Brian's Song by William Blinn

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William Blinn's Brian's Song tells the captivating true story about an unpredictable friendship and a pernicious disease that breaks the once impenetrable bond of two men. Fierce competition, contagious relationships, and life's heartbreaking realities combine flawlessly into an unforgettable story that warms and breaks the heart at the exact same time.

Brian Piccolo, a white male, and Gale Sayers, a black male, join the professional football team the Chicago Bears. Both men compete for the same starting halfback position on the team. At first introduction, the two athletes invest a great deal of energy into practical jokes rather than a mature relationship. In only a matter of time, however, the childish relationship develops into that of brotherhood.

Piccolo and Sayers' friendship becomes evident when Sayers faces a serious knee injury during a regular season game against the San Francisco 49ers. The accident allows Piccolo to temporarily play in Sayers' starting position, however, this disappoints Pic because he receives the spot by default. Therefore, the motivated athlete becomes dedicated to nursing his competition and good friend, Sayers, back to health. Unfortunately, this forces Piccolo to reluctantly retire to the bench once again. Shortly after, the coaching staff offers Pic the position as fullback for the Bears and he accepts with great enthusiasm. This new found glory is short lived, however, due to an unexpected diagnosis of lung cancer.

As Brian's life gradually deteriorates, his admiration for football, love for family, and comradeship with Sayers continues to flourish without error. At age 26, Brian Piccolo succumbs to the fatal opponent, cancer. I recommend this novel to teenage athletes and football lovers because its powerful message of valuing family and friendship, living life to its fullest, and exemplary persecution of dreams has the ability to motivate readers worldwide.





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