“Me. Pete Wallace. The most persevering, glad-handing AD who ever worked in higher education. I have a voice recorder going, but whatever I say will be for my ears only. I want to preserve a bunch of fond and not-so-fond memories for the book I may write someday on what it’s like backstage in the world of big-time college sports.”
In this novel, Stick a Fork in Me, by Dan Jenkins we follow Pete Wallace as he rises from obscurity to becoming a college Athletic Director at a college that hits the big time when it becomes a member of the Big 10. In fictitious Western Ohio U we see collegiate sports through the eyes of an unapologetic and non-politically correct mans man. Though this is a humorous look at college sports, I sense that it is a bit closer to reality than the NCAA would like to hear. Wallace is nearing retirement; at least in his own mind and is tired of the drag of sports and academia.
“I’m tired of smiling, talking to strangers, shaking hands, making speeches, telling lies, and mostly tired of going to meetings and listening to people babble about nothing. Glad to be hanging it up. I’m cruising past fifty-five, creeping up on sixty, and while I’ve heard that the sixties are the new forties, all I can say is I must have missed that crucial seminar.”
This novel was a funny and light read…though not one to read if you are overly sensitive to the real world or easily offended. Actually, if you are easily offended, please read this book!