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I saw my first semi-pro game as a kid in the mid-1970s.  The team was the Baltimore Eagles of the Interstate Football League.  I was hooked from the beginning.  This was real, grass-roots football played by honest-to-goodness hometown heroes.  My enthusiasm for the game has since inspired me to write The Semi-Pros, a story about a determined team that reinvigorates the spirit and fortunes of a struggling mill town.  I researched semi-pro football extensively to ensure the portrayal is as realistic as possible.  I also treat the game with respect.  As much as anything, The Semi-Pros is a tribute to the men who played the sport over the last century.