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The Big Time: A Football Genius Novel


The Big Time: A Football Genius Novel

Football is a game of calculated risk. Each team enters the field of play with a plan and a goal: to win within the boundaries of acceptable risk. Who monitors the boundaries and decides what the acceptable risk is? Twelve-year-old football phenom Troy White has found himself in the middle of the field of his life, and though he is used to taking some risk as a junior champion quarterback, he may not be prepared for this.

Everything seems in place for Troy to succeed in his dreams to have the money for college (preferably a good football college where NFL scouts will see him), win the backyard brawl between junior all-star teams from Georgia and Florida, and someday buy his mother a nice house and a car. She deserves everything in Troy’s eyes because she’s the only parent he’s ever known. He has all but decided he will never know who his father is when Drew Edinger shows up at the door.

At the end of Tim Green’s last Football Genius novel, FOOTBALL CHAMP, Drew rings the doorbell and tells Troy, “I think I’m your father,” sending all of the boy’s dreams in a tailspin with a new direction. His mom had drummed into his head that his father abandoned them both and that he didn’t care, but now he is standing beside an orange Porsche in cowboy boots and wearing a slim gold watch. He’s a lawyer from Chicago with big money clients, like mega-bucks rapper “G Money.” Everyone but Troy is suspicious of Drew’s sudden appearance after 12 years of silence. He claims he didn’t know he had a son until Troy’s amazing football prediction abilities were featured on “Larry King Live.” Now he wants to get to know his kid and negotiate a big-time contract for Troy that will set him up for life as a rich young man. But is that really all he wants?

Green has fashioned a gut-wrenching situation for a 12-year-old who has spent years wishing his dad would be there to meet him after games, take him fishing, and catch footballs for him instead of having to throw them through an old tire hanging from a Georgia pine tree. Troy is elated his father is part of his life, but his mother knows better. She gets some information about her ex-boyfriend that seriously threatens everything. Dirty deals, money laundering and the FBI suddenly are part of Troy’s life, but he has a chance to do something good in spite of all the dirt he unwittingly landed in by hanging out with his dad. The FBI offers a deal that requires Troy to take a big risk, but it could keep his father out of a boatload of trouble. That’s all anyone has to say, and Troy is on board. After all, it’s for his dad.

THE BIG TIME is a football-tough kind of story with a dangerous moment in the middle that readers won’t see coming. Green’s writing style of colorful metaphors and spot-on gridiron descriptions pulls readers into the heart of the game and the heart of a young boy who wants his dad to be there no matter what the risk.

Reviewed by Joy Held on August 24, 2010

The Big Time: A Football Genius Novel
by Tim Green

  • Publication Date: August 23, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0061686212
  • ISBN-13: 9780061686214