Out of the Pocket

Out of the Pocket

by Bill Konigsberg

Paperback(New Edition)

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The 2009 Lambda Literary Award-winning novel is finally available in paperback! This new second edition includes two brand new bonus chapters, a foreword by former NFL punter Chris Kluwe, and an afterword by outsports.com co-founder Jim Buzinski.

Star quarterback Bobby Framingham, one of the most talented high school football players in California, knows he's different from his teammates. They're like brothers, but they don't know one essential thing: Bobby is gay. Can he still be one of the guys and be honest about who he is? When he's outed against his will by a student reporter, Bobby must find a way to earn back his teammates' trust and accept that his path to success might be more public, and more difficult, than he'd hoped. An affecting novel about identity that also delivers great sportswriting.

"A thought-provoking, funny, and ultimately uplifting story of self-actualization that masterfully defies stereotypes about both coming out and team sports."
-School Library Journal

"A thoughtful, powerful novel."

"It's tough enough completing your pass as the linebackers blitz, but when your private life is also crashing in, the game is about survival. A hard-hitting first novel about quarterbacking your life."
- Robert Lipsyte, author of Raiders Night

"How I rooted for Bobby, and all his imperfect, complicated, oh-so-human friends."
- Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Dairy Queen and The Off Season

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615987187
Publisher: StraBeCa Books
Publication date: 04/30/2014
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 294
Sales rank: 350,295
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Bill Konigsberg is the award-winning author of OUT OF THE POCKET (Lambda Literary Award, 2009) and OPENLY STRAIGHT (Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, 2014). Before turning his attention to fiction, he was an award-winning sports writer for ESPN.com and The Associated Press. He lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his husband, Chuck Cahoy.

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Out of the Pocket 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bobby Framingham is a star quarterback and is waiting to hear about scholarship opportunities (and searching for scouts at every game). But when a fellow student outs Bobby before he's ready - in a very public article - Bobby finds himself in the national spotlight, as others force him to become the sort of 'role model' he's not quite ready to be.This is an unusual novel - a first-person, male point-of-view from the perspective of an in-the-closet gay football player. As Bobby repeatedly mentions (
59Square on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kearsten says: Bobby Framingham is a star quarterback and is waiting to hear about scholarship opportunities (and searching for scouts at every game). But when a fellow student outs Bobby before he's ready - in a very public article - Bobby finds himself in the national spotlight, as others force him to become the sort of 'role model' he's not quite ready to be.This is an unusual novel - a first-person, male point-of-view from the perspective of an in-the-closet gay football player. As Bobby repeatedly mentions (I get it, thanks!), there are no 'out' NFL players currently in the league, so Bobby's out status could very possibly limit his chances of a professional career. Bobby's emotional ups-and-downs are very realistic, as are his family's, friends' and teammates' reactions, but good and bad.While this book did end up feeling a bit preachy, it's unusual viewpoint and positive message makes it worthwhile.Recommended.
robreadsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book filled with believable characters. The author draws you into the world of high school sports with Bobby at the forefront. The star quarterback hoping for a chance at college and professional football forced to be outed by an overly aggressive classmate in the school newspaper. From the start, you like Bobby and his cast of quirky, yet lovable friends. The kind of friends I wish I had when I was in high school. My only gripe is that the story got a little hokey towards the end, but despite this small issue, I was not disappointed overall and still highly recommend this book.
CBJames on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg is the story of Bobby Framingham, star quarterback of his high school team and closeted gay teen. During his senior year he begins to come out, first to his best friend then to his coach. There are a few rough spots, but basically no one is all that bothered by it, certainly not enough to jeopardize Bobby's spot on the team which he hopes is his ticket to Stanford University. Things go well for Bobby until a duplicitous reporter for the school newspaper outs him in a front page story. Suddenly everyone knows--the team, Bobby's parents, his "girlfriend"--and the media is camped out in front of the school after every practice looking for the gay quarterback.Mr. Konigsberg creates a believable and sympathetic cast of characters in Out of the Pocket. Bobby and his teammates, his parents and girlfriend, the coach, even the school reporter who betrays him are all portrayed sympathetically as they each come to terms with the revelation that Bobby is gay. Clearly Mr. Konigsberg, a sportswriter by profession, knows his football; the descriptions of the games Bobby plays, and mostly wins, are exciting and convincing. (I should state the my knowledge of football largely begins with Friday Night Lights, the book, the movie and the television series which are all wonderful and without gay teammates.) Bobby does begin a romance with a slightly older boy, but this does not go beyond a very chaste kiss so the novel remains safe for work.It's easy to argue that there is at least some wish fulfillment going on in Out of the Pocket. To date, to my knowledge, no professional male athlete has come out as gay while still playing a professional team sport. Certainly, none has come up through the ranks while openly gay. But there are a growing number of them in fiction--Take Me Out, a hit play about baseball, The Dreyfus Affair, a novel also about baseball--but to date none in real life. Maybe some things have to happen in fiction first. We had several black presidents on television and in movies before we had one in real life. Maybe somewhere in America there is a high school football player secretly reading Out of the Pocket right now. Maybe he'll be the first one.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A surprisingly cute, engrossing story about a high school quarterback who must come to terms with being gay. Bobby's the star quarterback, entering his senior year. He's one of the boys, hanging out with his football buddies, but he knows he's different. Konigsberg's book is an intriguing look at what it's like to be gay in the small, often close minded, world of high school sports. When a friend betrays Bobby, his life gets turned upside down. Out of the Pocket was, at it's heart, a truly adorable book. But at the same time, Konigsberg managed to explore the fears and worries of a 17 year old boy struggling with his sexuality and his friends. At times as heartbreaking as it is adorable, Out of the Pocket is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the struggles of being a gay athlete. My biggest criticism is how neatly certain aspect of the book worked out and how easily Konigsberg wrapped it up. But those are common to many coming of age novels and doesn't take away from the main point of the book. I enjoyed the story and wish there were more books like it.
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This is a well done first draft for an after school special. As a book, it has some real flaws: Mr. Konisberg must not be father: while Konigberg's gets points for having the father react positively to the news his son, Bobby, is gay, it's highly unlikely that either parent would welcome another, older gay male (Bryan) to their home without voicing SOME concern, at least to Bobby, about safe sex (the similarly sports-themed SECRET EDGE has a good example of this). I'm also uncomfortable with how stalkerish Bryan comes across. On the one hand, the author wanted a positive, supportive older gay role model, but didn't want too much of an age difference. However, it's unlikely that the one freshman in college who could rate an actual writing/reporting (versus get me coffee and donuts) internship at a major paper like the OC Register would both happen to be a cousin of the Bobby's team mate, Dennis, AND be a gay male the main character happens to find attractive (there must be no family resemblance with the cousin as the author repeatedly states the Bobby's lack of attraction and even wonderment at Dennis' appeal to his fellow female students). The author makes the frequent rookie mistake of trying to cover too much ground with too many elements. The supportive (and essentially non-sexual romantic) older gay role model should have been the school counselor or the uncle of the Rahim character. The father's illness and cancer treatment also took up space that could have been used to take the character to the end of the school year, where the readers could have learned that the Bobby character got recruited by a good Division III program like Occidental or a Division II school like UC San Diego, as an openly gay college football player, either totally plausible. Another unlikely and unrealistic plot point is the entire "outing" by the student reporter. In the text, the editor states the reporter "vouched" for his own story. No decent editor, even in high school, would allow a reporter to vouch for what he would know to be such a significant and personal detail as student (and particularly high school football quarterback) homosexuality). California has a written right to privacy law. Even if students don't get all of these rights, that's typically when the administration wants to do something like search their lockers in the interest of the 'greater good' - public safety. In this case, Bobby's privacy would be a significant hurdle for the editor and/or faculty adviser (who would have clued in the principal) to just ignore, tape or no tape. Additionally, if the editor (or advisor) heard the total tape -- and they would and should -- they would hear Bobby state, quite clearly, "maybe we should turn that off." A good reporter would also have prefaced the tape, 'do you mind if I tape this.' The first interview, at the cafeteria was not equally taped, so immediately that creates a problem -- unless the author needs to (in time honored TV fashion) create and manufacture melodrama as an easy plot point to move his story along. Likewise, even if the oldest friend Bobby has is not really close why would he tell other team members, particularly the Dennis character that neither this friend nor Bobby is close to -- except that the author needs the plot point. The author's sports background adds realism to the locker room and main character's narration. However, these details detract from the overall boo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bigbearphx More than 1 year ago
Bobby Framingham is a senior quarterback on his suburban California football team, and is grappling with a problem more daunting than any defensive line. While he has known he is gay for some time, he has never acted on his feelings, and it is only recently that his head-in-the-sand approach has caused problems in relating to his teammates, friends and family. He decides to confide in a few chosen, close friends, but one of them - a reporter for the school paper - decides to "out" him, taking away his choice as to whether or not to try to navigate the unchartered waters as an openly gay athlete hoping for a college (and hopefully pro) career. His story gets national attention, at a time when he has other issues to deal with as well.

"Coming out" in the world of sports is an experience familiar to former Associated Press sportswriter Bill Konigsberg, who won a GLAAD Media Award in 2002 for his own coming-out while a regular writer for ESPN.Com. In this, his first novel, Konigsberg does a masterful job of structuring his story with positive but refreshingly realistic characters and situations, not the usual rose-colored version we often get in coming-out novels geared toward teens and young adults. Informative, entertaining, witty, and probably a real eye-opener for readers who never considered that a given percentage of today's top athletes are likely gay or lesbian. Consider this one right between the goal posts, five blazing stars out of five!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
In the locker room, the word fag is tossed around jokingly between teammates. What they do not realize is that among them is someone struggling to accept that he is different, that he is gay.

It is one thing being gay - it is totally another thing playing a testosterone-driven sport, being the star quarterback, and being gay.

Bobby Framingham, star quarterback, who dreams of playing for Stanford, is an all around good guy; handsome, popular and gay. No one knows yet and he is not ready to tell anyone, either. Bobby realizes that there are a lot of issues and angles that need to be worked out before coming out. There is a matter of family, friends, teammates, and, of course, Carrie, the girl who is his best friend and who wants more than he can give.

There is one problem, an over-zealous student reporter that would love to do a story on him coming out - and who outs him sooner than what Bobby wishes. As if being a teenager isn't hard enough, how is an outed star athlete going to handle such public exposure?

As to date, while there are many famous gay people in the arts, there are no openly gay people playing football, baseball, or basketball. Two people admitted to be being gay but it was long after their retirement. So many reasons to keep quiet - fear of being cut, hostile locker rooms, loss of fans. However, the world is changing and our sports culture needs to change, too.

Hopefully, we will see more young gay athletes challenge homophobic views held by others on who should be involved in sports. One line in the book that stands out is "being homophobic is just as bad as being racist."

OUT OF THE POCKET is a good coming-of-age story with an honest and realistic portrayal of all of the character's reactions. I think that it would make a good addition to GLBTQ collections in both public and school libraries, as it is truly a great example of finding yourself no matter what your sexual orientation/experiences may be.

You will find yourself rooting for Bobby just as I did.
MMRomanceLover More than 1 year ago
More times than I can count I've praised authors who have produced "well-written" books. In this particular case, I do not think such a description would do justice to such a beautifully articulated story. The writer's voice of this author is purely melodic, and the flow of the prose is so natural and seamless that it literally carries the reader along until all of a sudden they've sadly reached the last page. Out of the Pocket is without question a coming-out and coming-of-age story, but I'm reluctant to tag it with these labels simply because I fear that to do so would trivialize the magnificent effort that went into this amazing story. It is certainly an atypical coming-out drama for numerous reasons. Foremost among these reasons is the fact that the protagonist is not some angst-ridden adolescent who secretly pines for another guy. Instead we are introduced to a very strong and confident Bobby Framingham, high school football quarterback for the Durango Bulldogs. From almost the beginning of the story, Bobby expresses that he is aware of his homosexual orientation, and he decides early on that he must confide his secret to a trusted friend. It becomes a case of "and he told two friends...and so on...and so on." Eventually a fellow classmate and reporter for the school newspaper convinces Bobby that he can be trusted. Bobby explains to the classmate (Finch Gozman) that he is certain that he's gay, but he is not yet ready to come out publicly. Gozman betrays Bobby and runs the story in the school newspaper. It almost immediately is picked up by the local media, then the Associated Press, and then the national television and print media. Suddenly Bobby is the poster boy for gay teen athletes--much to his chagrin. Out of the Pocket is the story about how a gay teenager who doesn't fit any of the stereotypes is able to cope with the pressure of coming out publicly. It is a story about team comraderie and family loyalty. It is a story about friendship and even gay romance. It is about finding the courage within ourselves which allows us to step outside of our comfort zone in order to do what we know is right. My only criticism of the book was that the author often used so much sports' jargon that I felt as if I was reading in a foreign language. Frankly the description of plays and maneuvers on the football field was a litrary device that sailed right over my head. Sadly I missed the meaning of some of the descriptions and even the metaphors simply because I did not understand. I would note that the author should be aware of the target audience to whom he is writing. If he expected sports aficianodos to be his reader base, he was right on target. If he was writing to the typical gay-romance reader, I think he went a bit overboard with the sports lingo. I would add, however, that it was believable in the sense that a first-person singular narration by a teen football quarterback probably would include a lot of sports talk. In spite of that one minor criticism, I must admit that this deeply moving and compelling story has left me spellbound. I was literally swept off my feet by Bobby Framingham and impressed beyond description by the author's masterful prose. Out of the Pocket is an inspiring, uplifting, must-read for all who appreciate gay-themed literature. I also highly recommend it to all who value quality prose in any genre. Great job, Bill Konigsberg, and thank you for your incredible story