Never Ran, Never Will tells the story of the working-class, mostly black neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn; its proud youth football team, the Mo Better Jaguars; and the young boys who are often at the center of both.
Does a game like football offer lifesaving discipline, fatherly coaches and means to a scholarship? Or is it just a cruel chimera, holding out the allure of an elusive pro career? ... In plumbing these profound questions, Samaha immerses himself with the Mo Better Jaguars ... Some of his finest character portraits of coaches and parents turn up only toward the book’s end ... Even so, there is much to enjoy and at the best moments to admire in this book.
What journalist H.G. Bissinger did for high school football in Friday Night Lights, Samaha does for a youth football league in mostly black Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn ... The final product is a joy for readers, an island of hope ... An inspirational sports book of narrative nonfiction, one that can be read for posterity.