Subtitled: John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, a Crooked Tycoon, and the Craziest Season in Football History
I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I was in my early 30s when Notre Dame’s Raghib ‘Rocket’ Ismail shunned the NFL to sign a monster contract with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). While he only fulfilled two of the four years of that contract, Ismail’s time in Toronto turned out to be way more entertaining than I remembered.
Just prior to Ismail’s signing with the team, the Toronto franchise had been sold to an ownership group that included actor/comedian John Candy, hockey great Wayne Gretzky, and business tycoon Bruce McNall – at that time, the owner of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. The Argonaut braintrust gambled that Ismail’s high profile combined with the star power of Candy and Gretzky would not only enhance the fortunes of the Toronto franchise, but also lift the entire CFL out of the economic problems it had been experiencing. I leave it to you to read the book if you want to know the rest of the story.
I gave Year of the Rocket five stars on Goodreads. Even though I’ve never been a huge fan of the CFL, there were enough familiar names to keep me interested. The CFL always seemed to have more ‘characters’ than most sports leagues, so this was a really entertaining read.