Love, scandal, tragedy. Just your typical basketball season.
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Stories from the Forester - By Bob McDonald
All Davis Brown wanted to do is to get through the 2002-2003 school year with the hopes of getting in the front of the line to become Sports Editor at the Forester. As it turned out, he got what he wished for much earlier, along with a lot more than he bargained for… Flagrant Foul is the story of a young man’s journey through a series of difficult situations not typical for the average college student. And through the trials and tribulations, Davis comes to learn the true importance of friends and family.
While Davis sat down in the press room to read the halftime stats and eat a hot dog, a very grateful Jack Alps greeted him. Jack seemed rather pleasant to Davis, maybe because he could relate to the living hell Davis was enduring.
“There he is,” Jack opened. “My savior.”
“Thanks, Jack,” Davis said. “Hey, I forgot to mention. Great coverage of the Breeder’s Cup a couple of weeks ago.”
“I tell ya, it was great. I got three whole days at Santa Anita getting the full experience. It’s always great to witness a spectacle like this like that. This is the trade-off, though. The Sentinel sends me to heaven for a couple of days, then keeps me wallowing in crap for the entire winter.”
He was right. Davis could relate.
Besides Uncle Phil’s health struggles, he was the sports editor of a newspaper that had the student government, not to mention an entire athletics department, on its back. Add to that a crappy hoops team that featured a coach that likely couldn’t stand him.
“Keep your head up, kid,” Jack said. “Things will come together for you soon enough.”
As luck would have it, something did come together a few seconds later, as cute girl in walked in. She had brown eyes and strawberry blonde hair in big curls. The second Davis saw her, his mouth dropped, which he quickly closed so she wouldn’t notice. She grabbed a Diet Pepsi, smiled at him, and left the room.
Jack laughed. “Looks like you found a bright spot. Too bad you have no idea who she is.”
It figured that Jack would be nice enough to tell him. Laura Bryce, in no shock to Davis, worked as Tip’s student assistant.
Review: Flagrant Foul by Shannon Yabrough - Lulu Book Review
Take one look at the book cover for Bob McDonald’s book, Flagrant Foul, and you’d almost mistaken the title as being “The Forester.” Take a chance and read this book about a young reporter getting a chance at the big leagues of sports commentary and there’s no mistake that Bob McDonald is an author who probably spent overtime crafting a fun and inspiring book about one man’s triumph in the spotlight at center court!
I might as well admit it right now. I hate sports. I always have and probably always will. I avoided PE like the plague, and was a band nerd in high school who only went to the games because I had to. I’ve seen the Cards play once in the six years that I’ve lived in St. Louis, and I spent most of that game people watching.
I’ve never sat through one single sports event on television (not counting the Olympics) from beginning to end, but I didn’t let my nonexistent flavor for sports keep me from reading Bob McDonald’s book. Sure, I may not be the right reviewer for distinguishing Bob’s expertise at fouls and free throws. He’s got me beat there! But I do know talented writing when I read it, no matter if it’s in the arts and leisure section or the sports page, and believe me when I say this…Bob McDonald’s got talent that scouts should be looking out for!
The Forester is actually the student newspaper at Forest State University in Cleveland, where our central character, Davis Brown, is covering minor sports from golf to track meets. Right in the beginning, we learn that the lead sports editor has just been kicked out of school but recommended Davis as his replacement. Davis’s Uncle Phil is proud of his nephew, and being a season ticket holder for the University’s basketball team, he’s looking forward to having someone on the inside even though the team hasn’t won anything in 15 years.
Davis is immediately thrown into a whirl wind of sports gossip including the dismissal of an old coach, and a previous sports editor’s attempt at getting rid of the coaches’ replacement who is still in charge of the team today.
Right from the beginning, McDonald treats the reader to a play-by-play look into the college sports world from reporters fighting for a place up front, to locker room antics, player stats, and more. Despite the lack of my very own sports vocabulary, not once was I bored with any of his basketball drama. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Davis thrown into the world of B-ball reporting and realizing there’s a lot more at stake than good copy everyone will be vying to read in the morning.
Those interested in journalism will also relate well to Davis as he probes for answers to his questions with the players and their not so cooperative coach, Tip Woods, who doesn’t relate well to reporters due to his conflict with the old editor. Davis soon learns that being the lead sports editor is not all it’s cracked up to be. His stress level, and his confidence, quickly builds as the season becomes the ride of his life for both him and the team, and the health of his biggest fan, Uncle Phil, begins to fail.
McDonald has penned a story which, sports fans or not, any reader can relate to. As Davis is swept up in his new responsibilities and has to face criticism from readers, competition, and teammates, his struggle to succeed in his position is evident and will have you rooting for the underdog. The support of Davis’s family, the minor players in this tale, give the story a positive outlook and lots of heart reminding us that well, maybe it’s not all about the game!
I may still not be a sports fan, but I am a fan of Bob McDonald’s fast paced and colorful writing. He knows his craft and theme well, and I look forward to more from him as an author.
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