My post-college career began with the most entertaining job I have ever had to this day: sportswriter for a Florida newspaper in a small town, where high school football occupied major real estate on the sports pages, unlike many newspapers where the “preps” reporter would hang on the bottom rung. Football rivalries were heated, coaches were revered and fans were passionate. And Florida was, well…Florida: gorgeous and schlocky; honky-tonk and moneyed; citified and deep-fried; primitive and over-developed; bonkers over high school football; and hot as a sweat lodge.
Decades later, a novel came from my experience: Three Yards and a Plate of Mullet. This video about the Florida Football Sportswriter’s Novel will tell you more and give you a taste of the sportswriter life. It stars the author himself, in a half-assed imitation of a quarterback.
THREE YARDS AND A PLATE OF MULLET
If you’re a football fanatic, then you’ve probably heard the term “three yards and a cloud of dust.” Well, in Drabenville, Florida, they do things a little differently. Twenty-two-year-old Jake Yankelovich is learning that the hard way.
On the precipice of a soul-crushing slog into the corporate world, he decides to become a sportswriter—and he has to start somewhere…
As he covers an intense season of high school football, Jake is blown away by the passion everyone has for the sport. But as the new guy in an alien, insular town, he’s also running up against the old-boy network. That’s making it difficult for him to get answers about murky financial dealings and a dubious school redistricting decision that just so happens to have brought some of the best players in the state to perennial powerhouse Dolphin High, which had fallen from dominance.
Three Yards and a Plate of Mullet, a flashback to 1980s Florida, unites the worlds of high-stakes high school football with newsroom drama and hijinks, and eccentric characters, as it follows Jake working to make it in the business while finding his way around a peculiar culture.