Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Review -- Love's Winning Plays


Love's Winning Plays: A NovelLove's Winning Plays: A Novel by Inman Majors
My enjoyment rating: 2 of 5 stars
Source:  Library copy
Genre:  General fiction
Objectionable material:  language, including F-bomb

Raymond Love, a low level graduate assistant for a non-descript SEC college football team, has been assigned to “babysit” Coach Woody – the longtime defensive line coach who is known to go “rogue” on occasion – while on a caravan across the non-descript southern state, to meet boosters and discuss the upcoming football season.

Love’s Winning Plays, by Inman Majors, is a novel full of stereotypes and clich├ęs about the world of college football:

• Love and Sparkman – both GA’s -  one a buffoon (Sparkman) – one a coach’s kid, who has potential, but no connections (Love).
• CVD or Head Coach Von Driver – figure head of the football team, who doesn’t know his staff and subsists on motivational sound bites.
• Coach Woody – obnoxious, beer-drinking, Dick Butkus-type, old timer, relives his playing days through old film and stories.
• Head Coach’s wife – southern belle socialite, with a penchant for cocktails and a sharp tongue.
• Gorgeous co-ed, Brooke, who happens to be the daughter of the Athletic Director
• Athletic Director: more concerned about the appearance of the football team than the integrity of the football team
• Sports writer: emasculated male, who at one point wanted to be an athlete, but was either too small, or not good enough, so he has to write about it instead.
• Boosters/fans: think they now it all, but not really.
• Rich boosters: think they can buy access and wins.

I love college football – I am a coach’s daughter, after all. And even though characters like the above exist (stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason) – I thought it was an empty, shallow, one dimensional football and love story.