“Finally, the ultimate fan book. . . . You can almost feel Cowser’s aches and pains. . . . You can’t help thinking back to the legendary Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi’s pronouncement about football: ‘This is a game for madmen.’” Charles Salzberg, The New York Times
A Professor Joins America's Oldest Semi-Pro Football Team
978-0-8021-4218-4 • $13.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2005
For everyone who has ever relived past athletic glory and dreamed of what might have been, the story of a man who chases his dream
At age thirty, Bob Cowser, Jr., is a happy husband, father, and English professor in upstate New York. But he senses that something is missing from the good life. He finds himself craving the exhilaration he felt as a young man growing up in sports-crazy Tennessee when he took the field for high school football games.
In what is every Monday morning quarterback’s fantasy, Bob Cowser, Jr., revisits his glory days by joining the Watertown Red & Black. Originally fielded in 1895, the country’s oldest semi-professional football team is hungry to win its first championship in two decades. With the hesitant blessing of his wife, Candace, Cowser drives the lonely sixty miles to try out for the team in Watertown, a former mill town of soldiers, corrections officers, and blue-collar workers that is a far cry from his leafy campus. Over the next five months, he will make this journey many more times as he joins the Red & Black for its dramatic, roller-coaster season. As a rookie and an outsider, “Professor,” as his teammates call him, must work hard to earn the respect of these hard-edged mensome of them local celebritiesand the confidence of his coach, a former mill worker who has never used a playbook. He must also find a way to balance the rigors of practice and game play with the demands of fatherhood, as his wife, who doesn’t quite understand his obsession, struggles to cope with a one-year-old son, a career, and a husband on the road. Can Cowser find a way to make the fulfillment of his childhood dream fit into real life as an adult?
Inviting us onto the line of scrimmage for each heartbreaking loss and breathtaking win, Dream Season takes us into the locker room of a fabled team challenged by an exceptional season and into the heart of one man whose thirst for glory must persevere. Witty, heartwarming, and written with the power and grace of a hail-mary toss caught in the end zone, this remarkable story reminds us why we love the games we play.