Kicking On

Kicking On

By: Dave Hannigan (author)Paperback

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Shaun Reedy is a kicker in America's NFL. He earns millions of dollars to trot onto the field at crucial junctures to kick the ball between the posts to earn his team three points. On the biggest night of his life however, Reedy misses a kick that would have won his team the Super Bowl. In the face of a media storm, he needs somewhere to hide out. Years earlier, he had inherited but never visited the house in West Cork where his father Jimmy had grown up. Fed up with the media's obsession with his failure, this property now becomes his bolthole from the world. He arrives in the village of Dromtarry just looking to escape from the spotlight for a few weeks. He ends up staying for six months and rediscovering exactly what sport is supposed to be about. Far away from the glamour and the money and the pressure that have turned him off American football the longer his professional career went on, he gets involved with the village's Under-11 Gaelic football team and falls in love with this strange, new (to him) game. Nobody in the town appears to know anything about him except he's American and the son of one of their own who left half a century ago. The kids love him because he speaks just like the characters they watch daily on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. Their coach, Murph is an old friend of Reedy's father who invites him inside the fence when he sees him watching a training session. Once he gets onto the pitch, they teach him the game but offer him lessons about much more than Gaelic football. They remind him what he loved about playing in the first place, something he'd lost along the way to becoming a pro. Soon, he's spending his every waking hour planning with Murph, tending the club field and doing everything he can to help the kids' cause. Obviously, this leads to some culture clashes. When he paints the walls of the dressing-room with sports psychology slogans, the kids laugh at his antics. "What do you mean there's no I in team? We know that. We do go to school you know?" When he persuades a couple of Nigerian kids to join the team, he delivers a well-meaning lecture about Jackie Robinson and the integration of baseball that goes way over their heads. Using his own experience of American sports, he even tries to bring elements of basketball and baseball and grid-iron to coaching them.....with some unforeseen result s. On St Patrick's Day, he turns up to training completely dressed in green as per the American tradition. As Dromtarry embark on their championship campaign, they take Reedy on a journey of self-discovery. Here, in the town where his father grew up, a bunch of schoolboys show him the true value of sport and offer him a pure vision of what it means to be part of a team. When he finally decides to explain to them who he is and what happened to him as an athlete, he discovers they have already googled and Youtubed him. That they knew and never said makes him love them all the more. Towards the end of the championship run, however, trouble comes to Dromtarry. Torrential rains cause the local river to overflow its banks and an ensuing landslide flattens the club dressing-rooms and destroys the field. Hundreds of thousand of euros' worth of damage is done and a problem with the insurance company means it will take months and maybe even years of fundraising to get the club back to normal. This is when Reedy gets to witness the spirit of the town, in general, and the kids, in particular. They start out trying to raise the money necessary for the rebuilding but, brave as their efforts are, the American visitor realises this is going to take forever to do through bake sales and charity walks. Moved by their determination and touched by the way they've changed his life, he discretely writes a cheque to cover the entire cost of the reclamation project. By the time they discover this generosity he has already gone back to America. His contract required him to return to training camp on July 1st and, as he explains to the kids in a long letter read out to them by Pat on the day before they play the final, he had to go back because he'd learnt a valuable lesson in Ireland. There was no shame in missing a kick. The shame would have been in not taking the kick. Inspired by this message, they go out and win the day.

About Author

Dave Hannigan is a sports columnist with The Sunday Tribune, the Evening Echo and New York's Irish Echo. He is the author of three previous books and is also an adjunct professor of history at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781847171894
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 240
  • ID: 9781847171894
  • weight: 208
  • ISBN10: 1847171893

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  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

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