The Throwback Special

The Throwback Special

Book - 2016
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Here is the absorbing story of twenty-two men who gather every fall to painstakingly reenact what ESPN called "the most shocking play in NFL history" and the Washington Redskins dubbed the "Throwback Special": the November 1985 play in which the Redskins' Joe Theismann had his leg horribly broken by Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants live on Monday Night Football.With wit and great empathy, Chris Bachelder introduces us to Charles, a psychologist whose expertise is in high demand; George, a garrulous public librarian; Fat Michael, envied and despised by the others for being exquisitely fit; Jeff, a recently divorced man who has become a theorist of marriage; and many more. Over the course of a weekend, the men reveal their secret hopes, fears, and passions as they choose roles, spend a long night of the soul preparing for the play, and finally enact their bizarre ritual for what may be the last time. Along the way, mishaps, misunderstandings, and grievances pile up, and the comforting traditions holding the group together threaten to give way.The Throwback Special is a moving and comic tale filled with pitch-perfect observations about manhood, marriage, middle age, and the rituals we all enact as part of being alive.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, c2016
ISBN: 9780393249460
Branch Call Number: FIC Bach
Characteristics: 213 pages; 22 cm


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JCLIanH Jun 06, 2018

Every year, 22 men get together once a year to reenact Lawrence Taylor shattering Joe Theismann's leg on Monday Night Football in 1985. They're not close friends and they only see each other this one weekend a year, to work together to reenact this one play as perfectly as possible with the same zeal as Civil War reenactors. It's an absurd and wholly ridiculous premise, but the book fully commits to it and as such, the end result is a surprisingly touching portrait of middle aged manhood and a true and honest examination of modern masculinity.

PimaLib_SusannahC Dec 08, 2016

If you drew a Venn diagram with Literary Fiction Lovers in one circle and Football Obsessives in the other, how many people do you think you would find in the tiny sliver of overlap? Probably not many. But if you happen to be one of those few people that watches NFL football and reads literary fiction (or like me, who reads literary fiction while watching football), The Throwback Special is just the book for you. Here’s a book about 22 men that get together to reenact the play where Joe Thiesmann suffered a gruesome, career-ending injury during a game in 1985. The men hold a lottery to see who will play each position and recreate the scene with authentic gear, down to the sweat bands and athletic tape. Sound quirky? Very. But there is also something hilarious and sometimes touching about their annual ritual. The Throwback Special is a 2016 National Book Award finalist.


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