OVERRIDE

Rose Bowl Dreams

A Memoir of Faith, Family, and Football

Adam Jones

Thomas Dunne Books

God created college football as a grand gift to an imperfect world. I learned this as a very small boy living in the middle of the Texas Panhandle. In time I would come to believe that college football contained all of the joy, faith, pageantry, feeling, failure, and renewal that any person could hope for out of life. It taught me about patience and commitment, about enthusiasm and exasperation, about fatherhood and faith.

Like Norman Maclean’s classic, A River Runs Through It, Rose Bowl Dreams is a memoir that transcends the limits of the sports genre to contemplate faith, love, grief and the challenges of fatherhood.

Rose Bowl Dreams is the story of a family whose passion for college football begins at a small stadium in the remote Texas Panhandle and leads to college football’s most famous venue, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Rose Bowl Dreams develops parallel stories of a son and his mother, a crisis of faith, and three fraught football seasons that end in bittersweet triumph as the author follows the story of the University of Texas Longhorns between the time he discovers his mother has inoperable cancer and Texas triumphs in the National Championship Game over USC in what might well be the greatest college football game ever played.

Along the way Jones lays bare the heart and passionate soul of the college football fan. To millions, college football is the essence of life. It is, yes, religious in intensity. And its impact on families and its greater meaning possesses tremendous resonance. Rose Bowl Dreams reveals the growth and evolution of a college football fan with the humor and poignancy only personal experience could provide: kitchen table conversations with Panhandle football legend “Bulldog” Jones, good-byes to a mother who taught her son about unconditional love and unconditional fandom, the wise counsel of a psychiatrist father, the love of a beautiful woman, raising three boys, Mennonites singing, night games in Lubbock, a scrappy gamer of a quarterback, a man with a golden left arm, and finally, redemptively, a small boy from the south side of Houston named Vince.

He would change everything.

Rose Bowl Dreams is an artfully rendered portrait of a Texas family bound by a game, and an inspiring account of how redemption flows through the contests on the field and into the lives of its fans. It’s a portrait of divine will realized on the college football gridiron. A narrative that is like no football book you’ve ever read, Rose Bowl Dreams reminds us all that the good life moves ever forward.


REVIEWS

Praise for Rose Bowl Dreams

Praise for Rose Bowl Dreams:

"No true football fan should miss Adam Jones' Rose Bowl Dreams. It's more than a football book; it's an inspiring commentary on life itself." 
--Winston Groom

"Adam Jones had the good sense to be born into the middle of four generations of a football-lovin' Texas family, and now that I think about it, that's probably redundant. Rose Bowl Dreams reads as if Jones just pulled up a chair, popped open a cold one and started telling stories. He's good company, and you don't have to be able to name the starting lineup of the 2006 Longhorns to enjoy him. Rose Bowl Dreams may not be for Aggies, but the rest of us could learn something about faith, family and football."
--Ivan Maisel, senior writer, ESPN.com, co-author of A War in Dixie

“The best football book since Frederick Exley’s classic A Fan’s Notes. Adam Jones’ Rose Bowl Dreams delves deeply into everything that made this country great—mother, God, football and drinking. Even if you can’t stand any of those things, Rose Bowl Dreams will almost certainly change your mind.” 
--Kinky Friedman, author of What Would Kinky Do?: How to Unscrew a Screwed-Up World

"Much like Adam Jones, my parents took me to my first football game at age six. As a result, I never stopped playing the game or writing about it. This is a remarkable story about football and family. It provides a wonderful message about how sports, if handled in the proper context, will forever keep humans together. Rose Bowl Dreams made my spine tingle.''
--Jim Dent, New York Times bestselling author of The Junction Boys and Twelve Mighty Orphans

"Rose Bowl Dreams reveals what lies at the heart of the hardcore college football fan better than any other book I've read.  This story of faith and faith rewarded will move all readers, even those who scarcely know the difference between a punt and a pass." 
--W. K. Stratton, author of Backyard Brawl: Inside the Blood Feud Between Texas and Texas A&M
"Football stays at the center of Rose Bowl Dreams...Not only is Jones good at watching the game, he's good at watching himself watching."
--Austin American-Statesman

"[Adam Jones] is impressive doing his detailed football thing, as he is with his loving descriptions of West Texas....The narrative rolls along like a touchdown drive."
--Dallas Morning News

"The thing is, Jones gets it: 'College football is nothing if not personal.'"
--San Antonio Express-News

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Adam Jones

  • ADAM JONES is the deputy education commissioner and chief operating officer of the department of education for the state of Texas. He lives in Austin with his family.
  • Adam Jones
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Available Formats and Book Details

Rose Bowl Dreams

A Memoir of Faith, Family, and Football

Adam Jones

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Thomas Dunne Books

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