What I’ve Been Reading: Bleachers by John Grisham

What I’ve Been Reading: Bleachers by John Grisham

January 6, 2017

Bleachers by John Grisham is a short novel that talks about what many of us probably know from our younger days: high school football. Messina High School in Mississippi is historically a powerhouse program, and the legendary former coach, Eddie Rake, is on his death bed. The main protagonist is Neely Crenshaw, a former All-American quarterback from Messina who went on to play college ball but got injured. As Crenshaw and a host of other former players return to Messina to pay their final respects and attend the funeral, they start to reminisce about Rake and their glory days.

This was my first Grisham novel, even though he’s written a bunch of more popular legal thrillers and such. He supposedly played some quarterback in high school, and I wonder how autobiographical the story is (though Grisham was not a star QB). I don’t know how your relationship was with your high school coach – whether it’s football or some other sport – or your band director or your academic team coach, but I revered mine. I’ve played for and worked for coaches I didn’t think of so highly, but I couldn’t really relate to these former players, who had a love-hate relationship with Rake. I also thought some of the stories from high school ball were a little over the top, which I didn’t really expect from Grisham. Maybe they’re not so out-of-this-world for football in the deep south. Someday I would like to spend some time in Texas or Louisiana or Mississippi in the fall and see how those communities support their football teams.

What have you been reading lately?


  1. GKblue
    Comments: 272
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jan 06, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    It is hard to go wrong with a Grisham book. They make pretty good movies too.

    I am reading Born To Run by Springsteen. Very interesting for me, he is driven and down to earth. I actually bought a pair of speakers with horns back in the day to better jam with him, Clarence Clemons and the E-Street Band.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 361
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      Jan 06, 2017 at 8:59 AM

      Saw them live at the Greensboro, NC arena back in 1986 (I think). The “Born in the USA” tour. Good show!

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2479
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 06, 2017 at 10:44 AM

      Springsteen is great. I like his more toned-down stuff, like “Nebraska,” more than his rock stuff.

  2. Comments: 74
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    Jan 06, 2017 at 1:31 PM

    Ok…serious stuff…..

    Will Samuels stay in this class? We need him! Or am missing something?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2479
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 06, 2017 at 1:34 PM

      I don’t think he will sign with Michigan. There’s been some friction there, and he has some academic issues. He may, and I would be glad, but things are not peachy keen with him, IMO. If we get Najee Harris, I think Samuels is definitely gone.

      • Comments: 74
        Joined: 9/28/2015
        Jan 06, 2017 at 3:55 PM

        My gut feeling is that we do not get either player and a mistake was made by the good guys! Hope I am wrong. I read and watch video as much as anyone…well the layman types anyway.

        We need this kid!

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