Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter

Jennifer Allen, Author Random House (NY) $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-679-45202-7
Journalist Allen evocatively chronicles her unusual childhood in this memoir about being the only daughter of the legendary football coach George Allen. George was devoted to his teams--the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins. Jennifer and her three brothers knew to stay out of their father's way, especially if he had just lost a game or had had a run-in with one of the team owners. While George could bond more with his sons and take them along to training camps, the author stayed behind with her mother, a French woman who apparently spent most of her time building and remodeling homes while her husband lived and breathed football. Jennifer and her mother cherished their time together--eating in the bedroom, watching old movies--yet the young girl was troubled by her father's devotion to the game and his players at the expense of his children. Her descriptions of dinner table conversation make it clear that the household was not easy to survive in; George tried to rule the family in military fashion, with strict rules and regulations; when it came to the TV, he would watch a video replay of a game over and over while his family looked on in silence. Jennifer recalls some perks, however, such as having a limo take her to school and meeting some famous people. In this touching and often unsentimental story, George Allen emerges as a self-centered man who chose to sacrifice a normal family life for the sake of his career. Agent, Bonnie Nadell/Fred Hill & Assoc. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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