The novel is aimed at those interested in not just football but the human condition. The Lion of Dellwood is a story of resilience and the human spirit.
Dellwood, Derry, Defiance, Dennis, and Dementia are five places life leads Donald Richards.
Richards is a young boy who spends his formative years as a ward of the state, and the guest of an abusive foster family. He’s a “payday” and an unpaid laborer for the Bono family. The system labels the orphan a five, a broken boy they describe as physically inept, mentally impaired, and intellectually behind. He believes the message and the reality he observes: he’s damaged. The number five is his curse but also his blessing.
Throughout his life the five appears as a symbolic reminder he’s both broken and exceptional.
He finds solace in books and in sports. Reading takes him places he’s never been. He discovers a score of fascinating people and endless possibilities. Sports are his chocolate; he can’t imagine his life without them. When he’s immersed in a book or playing on an athletic field, he feels like a ten—like anything is possible.
The outward criticism drives Donald to make something of himself. He spends his life pursuing a game that would eventually kill him. Football is his focus, beacon of hope, and plan for a better life. Magically, things start to align in his troubled universe. His escape from Dellwood, Missouri manifests in the form of a comic book, a park, a letter, a fire, then a gym, a failed physical exam, a scholarship, and an opportunity to play professional football. With a boost from a devil named Kapp, he becomes a fixture with the Pennsylvania Lions of the Professional Football League. He thrives but continues to struggle off the field.
Gridiron Gangsters 2nd Half – Donald Richards returns from the Cape and completes what’s left of his long and uneventful career.
A failed physical, signs of dementia and family conflict sets the scene for a chaotic conclusion. A forced retirement, five tragic deaths, and a crushing guilt, pulls Richards back to Dellwood; a place he swore, he’d never go.
Thanksgiving night on Coal Mountain is Richards’ defining moment, and he fails. New Year’s Day is his shot at redemption and he fails again. Haunted by his choices, the story goes to overtime where Richards is confronted by a familiar face and a forever future.
There was a time when professional football, was unpopular and on the cusp of extinction. There was a time when players and coaches lived on the same street as their plumbers, and needed offseason jobs. There was a time when football was tied to organize crime.
They gambled and fixed games; the Gridiron Gangsters of the day were the players coaches, medical staff, officials, administrations and owners. Gridiron Gangsters — 2nd Half takes us back to the humble beginnings of the PFL and the Pennsylvania Lions football team. A diverse group of characters bolsters the plot of this fast-moving saga.
Corruption, extortion, rivalry and revenge; it’s a powder keg, and the PFL and Pennsylvania Lions are about to implode. “The Company Curse” is the final result. It’s real, and continues to frustrate the franchise and fans to this day.
The Legends Playbook is a topical study of the best players, coaches and teams over the 135-year history of St. Louis “Metro” High School Football, (1888-2022). The book also explores the contributions of officials, administrators, and the media that have helped grow and sustain our game. A complete list of those who went on to play professional football is included as is a fun look at school “mascots” and team colors. There are over 200 trivia questions as well. 317 pages with over 100 pictures detail the history of our great game.
“Legends of the Gridiron”, (1888-2022) this book is a chronological and pictorial history of the first 135 years of high school football in the St. Louis “Metro” area. 668 pages, 200 photographs and thousands of stories bring to life the “Greatest Story Never Told”…. Read about legendary teams, players, coaches, officials, and contributors from each decade. Over 15 years of research by the author has produced a book like no other.
ONCE A PLAYER – FOREVER A LEGEND!
This is Your Story! A Football Legacy established in 1888.
This is Your Game! The Game you, your grandfather, father, brother and son played!
These books honor the accomplishments of those who have played and coached while recognizing the contributions of officials, the media and administrators who have sustained it.
They are in a sense our “Metro” Yearbook and our Hall of Fame where the fierce competitors of the past are remembered forever!