More Praise for DREAM SEASON
“The professor is a madman. I wouldn’t have had the nerve—or knees—to write this book. Or the vocabulary. Thank goodness, then, for Bob Cowser, Jr., a rarity who can write and play defensive line, the former more skillfully than the latter.” —Steve Rushin, Sports Illustrated
“Both very funny and achingly honest. Cowser manages to come across as, simultaneously, Everyman and a genuine oddball. Male readers will identify; female readers will likely shake their heads in rueful amusement.” —Phillip Lopate
“Basketball, I can understand. Baseball, if you still have a good eye. But football? Real tackle football? Why would anyone, age thirty, with a wife and a child and job and his sanity go back to playing football for fun? But after reading Bob Cowser, Jr.'s bittersweet memoir, I can understand. He writes with such an engaging affection for the game and the team, that I'm even envious that he could love football that much.” —Frank Deford
“Sparkles with a straightforward, genuine clarity. It is real, vivid, sensitive, accessible, warm, brutal, and wholly consuming.” —Lee Gutkind
"The strength of the book is that while Cowser examines his motivations and writes about the personal as well as the athletic, he does not try to imbue his quest with outsize heroism. There are no exaggerated metaphors drawn between football and life, no lionizing of blue-collar teammates, no treacly tale of how men from different walks of life came together to form a team. It is what it is. Which, with Cowser at the wheel, amounts to a pretty good ride."-- Avani Patel, Chicago Tribune.
“DREAM SEASON is a fascinating look at the split in many a contemporary American male’s psyche. A terrific book, engaging from the outset, and most deserving of a place beside such classics as George Plimpton’s Paper Lion and Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes.” —Robin Hemley
“A well-written and engrossing story . . . written by a man who clearly loves football and whose return to the game is a life-completing experience. . . . Sharing his experiences in the pages of his book is the type of heartwarming even that one does not often experience.” —Stuart Shiffman, Bookreporter.com
Bob in 2003 EFL action
At age thirty, Bob Cowser, Jr., is a happy husband, father, and English professor in upstate New York. But he senses that something is missing from the good life. He finds himself craving the exhilaration he felt as a young man growing up in sports-crazy Tennessee when he took the field for high school football games. In what is every Monday morning quarterback’s fantasy, Bob Cowser, Jr., revisits his glory days by joining the Watertown Red & Black, the country’s oldest semi-professional football team. Cowser drives the lonely sixty miles to try out for the team in Watertown, a former mill town of soldiers, corrections officers, and blue-collar workers that is a far cry from his leafy campus. As a rookie and an outsider, Cowser must work hard to earn the respect of these hard-edged men, some of them local celebrities. He must also find a way to balance the rigors of practice and game play with the demands of fatherhood, as his wife struggles to cope with a one-year-old son, a career, and a husband on the road. Can Cowser find a way to make the fulfillment of his childhood dream fit into real life as an adult?
Bob and his St. Lawrence Valley Trailblazer Teammates appear in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Summer 2005.
Bob (front row, far right, #50) and his SLV Trailblazer teammates during halftime, Watertown Fairgrounds, 2002.
Bob (#50) and his Trailblazer teammates after the Watertown game, 2002. (The score, 46-6, is barely visible on the scoreboard in the background)
Collection of 18 Familiar Essays by New York Writers
A Professor Joins America's Oldest Semi-Pro Football Team
A Collection of Coming-of-Age Essays, (October 2006 from U. of South Carolina Press)
Personal Essays (Anthology)
Anthology of Personal Essays edited by Lee Gutkind