I discovered Stuart Srevens’s memoir, The Last Season: A Father, a Son, and a Lifetime of College Football last September at the library. I enjoyed it so much that I recommended it to others. I gave it to a friend for Christmas because he, too, loves college football–the Carolina Gamecocks as opposed to the Ole Miss Rebels. But he still liked it a lot.
On this Father’s Day, I reflected how many dads (or uncles) connect with their kids through sports. But that’s not the only way, obviously. The Last Season moved me because Ole Miss games–and his parents’ parties to celebrate them–were part of Stevens’s growing-up years. His mom and sister were fans as well, but Stuart and his dad always made the journey to the stadiums themselves.
Alas, this father-son bonding time ended when Stevens went to boarding school, then college, then embarked on a fast-paced career as a journalist, political writer, and presidential campaign manager. Stevens describes himself as “a man who doesn’t like losing.”
However, when his candidate lost, Stevens had reached a crossroads in his life. Celebrating a birthday also didn’t help. As he took time off to plan his next steps, he thought more and more about going to those games with his dad, who was now in his nineties. He longed for one last road trip before one wasn’t possible anymore.
When he pitched the idea to his parents, they were skeptical, but agreed. The stories, memories, epiphanies, and a season’s Ole Miss games are poignant, insightful, and often very funny. Best of all, traders don’t need to be avid sports fans to respond to the book. The author’s family photos are also a joy.
Most of all. The Last Season reminds us to treasure the important people in our lives while we can. Browse the author’s website for his novels and other works.