“What I like most about Frank Deford‘s new novel—and I like many things about it—is the stunning fidelity with which it brings back to life a place and time that I knew intimately: North Carolina, Chapel Hill in particular, during the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. How he does this mystifies me, for he is neither a native North Carolinian nor an alumnus of the University of North Carolina; but he reveals himself in Everybody’s All-American (Viking, $13.95) to be about as close to a Tar Heel born and bred as any Baltimore Yankee (which Deford is) could ever hope to be….
“Deford recaptures the North Carolina scene dating back to 1954, the year his fictional protagonist, Gavin Grey, finished up at UNC. Not merely does Deford know all the words to all the songs, he knows the accents and inflections they were sung in and what the singers wore….”
— From “In Frank Deford’s novel, a football hero finds the hurrahs don’t last” by Jonathan Yardley in Sports Illustrated (Oct. 26, 1981)
Deford died Sunday in Key West. He was 78.