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Kickoffs and Kegs “Small College Days”

Length: 464 pages7 hours


The story takes place in the year 1967 and the football season at Augusteum College, a small liberal arts school in Western Pennsylvania. It concentrates on a few contrasting young men who form the team’s offensive line, each with his own issues and baggage. Only two of them arrive at football camp with starting positions in hand and the rest must start from scratch. On the surface, all of the players appear to have different degrees of talent and ability and, in at least one case, enthusiasm.
These were the days just prior to the antiwar fever and bedlam that took over many colleges and universities, beginning in places like Berkley and Columbia, and finally working its way down to backwaters like Augusteum College. In the meantime, it was the beginning of the twilight of the fraternity and sorority systems. An inordinate amount of time was spent partying and drinking; beer was king.
Social mores had begun to change and romance was beginning to take a much more torrid form. The book introduces us to a number of female characters who, in most cases, more than hold their own with our heroes!
The football season plays out against eight schools which, like Augusteum, are composites of existing small colleges in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. In a couple of cases, opposing players will be familiar to football fans, as these “characters” are based on real life NFL stars and provide serious problems for Augusteum’s Norsemen when their schools finally clash late in the season.
The book does not spend much time on causes and crusades, although the elephant in the room at that time, Vietnam, is spoken of largely in the way it affected the lives of two players. One of them is returning from that odious place and another is looking unhappily at this being his almost guaranteed destination after graduation.
We also touch on the racial aspect of the day, when one of our players realizes the ramifications of being one of but a handful of black students surrounded by a thousand kids from “hard hat” Ohio and Pennsylvania suburban white suburbs. He is helped through his uncertain first semester by an unlikely best friend.

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