NEW ORLEANS’ FINEST EASTSIDE MOTEL tiOWARDjOilmonT EAST Closest on 1-10 East to Downtown 3 Minutes to French Quarter RESTAURANT COCKTAIL LOUNGE COLOR TELEVISION PRIVATE SWIMMING POOLS FREE PARKING PHONE IN ROOMS COURTESY CAR CONVENTION FACILITIES SIGHTSEEING TOURS LEAVE FROM MOTEL Tele 504-944-0151 Jcrelt Ons MOTOR LODGE 4200 OLD GENTILLY RD 1-10 EAST, LOUISA ST EXIT NEW ORLEANS, LA 70126 TOLL FREE 1-800-654-2000 ;FA’ CHEESE Allot CAKE eyirri Zbel kangaroo \(loud ON THE RIVERWALli SERVING SANDWICHES TO SEAFOOD, FROM 11:30 UNTIL 11:30 EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK; OPEN TILL MIDNIGHT IN THE METRO CENTER, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS Pete Gent juggles questions at UT symposium on Texas literature, March 1983. Pho to by Ala n Pog u e it’s a bunch. As super athlete, Rusk is only slightly larger than life. As thinker, however, he’s right up there with Nietzsche. Taylor Rusk knows everything from the beginning. In college he describes himself to a girl in the following manner: “I’m a poor white agnostic American post-industrial borHaving taught a few athletes over the years, I know that some articulate ones are out there, but I mean, you know, like, I never heard one say anything close to what Taylor Rusk says. My idea of an NFL quarterback is somebody who learns how to misspell relief when his playing days are over, who hawks insurance and appears at conservative political functions and is well on his way to becoming a bigger bore than Gerald Ford or Bob Hope. I wish Taylor Rusk were true. At the Heisman Trophy Award dinner he gives a three-word acceptance speech: “I deserve it.” Where’s momma, coach, teammates, flag, discipline, gut-check, and all the rest? Taylor Rusk is a dream figure, and I miss Phil Elliott from North Dallas Forty. For my money, the best characters in the novel are the non-thinkers, guys like Red the Coach, a brilliant strategist who goes crazy on game days, or Simon D’Hanis, an expendable cog in the NFL machine, or Kimball Adams, a quarterback from the old league, who’s an expert at throwing games without getting caught. Gent has given his imagination ample rein in The Franchise and produced a book more disturbing, colder, and, therefore, in some respects, less likable than North Dallas. Forty. But for venturing into darker territory and taking the sports novel beyond its conventional limits, he deserves applause. The Franchise is full of truths that the NFL, Pete Rosell, Howard Cossell, and all the other sellers of official myths about football and the American way of life refuse to acknowledge. Ronnie Dugger: “Heard’s accounts of the Bees in hiding are the pure gold of real history.” Bryan Woolley \(Dallas Times “It ought to be right beside the Alamo books.” “The Miracle of the KILLER BEES: 12 Senators Who Changed Texas Politics” by Robert Heard Honey Hill Publishing Co. 1022 Bonham Terrace, Austin, Texas 78704 $7.95 plus $1.03 tax and shipping THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19 .iiiiita6.