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Rivers, Reggie 1968–

Rivers, Reggie 1968–

PERSONAL: Born 1968, in Dayton, OH. Education: Southwest Texas State University, B.A., 1991.

ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Sourcebooks, Inc., 1935 Brookdale Rd., Ste. 139, Naperville, IL 60563.

CAREER: Athlete, entertainer, and author. Denver Broncos, running back, 1991–96. San Antonio Light, San Antonio, TX, obituary writer, 1985; Rocky Mountain News, Denver, CO, weekly sports columnist, 1991–99; KOA-AM, Denver, radio talk show host, 1997–99; KHOW-AM, Denver, radio show host, 1999–2002; Denver Post, editorial columnist; Pro Football Weekly, columnist; KCNC Channel 4, Denver, co-host, "Countdown to Kickoff"; American Broadcasting Corporation, College Football Division, analyst; KBDI, Channel 12, Denver, host of "Drawing the Line." Frequent guest host on Denver television and radio stations.

AWARDS, HONORS: Outstanding Editorial Summer Intern in Texas, Texas Daily Newspaper Association, 1987; Denver Broncos Community Action Player award, 1992; Special Teams Player of the Year, Denver Broncos, 1993; Man of the Year award, Denver Broncos, 1996; Unsung Hero award, Players' Corp., 1996.

WRITINGS:

(With Vance Johnson) The Vance: The Beginning and the End (biography), Kendall/Hunt (Dubuque, IA), 1994.

Power Shift (mystery novel), SCA (Englewood, CO), 2000.

Fourth and Fixed (novel), Sourcebooks (Naperville, IL), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: A former running back for the Denver Broncos, Reggie Rivers has turned his insiders knowledge of professional football into a second career as a writer. In fact, he started writing long before establishing his football career, landing his first newspaper job as a high school senior. While playing for the Broncos, he wrote a weekly sports column for the Rocky Mountain News, and in 1994 he coauthored The Vance: The Beginning and the End, the autobiography of Broncos wide receiver Vance Johnson. He also self-published a novel, Power Shift, but his second novel, Fourth and Fixed, garnered considerably more attention.

Fourth and Fixed tells the story of a mob-connected fixer, Michael Gasca, who is hired to turn around a football team, the San Antonio Stallions, because their owner is desperate to get the mediocre team into the Super Bowl. With the help of his menacing, muscular sidekick, Gasca forces the firing of the head coach and soon progresses to threats and blackmail, all designed to smooth the team's way to victory. Soon Gasca raises the suspicions of Steven Oquist, a special investigator for the National Football League, and also of the team's star quarterback, Trevor Deale, who begins to wonder whether recent victories have come a bit too easily. On the other hand, Deale's gold-digger girlfriend turns out to be a kind of ally for Gasca and ultimately proves to be a far more dangerous troublemaker than anyone suspects. "Rivers's patient development of his zany characters gives this book bite," noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "and his fly-on-the-wall narration lets the average football fan sneak a peek at the exotic, often racy, underbelly of the NFL."

A Kirkus Reviews contributor felt that the appeal of Fourth and Fixed "isn't just in the pleasure of a paced, credible thriller, but also in the sharp insights into the way football is played these days." In the novel, Rivers describes the way a quarterback sizes up a defense and explains what coaches do all day. In addition, his book reveals how shady financial dealings and the ubiquitous presence of gambling have shaped the decisions of players and management alike. Mobsters, payoffs, and sleazy financial deals are a hidden but nonetheless real part of modern professional football, and all are revealed in what a Kirkus contributor called "a thinking-(wo)man's football thriller with an ethical twist." According to Booklist reviewer Wes Lukowsky, Rivers "has the strut, the patois, and the insider's knowledge to pull this caper off in fine style."

Rivers has always been serious about his writing career. As Bob Der reported in Sports Illustrated for Kids, "Reggie reads a novel a week to build his vocabulary and to see how other writers tell stories. 'I enjoy the educational part of writing,' he says. 'I enjoy telling people things they don't know.'"

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, July, 2004, Wes Lukowsky, review of Fourth and Fixed, p. 1820.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2004, review of Fourth and Fixed, p. 514.

PR Newswire, March 1, 2001, "Reggie Rivers Kicks off StorageTek's 2001 Diversity Dialogues."

Publishers Weekly, August 23, 2004, review of Fourth and Fixed, p. 38.

Sports Illustrated for Kids, July, 1995, Bob Der, "My Other Career: Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers," p. 14.

ONLINE

Brooks International Web site, http://www.brooksinternational.com/ (April 14, 2005), "Reggie Rivers."

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