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Year of the Rocket

"If it were fiction, you wouldn’t believe it." - Stephen Brunt, Sportsnet
Genres: Culture, History, Sports

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The century-old Toronto Argonauts, like the rest of the Canadian Football League, seemed to be in shambles in 1991. Then everything changed. The Argos were acquired by an unlikely trio: the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky; a universally beloved comic genius, John Candy; and an upstart sports magnate, Bruce McNall, whose apparent Midas touch masked dark secrets.

They audaciously swiped from the NFL the most-hyped college athlete in years, Rocket Ismail, by signing him to the richest football contract ever, and set their sights on a league championship. Candy’s friend Dan Aykroyd summoned the Blues Brothers band to fly in from Europe and perform, along with Candy, Jim Belushi, and Mariel Hemingway, at the Rocket’s first game. And the season only got crazier from there…

Year of the Rocket is the untold saga of one of the greatest gambles in sports history, and one of the most unforgettable seasons on any gridiron, brought to life by a veteran sportswriter who combines meticulous research with the perspective and passion of a lifelong fan.

Paul Woods

Paul Woods is a journalist, Canadian football historian, and author of Bouncing Back: From National Joke to Grey Cup Champs.

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