Football Champ (Football Genius Series #3)
  • Football Champ (Football Genius Series #3)
  • Football Champ (Football Genius Series #3)

Football Champ (Football Genius Series #3)

4.7 117
by Tim Green

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Troy's got to think fast—if he doesn't want to get banned from the NFL for life.

Most people think that Troy White works for the NFL Atlanta Falcons as a ball boy, but the team knows the truth. Troy is a "football genius," with the extraordinary ability to predict an opposing team's next moves. With Troy calling the winning

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Troy's got to think fast—if he doesn't want to get banned from the NFL for life.

Most people think that Troy White works for the NFL Atlanta Falcons as a ball boy, but the team knows the truth. Troy is a "football genius," with the extraordinary ability to predict an opposing team's next moves. With Troy calling the winning plays, the Falcons are on their way to the playoffs. And thanks to the coaching of Seth Halloway, the Falcon's star linebacker, and the talents of best friends Nathan and Tate, Troy's own team is on its way to the junior league football state championships!

But then reporter Brent Peele starts smearing the team. Suddenly, the media storm surrounding Troy threatens not only his own NFL career, but Seth's and his mother's, too.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Troy is a young adolescent with an incredible gift; he can "read" a football team. Troy is able to study the plays and then to predict what plays a team will run in any given situation. So it is no wonder that the Atlanta Falcons are interested in using his gift as they make a run for the NFL playoffs. Troy does not mind working for the Falcons, especially since his gift is being used to help veteran linebacker Seth Halloway have the season of a lifetime. Seth is "dating" Troy's mother, who works for the organization in marketing and promotion, and Seth has also taken over as the coach of the youth football team on which Troy and his two best buddies, Nathan and Tate, play. Not everyone, however, is satisfied watching Seth have a ProBowl season. In fact, Brent Peele, an unscrupulous journalist, is out to prove that something is amiss with Seth's play. For all of the intrigue surrounding the Falcon's playoff quest, the Youth Football playoffs are equally intriguing. There are really two seasons at stake here, and Troy is square in the middle of both of them. Troy tries to end Peele's pursuit by just telling the truth, but the headlines suggest something else. Troy has to come to terms with whether he is more interested in truth or fame. Middle school athletes will love the sports, and young adult readers will appreciate the fast paced adventure and mystery. Besides, what kid would not love to have the ability to guarantee their team a winning season? Yet, this novel also explores the fact that such fame carries its own costs. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8–In this sequel to Football Genius (HarperCollins, 2007), Troy White, 12, continues to put to good use his uncanny ability to predict an opposing team’s next move. He is employed by his beloved Atlanta Falcons to send in plays during games, thus helping the team to build a winning streak and prolonging the career of his idol, the aging and injury-riddled linebacker, Seth Halloway. Seth is dating Troy’s mom (also a Falcons employee) and coaching Troy’s youth league football team. While Troy is technically doing nothing against the rules, the Falcons want to keep his contribution to the team’s success a secret. When he is outed by a sportswriter who has a grudge against Seth, the Falcons’ season, Troy’s upcoming youth league championship game, and his mom’s job are all placed in jeopardy. Troy is able to demonstrate to the NFL Commissioner that he can predict plays without cheating and tricks a corrupt doctor into admitting, on tape, that he lied about Seth’s steroid use. The Falcons’ season is saved, Seth coaches Troy’s team to the championship, and Troy is approached by an agent who promises millions for his play-predicting abilities. The unexpected appearance of Troy’s biological father in the final chapter sets up the next book in the series. While the novel’s premise is somewhat outlandish, the characters are engaging and the game action is exciting. Short cliff-hanger chapters make this a good bet for reluctant readers.–Richard Luzer, Fair Haven Union High School, VT
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve-year-old Troy White has an uncanny ability to see football patterns, a talent that enables him to correctly predict what plays will be run next. When this sports thriller opens, Troy is working for the Atlanta Falcons. Troy's gift has been a particular boon for Seth Halloway, the team's aging and aching star linebacker, who, despite his fame, is a centered guy who coaches Troy's middle-school football team. The story kicks off when an unscrupulous reporter-Green's characters tend to be either paragons or poisonous-gets wind of Troy's talent and then later, because of an old grudge, accuses Seth of steroid abuse. As the stakes rise for Troy, Seth and their respective teams, the action becomes both more suspenseful and less credible. Still, there's no denying that the former defensive end writes an engaging page-turner that's full of play-by-play action, and this sequel to Football Genius (2008) ends with a whopper of a surprise, most likely signaling another book to come. (Fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Football Genius Series, #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.80(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Football Champ
A Football Genius Novel

Chapter One

Troy knew better than to push the NFL coach aside and signal the play himself for everyone to see. Troy was a secret. The Falcons were winning, 17...13, but the Bears had the ball on the Falcons' five-yard line, and there was time for one last play. If the Falcons' defense held, the game would be over and the team's run at the playoffs would be real.

"You're sure?" the coach asked, pain in his eyes as the smoke from his breath drifted skyward in the cold Chicago air.

The Bears' offense broke the huddle and started for the line. Seth Halloway, the Falcons' star linebacker, waved his hands to Troy and the coach, frantic for a defensive play.

"Yes," Troy said impatiently. "They're going to run the slant."

He knew adults doubted twelve-year-olds, anyway. His calls had been good enough in the last three games for the Falcons to end a losing streak and beat the Raiders, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans. Troy stared hard into the defensive coordinator's eyes until the older man blinked, turned, and signaled in Troy's play.

Seth nodded at the signal and shouted the play to his defensive teammates, cupping his hands over his mouth. The center snapped the ball. The defense blitzed. The quarterback dropped and threw the slant.

Seth Halloway leaped in front of the receiver and snatched the ball, securing the Falcons' fourth win in a row.

Troy jumped almost as high as Seth. So did every other player and coach on the Falcons' sideline. The defensive coach hugged Troy. Players smacked his back and hooted with joy. Some of them called out his name, and Troy's face burned withpride.

They knew him and they knew what he did.

Even though officially he was a ball boy, the players knew.

Troy saw Seth in the mayhem and grinned, but Seth didn't grin back.

"Come quick," Seth said, leading Troy by the arm and pushing through the crowd of NFL players and into the dark tunnel.

"Why?" Troy asked, searching Seth's face. "Let's celebrate!"

"That reporter, Peele, he saw you. We've got to get you out of here before he ruins everything."

Football Champ
A Football Genius Novel
. Copyright © by Tim Green. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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