Thursday, January 28, 2010

Literati Glitterati

This is a new series on celebrity authors.

Rick Telander played football at Northwestern and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1971. Although he was cut during training camp, that experience would again come to life years later when Telander wrote Like A Rose.
Shortly after being cut, he wrote a piece for the Peoria Journal-Star about the experience. Then he wrote to Sports Illustrated and pitched the story, calling himself "a writer". He was a writer afterall and he would make a nice career from his writing abilities
Telander's first book was Heaven is a Playground, which recounted Telander's time on the city playgrounds of New York. Telander has written many other books, of which Like a Rose is my favorite.
Thirty years after his experience with the Chiefs, Telander found his old notebook, which he kept while in training camp. Telander reproduced those notes and interspersed his thoughts today. This produces an interesting look at Telander and life, then and now.
Telander pondered why he kept a notebook during camp. That wasn't common practice among NFL hopefuls. Perhaps that was the genesis of being a real writer.
Telander compares football to ballet in its' beauty. He also compares it to life. However, when Telander compares himself from then to now and himself then to his son now, he is at his introspective best.
Telander looks up his old coach and reflects on their relationship. Again, he juxtaposes that with his relationship with his own kids, especially his football-playing son.
Telander is obviously bright and articulate, but he still has that passion when discussing football. The difference is that the passion is coupled with knowledge and experience and balanced by the passion for his family.
This book is filled with humor, insight and passion. It's a book full of reflection and love. It's also a book about football. That mixture producers a fantastic read!
Mike Sensibaugh and Rick Telander in KC Chiefs training camp-Summer 1971.


Paul said...

Great story. I have been a fan of Telander for a long while. I loved that book, too.

Anonymous said...

Soundslike a great book.

NHart said...

This is odd. I just read that book. I agree with your take. Telander did a great job.

Anonymous said...

congratulations on your launch!