Breakdown by Bob Halloran
A Season of Gang Warfare, High School Football, and the Coach Who Policed the Streets

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A cop-turned-coach takes youth from gang-ridden streets to the gridiron


From the author of Irish Thunder comes the true story about the collision of violent crime and high school football in a tough New England town. Friday Night Lights meets Boyz n the Hood in this book about a football coach—also a cop on the gang beat—who pulls kids off the streets and puts them on the field with a combination of kindness and intimidation.


In Breakdown (whose title alludes to a pregame psyche-up ritual), Bob Halloran gets inside the life-or-death struggles of student athletes from the Bloods, Crips, MS-13s, and Latin Kings in Chelsea, Massachusetts--the Boston area's cruelest city. While exploring the anger, fear, and violence of these young men, he follows the Chelsea Red Devils as they vie for a championship and the players try making football their way out. Meanwhile, tough-love coach James Atkins serves as a cop in the Chelsea Police Department’s Gang Unit, asking for his players’ blood, sweat, and tears on the field . . . and hoping their blood doesn’t spill off it. Will football be their way to a better life, or will street life forever haunt them?


About Bob Halloran

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Bob Halloran is the author of Irish Thunder and the weekend news and sports anchor at WCVB-TV in Boston, Massachusetts. Formerly an ESPN anchor and columnist for, he has been a news and sports anchor in New England for more than twenty years, and he writes a weekly column for the Boston Metro newspaper. He lives in Boston.
Published August 3, 2010 by Lyons Press. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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