The Throwback Special

The Throwback Special

A Novel

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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The Throwback Special is the story of twenty-two ordinary guys who gather each fall to reenact what ESPN has called the most shocking play in NFL history: the November 1985 play in which Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins had his leg horribly broken by Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. (The play was known by the Redskins as the Throwback Special.) Over the course of a weekend we follow the men as they choose roles; spend a long night of the soul revealing their secret hopes, fears, and passions as they prepare for the game; and finally enact their strange and yet oh-so-American ritual for what may be the last time. With his trademark microfine sense of humor and tragic sense of history (Michael Chabon), Chris Bachelder s moving and very funny tale is filled with pitch-perfect observations about manhood, marriage, and middle age.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780393249460
Characteristics: 213 pages; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Football. Here is the absorbing story of twenty-two men who gather every fall to painstakingly reenact what ESPN called "the most shocking play in NFL history" and the Washington Redskins dubbed the "Throwback Special" the November 1985 play in which the Redskins' Joe Theisman... Read More »

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JCLIanH Jun 06, 2018

Every year, 22 men get together once a year to reenact Lawrence Taylor shattering Joe Theismann's leg on Monday Night Football in 1985. They're not close friends and they only see each other this one weekend a year, to work together to reenact this one play as perfectly as possible with the same zeal as Civil War reenactors. It's an absurd and wholly ridiculous premise, but the book fully commits to it and as such, the end result is a surprisingly touching portrait of middle aged manhood and a true and honest examination of modern masculinity.

PimaLib_SusannahC Dec 08, 2016

If you drew a Venn diagram with Literary Fiction Lovers in one circle and Football Obsessives in the other, how many people do you think you would find in the tiny sliver of overlap? Probably not many. But if you happen to be one of those few people that watches NFL football and reads literary fiction (or like me, who reads literary fiction while watching football), The Throwback Special is just the book for you. Here’s a book about 22 men that get together to reenact the play where Joe Thiesmann suffered a gruesome, career-ending injury during a game in 1985. The men hold a lottery to see who will play each position and recreate the scene with authentic gear, down to the sweat bands and athletic tape. Sound quirky? Very. But there is also something hilarious and sometimes touching about their annual ritual. The Throwback Special is a 2016 National Book Award finalist.


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