Friday, July 11, 2008

LBMS Book Club

The struggling American economy is slowly eliminating the high school sports landscape, leaving one Pulitzer winner in search of a new game, and a new breed, to exploit. That man is, of course, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter H.G. Bissinger.
Secular religions are fascinating in the devotion and zealousness they breed, and in Oregon, under-eight soccer has its own "rabid" hold over the faithful. H.G. Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, enters into the spirit of one of its "most fervent shrines": Cedar Mill, an upper-middle class suburb in the comfortable confines of Northwest Oregon, where the Brockman D.D.S. Tooth Fairies have managed to compile the most smiles and least on-field urine stains in state annals. Indeed, as this breathtaking examination of the town, the team, its coaches, and its young players chronicles, the team, for better and for worse, is portrayed as the town; the communal health and self-image of the latter is minsinterpreted as being linked to the on-field success of the former. The 2007 season, the one Saturday Afternoon Orange Slices recounts, was not one of the Tooth Fairies' best. Bissinger's effect on the community--and the players--was explosive. Written with exaggerated style and unnecessary, borderline libelous, passion, SAOS offers an American snapshot in deeply blurred focus; the picture is not always pretty, but the image is hard to forget.

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