Losing Season available in Paperback
Losing Season explores the often unsettlingly central role that sports play in American life. From the star player to the kid who never gets in a game to the town religious fanatic to the disgruntled parent—all have their say. Even if you haven’t lived in this town, you will recognize the lives of quiet endurance, unrecognized triumph, harsh weather, and hardnosed hope that propel people through the season.
About the Author
JACK RIDL has authored collections of poetry including Broken Symmetry, and is co-author of several textbooks. CASE/Carnegie Foundation awarded him Michigan Professor of the Year. The Institute for International Sport named him one of the 100 most influential educators in the world of sport.
Table of Contents
Losing Season: Everybody Talks • At Fifty • First Cut • Coach Goes Down the Hall Wondering Where All the Men Went • Coach’s Daughter • Assistant Coach Thinks about Taking Over • Opening Game: Halftime • Scrub Dreams of Taking the Last Shot • Shower • Trainer Teaches Eight Phys Ed Classes a Day • Manager • Coach Losing His Daughter • Jim Kenner Owned a Variety Store • Pep Rally • Band Director • Pacing Before the Game • Before the Game • He Sits on the End of the Bench • Ref Comes in from Out of Town • Closing the Gym • Bad Night at Practice • The Principal Assigned Him to Sell Tickets • At Harry’s Coffee Shop • The End Is Near • Stats • Outside Kmart • Over Christmas Break, Coach Dreams He Visits the Basketball Hall of Fame • Lunch Hour • The Former Great at the Game • No Game Plan • Timer • Vendor Sits, Waits for the Halftime Rush • Head Cheerleader • Ex-Cheerleader • In the Last Seconds • The Gym, January • Halfway Through • Winter Weekend • Insomnia • Scrub • Coach Checks His Mail • Barber • Dog • Coach Sits in Church Drawing a New Offense on the Front of the Sunday Bulletin • Bus Driver • Scrub Dreams of Injuries • Coach’s Prayer • The Morning after the Tenth Straight Loss • Team Meeting • Walking Home Late after Practice • Coach in Effigy • Can’t Sleep • Coach’s Wife • Coach Dreams of Being on Vacation • The Next Morning • Coach Teaching History • The Equipment Man’s Wife • Last Game • Coach Reflects with His Wife on the End of the Season • On a Day in Early March • Late Night Jazz Station, Coach Listening • All He Does • Dear Coach • Coach Tells His Wife about the Big Game, the Big Snow • Night Gym • Acknowledgments
What People are Saying About This
"Losing Season isn’t just a great book of poetry, for it is much more than that—it is more like the Great American Novel we have long hoped would grace our literary landscape."
"An unmatched collection bringing to high school basketball the nuance and detail the film Bull Durham brought to minor league baseball. Poems so compelling, so varied, so familiar to anyone who has felt the impact of high school sports that they may well introduce a new genre. This is a terrific book--there's nothing like it."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love the way this book reads like a novel. Telling a story anyone who has ever been a part of high school basketball can relate to. This is more than a book of poetry about basketball. It is a book of poems about life and how so many of us get wrapped up into the world of sports. It is a great read that will leave you wanting "overtime."
The characters in Losing Season's poems are golden. I read through the book of poetry with ease because of the friendly topics (basketball, small town, success and failure). Suddenly I wanted to go back and reread them, there are sentences, images, characters that pull you in, encourage you to see beyond the typed lines. I'm still digesting the poem about the beagle lying under a car for warmth...