Although its participants are still in grade school, Pop Warner football is serious business in Miami, where local teams routinely advance to the national championships. Games draw thousands of fans; recruiters vie for nascent talent; drug dealers and rap stars bankroll teams; and the stakes are so high that games sometimes end in gunshots. In America's poorest neighborhood, troubled parents dream of NFL stardom for children who long only for a week in Disney World at the Pop Warner Super Bowl.
In 2001, journalist Robert Andrew Powell spent a year following two teams through roller-coaster seasons. The Liberty City Warriors, former national champs, will suffer the team's first-ever losing season. The Palmetto Raiders, undefeated for two straight years, will be rewarded for good play with limo rides and steak dinners. But their flamboyant coach (the "Darth Vader of youth football") will face defeat in a down-to-the-wire playoff game.
We Own This Game is an inside-the-huddle look into a world of innocence and corruption, where every kickoff bares political, social, and racial implications; an unforgettable drama that shows us just what it is to win and to lose in America.
©2003 Robert Andrew Powell. Portions of this book originally appeared in Miami New Times. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.