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Fifth Quarter

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About the Author

Jennifer Allen is a freelance journalist and the author of Better Get Your Angel On, a collection of stories. She has contributed pieces to numerous magazines, including Rolling Stone, Mirabella, and The New Republic. Allen lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the author Mark Richard, and their sons, Roman and Deacon. From the Hardcover edition.


Adult/High School-To fans, football is a great way to pass a crisp, autumn afternoon. But for Jennifer Allen, it was the culture around which her life revolved. Her father, Coach George Allen, focused like a laser beam on the game. He never learned to spell his daughter's name correctly. He was never home for dinners or birthdays or Christmas. Jennifer recounts her life in short chapters as her father made the L.A. Rams a winning team and brought a championship to the Washington Redskins. The entire family kowtowed to his every wish and whim. Her brothers kept statistics on the sidelines; Jennifer's job was to turn the channels on the television so that her father could see all the sportscasts on the news. Her mother reveled in her public role as Mrs. George Allen, but mother and daughter relished the freedom they had when her father and brothers left for training camp. Jennifer's French mother, a chain-smoker who could swear a blue streak and find irony in every situation, provided the comic relief to her husband's intensity. In a loving look at life with a dominating, driven coach, Allen provides an inside look at football, life in the sports limelight, and the `70s as she grows from a child to a rebellious young woman struggling to find her place in the world.-Jane S. Drabkin, Potomac Community Library, Woodbridge, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

What it's like to be the only girl in a family of boysÄwith a top NFL coach for a dad. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Journalist Allen evocatively chronicles her unusual childhood in this memoir about being the only daughter of the legendary football coach George Allen. George was devoted to his teamsÄthe Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins. Jennifer and her three brothers knew to stay out of their father's way, especially if he had just lost a game or had had a run-in with one of the team owners. While George could bond more with his sons and take them along to training camps, the author stayed behind with her mother, a French woman who apparently spent most of her time building and remodeling homes while her husband lived and breathed football. Jennifer and her mother cherished their time togetherÄeating in the bedroom, watching old moviesÄyet the young girl was troubled by her father's devotion to the game and his players at the expense of his children. Her descriptions of dinner table conversation make it clear that the household was not easy to survive in; George tried to rule the family in military fashion, with strict rules and regulations; when it came to the TV, he would watch a video replay of a game over and over while his family looked on in silence. Jennifer recalls some perks, however, such as having a limo take her to school and meeting some famous people. In this touching and often unsentimental story, George Allen emerges as a self-centered man who chose to sacrifice a normal family life for the sake of his career. Agent, Bonnie Nadell/Fred Hill & Assoc. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Advance praise for Fifth Quarter "Fifth Quarter is the best book about football I've ever read--and Jennifer Allen never played a down in her life. But she was born to be a writer, she grew up around some of the greatest names in the NFL, and her father happened to be one of the greatest coaches in history. What a family this woman hails from!" --Pat Conroy "What an extraordinary story! Within a terrifying, pathetic, and sometimes-- inevitably--hilarious tale of professional football and her father's life as a coach, Jennifer Allen shows everything that's wrong--and right--about 'sports-minded' American men." --Carolyn See From the Hardcover edition.

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