A sad-eyed little man in a trenchcoat approaches all-American linebacker Lou Powers with a deal--$500, $1500 to hold the score down--and Lou, afraid of the taint, afraid he'll lose his chance at the Heisman Trophy, turns the little man down but doesn't turn him in. Then, beginning with hot-shot quarterback Jackie Montano, all the great Meridian Browns start making dumb mistakes. Are they on the take? At that point, the scandal breaks: players approached on other teams turn in the gamblers, the little man fingers Jackie, and Lou writhes. . . . Even Dygard can't make Lou's initial misjudgment entirely plausible, but the consequences are compelling: Lou owns up, the other players are questioned, each suspects the others of suspecting him, and everyone's wary of Lou. A standout--with tense confrontations on and off the field, and, for fans, an un-usual focus on playing defense.