Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: The Second Half: A Gay American Football Story
AUTHOR: Scott Pomfret
PUBLISHER: Lethe Press
LENGTH: 234 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 14, 2016
Division I-AA college football coach Peyton Stone has a secret. It’s not so much that he’s gay. It’s that he’s fallen in love with the starting quarterback Brady Winter. Willing to deny himself for the sake of the Golden Eagles football team, Peyton focuses helping his team score touchdowns, but when he discovers the attraction is mutual, he jumps in with both feet. But amid a string of victories that bring them closer to a major bowl game, Brady and Peyton grow reckless and giddy and risk their relationship–as well as Peyton’s career, the camaraderie of Brady’s teammates. Both men find themselves soon find themselves learning that love and devotion is no mere game.
One of our other reviewers originally signed up to review this book, and then was unable to because of personal reasons. I’m really glad she didn’t, because I got to read it instead.
Scott Pomfret brings us the story of a young football coach. One who made a bad personal decision a few years ago, and didn’t show up for an opportunity that might have put him in the NFL. He was hiding. He is gay, and no one knows.
Peyton Stone is working as the Offensive Team coach for the Golden Eagles football team, and all is going great. Because he is only twenty-six, and a former quarterback himself, he is great at figuring out the plays and coaching the team. The team is on a roll, winning every game. And Peyton has discovered that he and the starting quarterback, Brady Winter, share more than just football. Life is bliss. But then someone outs Peyton to the head coach and everything falls apart.
The repercussions are rapid and extensive. Will the two men be able to sustain their relationship? Are there things in Brady’s military background that could jeopardize things further? Can Peyton face up to his own self-destructive tendencies?
I liked this one. It moved along steadily. The world building was well done, and it included just enough actual football time to make it realistic without having too much to tie the story down for non-football fans. The believability of the star quarterback on a college team being ex-military was a little bit of a stretch, as was some of the stuff later in the book about Peyton and the NFL, but I just suspended belief and went for the read. I enjoyed it. I will say that there are a couple characters I’d like to hunt down and pummel…but no more spoilers!
I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good sports story, with good guys and bad. There is some homophobia, but realistically there is in real life American Football, so it was to be expected. I’m not sure if there will be more in this story or not. The end was left kind of open on a couple things, but most everything tied up neatly. I’d be interested to see what happens next though.