Synopses & Reviews
For a few seconds, Stevie couldnt understand anything Susan Carol was saying. Between the rush of words and her southern accent, most of what he heard was gibberish. He was picking up perhaps two words a sentence.
“Hate them . . . Never, ever . . . The nerve . . . Cant be trusted . . . Hate them.”
The second time he heard ‘hate them he broke in because he guessed she was repeating herself. “Calm down,” he said.
He understood her next sentence quite clearly: “CALM DOWN! DONT YOU DARE TELL ME TO CALM DOWN, STEVEN RICHMAN THOMAS. I WILL NOT CALM DOWN, NOT FOR ONE SECOND!”
He realized he was smiling. Her anger was one part amusing and about five parts touching. She seemed to be more upset about what had happened than he was. And her tirade was making him feel much better.
“What did you tell them?” he said when she finally paused to take a breath.
“I told them they better find themselves another girl, that there was only one person I would work with and some eye candy guy named Jamie Whitsitt, of all things, was not that person.”
“Who is Jamie Whitsitt?”
He heard her sigh, the kind of sigh he usually heard when she seemed convinced he was too stupid to live.
“Jamie Whitsitt is the lead singer of the ‘Best Boys. He is gorgeous but I couldnt care less. Im not working with him.”
Remarkably, Stevie had heard of ‘Best Boys, if only because he had heard the girls in his class oohing and aahing about them at lunch time. “Arent those guys a lot older than us?” he asked.
“Hes eighteen. They dont care. Shupe said we were a ‘perfect match. I told him I didnt care, that the show was supposed to be about two kid reporters-reporters-not some damn rock star.”
Stevie almost gagged. He had never heard Susan Carol say anything stronger than gosh darn up until now.
“So what did they say to all that?”
“They said they were going to talk to my dad-whos not home right now. They said they understood why Id be upset about this and they thought loyalty was a great thing but Id breach my contract if I didnt keep doing the show; and that not only would I not get paid but they might take me to court.”
“Whoa! They threatened to sue you? Unbelievable!”
“Remind me to listen to Bobby and Tamara when they say something from now on will you?”
Tamara Mearns was Bobby Kellehers wife. He was a sports columnist for the Washington Herald; she for the Washington Post. The two of them had become Stevie and Susan Carols journalism mentors. Both had urged them strongly to resist the temptations of money and fame put on the table by USTV. They hadnt listened.
Stevie took a deep breath. “I want you to listen to me for a minute,” he said.
“I dont want you to quit.”
“WHAT . . . ?”
“Hang on a minute. First, there is the money issue. Theyre probably bluffing about suing you. But I still get paid in this thing and you dont. Second, youre good at this and theres no reason for you to stop doing it on my account. Ill be fine. It isnt as if my careers over-Im fourteen. Third, when the year is over, you can either walk away from doing this kind of stuff or, if you want, there will be 10 other TV jobs at other places you could have.”
There was a long silence on the other end of the phone.
“Did your dad tell you to say all this?”
Why was it, he thought, that she always knew everything. He considered lying for a second, but decided the heck with it. Lying was for TV guys.
“Yes he did,” he said, finally. “But I thought about it before I actually said it, and I think hes right. And if you think about it when you calm down a little youll probably decide hes right too.”
“Stop telling me to calm down.”
“Okay. But youll think about it?”
She sighed again, this time not the ‘too stupid to live, sigh but one of sadness. “Ill think about it,” she said.
“Good. Call me after you talk to your dad, okay?”
He was about to say goodbye when he heard her say, “Stevie?”
“I really do love you, you know.”
He wasnt sure how to answer that one. They were fourteen and had kissed once. Still, the answer that came out of his mouth felt right.
“I love you too.”
From the Hardcover edition.
THE SUPER BOWL. America's biggest sports spectacle. More than 95 million fans will be watching, but Steve Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson know that what
they'll be watching is a lie. They know that the entire offensive line of the California Dreams have failed their doping tests and that the Dreams' owner is trying to cover up the test results. These two teens are sitting on the biggest sports scandal of the decade. What they don't know -yet - is how to prove it.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
John Feinstein is the author of many bestselling books for young readers including Last Shot, winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best young adult mystery of the year, and Vanishing Act. Both are available on audio from Listening Library. Mr. Feinstein began his career at the Washington Post, where he worked as both a political and sports reporter. He has also written for Sports Illustrated and the National Sports Daily. Mr. Feinstein is currently a commentator for National Public Radio; he writes columns for AOL Sports and Golf Digest and continues to contribute regularly to the Washington Post. John Feinstein lives in Potomac, Maryland, and Shelter Island, New York, with his wife, son, and daughter.