The Book

The Novel's Foreword

This is a book about GRIT...the kind that makes a person dare to reach higher than anyone thought possible.
This is the story of a little bitty fellow who has never learned to spell the words can't and quit...and probably never will.
Why would he...after where he has been and the life experiences he has had!

Sick and tired of people telling him he was too small to do a lot of athletic activities, he pushed the bar aside and kept on reaching.
The coaches must have been afraid for his life when he would hurl his eighty-pound body into the fray called football. But at age 13, standing four feet-ten inches...he jumped on the back of a rodeo bull and rode him and he tasted success. Oh it was the sweet taste he had been hungering for, and he set out to find some more.

And he surely did despite traveling down a road with a lot of bumps.
He found his greatest success as a Washington State University Cougar varsity football player.
I am a Cougar, an old one. It was Washington State COLLEGE when I landed there after four years in the US Marines in 1950. I grew up in the Corps, so I had some understanding of perseverance. And when I heard the story of Rod Retherford I wanted to help lead as many people as possible to the story of this remarkable competitor.

John Kuri is the author.  His pace is swift and the story is thrilling. I'm sure you will enjoy his work.

In fifty-four years of broadcasting all manner of college football and every other sport known, one learns to see the competitor, he or she will stand out given a chance...and it is these who inspire...who light the candle in others.

Good Luck Rod Retherford!

Keith Jackson
WSU-Class of '54  National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Hall of Fame
Rose Bowl Hall of Fame
The American Football Coaches Association awarded him its Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in 1993 as an individual "whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football." He is the first sports announcer to receiver the Stagg award.


The Movie

 This is the true story of Rod Retherford, a kid that was told he was too-small to play varsity football in John Day, Oregon, and not to waste the coach's time trying because he would not play for even one second this despite the fact that Rod had been bull-riding in junior rodeo since he was thirteen and had played both as a quarterback and defensive back as a freshman, who after his older brother's death in front of him in a freak rodeo accident was emotionally bankrupt, who in that pain gave his mind over to street procured mental sedatives like marijuana and booze as a way of coping with such loss, who then got his act together thanks to the strong hand and passionate belief of his mother and the never ending support of his dad, who then was dropped to the ground seemingly a quadriplegic in the aftermath of an accidental gun shot and told that he may not survive let alone physically recover this at the very moment he was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Washington State University, who then dropped from school out of depression, but fought his way back in what would be the struggle of a lifetime, rejoined the WSU Cougars, thus defeating the biggest odds he would ever face. Rod then played a season of seasons for Washington State University. He was a key component in the defensive half of a team that made history in the state of Washington and in the PAC 10 conference in the 1981 season. He and his teammates, under the guidance of the entire coaching staff with Jim Walden at the helm, wrote new pages for the chronicles of the Palouse.

John Kuri has adapted his book to a feature length screenplay.