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Football in Literature  

The 2024 Super Bowl took place in February with Taylor Swift bringing in the win for the Chiefs. It’s one of the most watched annual sporting events in the world. But in Europe and elsewhere in the world, all eyes are generally on what those in the US call “soccer.” In Europe there will be the UEFA Europa League Final in May along with the FA Cup Final and the UEFA Europa Conference League Final before heading into June and July. Countless novels have employed football and football culture in their pages. Focusing on both sides of the pond, test your knowledge of how football has appeared in literature and you’re in the running to receive a 30-euro (£23 / $33) gift certificate to spend at Amazon; in case of a tie, a name will be drawn. Deadline: May 01, 2024


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Answer the following:

1. Name the novel featuring a high school all-American, probably the best quarterback ever to play for his legendary team, who fifteen years later returns to bury his coach.

2. In the novel The Damned Utd, who is the central character, a controversial figure in English football, known for his short-lived tenure as manager of Leeds United?

3. Who is the author of a novel which follows a group of Iraq War veterans who are celebrated during the halftime show of a Thanksgiving Day football game?

4. In this near-future sports novel, name the 9th grade wide receiver who is denied the opportunity to be a star because his influential Silicon Valley father leads a successful movement to ban football.

5. What is the title of the novel that tells the true story of an Italian football team's remarkable rise from obscurity to Serie B?

6. Name the novel that begins with an interview between a self-styled Number One football writer in South America, and the world's greatest goalkeeper, who has just brought home the World Cup for his country. When the reporter asks him for some “background information,” a surprising mystical encounter from the deep jungle is revealed.

7. Which legendary football manager's career is meticulously chronicled in a fictional biography, covering his time at Liverpool Football Club?

8. What is the novel that explores the hooligan culture surrounding English football?

9. In which American novel from the 1970s does football serve as a backdrop for exploring themes of American culture and society?

10. In which novel by Nick Hornby does the protagonist, a die-hard Arsenal fan, navigate through life’s ups and downs with the backdrop of football matches?

11. Name the boy who suffers a jarring football injury that shifts him into a parallel universe; and with every tackle he gets transported into a new reality.

12. Name the coming-of-age novel that tells the story of a group of boys growing up in a gritty industrial upstate New York town in the 1960s, bound together by playing high school football.

13. In this novel a clinically depressed widow offers to act as a liaison between the protagonist and his wife if only he agrees to give up watching football and to perform in Dance Away Depression.

14. With her older brothers at college on football scholarships, and her father nursing a bad hip, young D.J. must do the bulk of work on the family dairy; then, in addition, a family friend who coaches the rival high school's football team asks her to train his talented but lazy starting quarterback.  Name the young-adult novel.

15. All this high schooler wants to do his senior year is lay low until he can accept one of the football scholarships that will be his ticket out of town. Then his step-dad is released from prison . . .  Name the novel.


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