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Local author’s new book examines link between sports and life

Local author Tom Dobrez has released his latest book, “Root, Root, Root for the Home Teams,” which offers readers a poignant and nostalgic exploration of Chicago’s most iconic sports moments, weaving them into Dobrez’s personal experiences and life lessons.

Dobrez takes readers on a journey from heartbreak to triumph, delving into the deep  connection between sports and personal growth. In addition, the book captures the essence of devotion and the profound impact sports can have on families.

Dobrez, a longtime Flossmoor resident, has an undeniable love for sports. In his latest work, readers are offered more than game summaries. Instead, they are given a personal and heartfelt account of a father who imparts the principles of teamwork, perseverance, and kinship to his offspring through the medium of sports, according to the author.

The author said the book started as a memoir of his experiences from the last five decades but developed into a document for his children, the future generations of Flossmoor, and fellow Chicago sports fans. 

“A journal is a means by just writing things down, but a memoir is more of an attempted art,” said Dobrez. “So, hopefully, this memoir connects all those shared experiences to tell a deeper story beyond those events. As I was committing my thoughts to paper, I was trying to wrestle with some of the meanings of these events and what I’ve taken away over the last five decades as a Chicago sports fan.”


The book takes readers through the unforgettable moments in Chicago’s sports history. In a vivid recollection, Dobrez recounts the thrilling victories and the disappointing near-misses that have left a lasting impact on his life.

One example is the Blackhawks’ Game 7 disappointment in 1971, which Dobrez witnessed with his father — followed 39 years later by their 2010 Stanley Cup win, where Dobrez mourns the loss of his father.

Dobrez explained how his late father, John F. Dobrez, influenced his love of sports. With five other brothers, his father took the time to coach them and many other young men in the community. After his father’s passing, Dobrez recounted how he, his brothers, and other men in Flossmoor were impacted by those experiences of being coached by his father. 

These experiences with his father were brought to the surface through the writing process, Dobrez said: “That’s what I think a finely written book should do. You may not relate exactly to that experience, but maybe you have a similar one that resonates with you.” 

“Root, Root, Root for the Home Teams” encompasses more than just the games. Dobrez reveals intimate anecdotes that highlight the significant impact that sports have had on his life. He describes his exciting encounters with some of the biggest names in sports. Dobrez vividly recalls chasing Muhammad Ali’s Rolls Royce through their suburban hometown, engaging in a friendly game of Pop-A-Shot with Scottie Pippen, teeing off for 18 holes of golf with Toni Kukoc, and experiencing a champagne shower from Mark Buehrle.

According to Dobrez, while Chicago sports fandom is the backbone of this memoir, he featured a bit of local Flossmoor history in his work, giving readers an insight into the community’s sports events. 

In celebration of his new book, Dobrez will host a book release party at the Flossmoor Station Brewing Co. on Saturday, June 3, from noon to 3 p.m. following the Bike the Gem celebration, which Dobrez helped to organize.

Participants can speak with Dobrez about Chicago and Flossmoor sports history. Paperback editions will be available for $15, and 100 units of the exclusive autographed “Chicago Heroes,” each named after a Chicago athlete, will be available for $25. In addition, copies of “Root, Root, Root for the Home Teams” can be purchased online, via a local bookstore, or on the Amazon storefront. 

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