Joe Craddock and Italian football

I wrote a profile recently on Joe Craddock and his time playing professional football in Italy. You can read it here: … ing-profe/

I read the Grisham book “Playing for Pizza” when it came out and thought it was all fiction. Now it turns out all to be true. Grisham loves Italy like I do and his books that include Italy in them are full of neat details. Based on the timing, you have to think Grisham modeled his QB somewhat after Craddock.

The book is fiction to a certain extent. Craddock, who played after the book was written, told me that Grisham embedded himself with the team for a season and wrote the book based on his observations. The characters are fictional, but I’m sure some of the characters and events are based on reality.

According to Craddock, based on the conversation he had with the people in Parma, Grisham was inspired to write the book after he took a taxi ride one day. The taxi driver played in the Italian league and told Grisham about it.