The author also chose to start the novel when Steve and Dan are already lovers for the past six months. Steve barely survives a gay bashing and Dan doesn’t hesitate to come out and stake a claim on the injured man in the hospital, he is Steve’s partner and no one can force him away from his side.
There is a lot of hurt, but mainly there is a lot of love. After the initial, cruel episode that almost put an end to Steve’s life and their love, Steve and Dan find only reason to continue in their fight to be together. Who is near them is supporting them, and as I said, the external world is so detached that is no able to influence them or their decision. There is no question that who attacked Steve will pay for their action, as unfortunately there is no question the price will be not high enough to compensate the hurt. But in a way, Steve and Dan are pushed in taking decisions they were probably delaying for lack of courage or maybe for being too careful. Not always being a lion is a good choice, and in this case, I think Steve and Dan would prefer to live 100 years together as sheep than living one day as a lion.
I’m not sure it’s really possible for two professional football players to come out and still be possible for them to be in the higher level of the profession, but it’s also true than no one has really tried, and maybe the society is slowly changing. It’s not a coincidence that the author made one of them from Holland, a country that was first in recognizing same-sex unions, and the other one from England (although with Irish origins), another country that allows civil unions. Making them from any other “catholic” European country, and their story would have been way more difficult.
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott