This rollicking, tongue-in-cheek sports novel from Majors (The Millionaires) makes for a breezy read worth a few chuckles while it gives a behind-the-scenes peek at the often greedy, arrogant titans who run college football. Raymond Love, former star QB at a small college in Kentucky, is presently a noncoaching graduate assistant, or “full-time errand boy,” at an unnamed SEC university. He aspires to fill a vacant coaching GA position, competing for it with his brown-nosing peer and rival, Sparkman. Before the team’s annual fund-raiser involving affluent “Pigskin Cavalcade” boosters, Love is assigned to babysit veteran coach Bill Woody, a loose cannon who loves opera and blunt speaking. All of them work for head coach Von Driver and athletic director Sampson; Love, meanwhile, is dating Sampson’s nubile daughter, Brooke. She ropes him into her largely women’s book club, and he laughs about his discomfort there with Julie, a fellow graduate student in his sports classes who, though she’s engaged to be married, obviously better suits him as a romantic interest. As Love listens to Coach Woody’s war stories, he also encounters the seamy, corrupt financial aspects underpinning university football. Love’s major conflict pits his personal integrity against his career ambitions to become a “great” college football coach in Majors’s funny, irreverent, and savvy sports novel. (Sept.)
Love's Winning Plays is one great big tailgate party. Inman Majors is Roy Blount Jr. crossed with Dan Jenkins.”
Not since Lucky Jim has there been as lovable a hapless hero as Raymond Love. Lovable Love. In Inman Majors' romp through big-time college football, love is all fumbles, yet we cheer every play. What a smart, funny novel.
A rare football book for both the fanatic and non-worshiper alike. You'll meet those characters who populate every watering hole on the college circuit. Inman Majors' Coach Woody will have you chuckling out loud as Coach Love searches for his best play, yet. A superb read by a fine, young writer who understands football.
Raymond Love's goal of becoming a college football coach in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) begins as a low-paid graduate assistant and glorified gofer. Head coach Von Driver assigns Love as driver for defensive coordinator Coach Woody on a three-day Pigskin Cavalcade to the small towns of the team's fanatical fan base. Majors (Wonderdog; Swimming in the Sky; The Millionaires) adapts archetypes from the movie Caddyshack beginning with Love as the innocent outsider working his way into the establishment. Coach Woody plays Chevy Chase's role as the grizzled veteran having seen it all, and the gruff old-timer puts a cynical spin on all events he considers B.S. Majors's wry and intelligent writing style pulls readers through the bizarre situations surrounding a major college football program including vague coach-speak and influential boosters determined to maneuver into power. VERDICT Majors, whose uncle is Tennessee and Pittsburgh coach Johnny Majors, provides a behind-the-scenes peek into how the business of football works. Strap yourself in—it's a wild ride.—Rollie Welch, Cleveland P.L.
Majors (The Millionaires, 2009, etc.) goes comic on football when he follows graduate assistant Raymond Love, scratching for a coaching slot at a big-time SEC program, as he is assigned to drive for Coach Woody during the university's annual Pigskin Cavalcade. A top-notch small-college quarterback, Raymond grabbed a big-time SEC (think, Crimson Tide) graduate position, but he's mostly an errand boy. Raymond stays on tiptoes when dynamic head coach, Von Driver, glad-hands through the locker room. Now Von Driver has assigned him to baby-sit Woody, the popular, talented, but eccentric assistant coach. Out among the boosters, Woody needs a keeper, something Raymond comprehends after he arrives at Woody's house at midnight to find the old man sprawled on the floor in his bathrobe crying over Del Monaco's operatic rendition of Othello. A Doberman is comforting Woody by licking his head, and the kitchen is equipped with a bottle of George Dickel whisky. Laugh-out-loud comedy populates the narrative, but the story's essence evolves from the raunch and roll of Semi-Tough into a test of Raymond's character. That's on and off the field, for women are involved. In his spare time, Raymond has joined a book club, primarily to pursue the charming Brooke. Only later does he learn the beauty is the school athletic director's daughter. There's also Raymond's good friend on campus, Julie, a grad student employee of the football office with a lawyer-to-be fiance in Washington. Woody is beloved, with goodwill in the bank, but on the calvacade, his love for the game's purity means he cannot tolerate flunky treatment from a drunken, moneybags booster. A nose is punched. Jobs are lost. Raymond must choose between honor and ambition. Good lessons all, but Majors' talent shines through his characters--Raymond, amiable, introspective; Woody, the lovable-crazy-amiable uncle; Von Driver, the archetype; TNT, who puts fanatic in the fan; and Barbara Driver, coach's wife and ideal dinner companion on the rubber-chicken circuit. A sardonic, fun take on big-time college football, where booster money plays first-team offense.
I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud this much reading a book.
It is a gem of a comedic novel, so laugh-out loud funny that readers might not even notice that if also captures the essence of the sport with humanity and grace.
The comedy, which ranges smoothly from broad to subtle, is nonstop... witty and razor-sharp throughout.
Majors targets the ridiculousness of hype and hysteria over college football teams and is very funny doing it.
(M)ajors zingers, like a ninja's throwing star, are quiet and deadly... When it comes to sports humor (Majors) is definitely Division I.
(A)cidly hilarious... with both barrels, (Majors) lets loose on the venerable, holy SEC.
With a writer like Inman Majors, you’re in good hands, and you’re assured of an entertaining and thoughtful read. This book is the perfect way to prepare yourself for the new football season.
A fast, fun book. Reads like a mixture of Dan Jenkins and Larry McMurtry.
A book that explores the gamut of experiences behind the scenes of collegiate football. Best of all, it's a great read where loyalty still means something in our ‘money talks’ world.