallen Angel 103

Chapter 7 Revenge Never Comes 125

Chapter 8 Cody's Chance 143

Chapter 9 They Accomplished Nothing 157

Chapter 10 Orlando Quits 172

Chapter 11 Halloween in Chelsea 187

Chapter 12 Pop Warner Gets His Shot 205

Chapter 13 The Dirty Dozen 215

Chapter 14 Where Did the Money Go? 226

Chapter 15 Kenzi Doesn't Graduate 240

Chapter 16 The Trial of James Atkins 251

Chelsea Red Devils 2006 Results 268

Epilogue 269

Sources 275

Acknowledgments 276

Index 279

About the Author 289

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    AWESOME

    Amazing story

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 21, 2011

    great

    i love this book. just started reading and cant get enough of it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2011

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