Monday, December 22, 2003

I take my duties as a Southern Conference all-star voter very seriously, so tomorrow night I'm checking out the Lubbock-Amarillo game, to see if Hahn and the two "De"s are worthy of a starting nod.

Ok, not exactly. Truth is, the Kingdom is the only surviving WPHL arena I have not been to. Just never happened for some reason -- most notably, I was out of the country during the infamous "Brent Hughes cell phone game." So I'm glad to finally get there. You'll find me at the Booster Club table with copies of Zamboni Rodeo.

Which, come to think of it, I haven't flogged nearly enough this fall. My own blog, and I didn't even self-promote for Christmas! Anyway, if you didn't know, a paperback is out -- the first US release of the book ever -- with a new chapter about Ryan Anderson and Tim Findlay and an updated "Where Are They Now." You can buy one from Amazon, or you can still get signed hardcovers (at the bargain price of $17.95!) from me.

I still hope to get to Indy -- hopefully on January 2 -- and Wichita before the season's out. And if you are one of the many kind people who already bought a book and/or sent me e-mails, I'd sure be grateful if you were moved to post a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Here's two notes I received recently that I got a great big kick out of, for obvious reasons.

That was great! It helped me realize, the five years I spent chasing the dream was worth it. I was laughing out loud on my trip back to Boston when I read how soft Harry was. (my roommate when we won that championship in OKC, that was a special year) To read how the players define a team, the money problems, the crazy fans, the refs, coach's, office people, the waffle house. That was the first book I read since the Firm during my first year pro in Nashville. We didn't have rock star buses we had country star buses. - Tim Sullivan.

I really enjoyed your book, I'm glad that you had the opportunity to write it. Your depiction of minor professional hockey was right on. A players life is not all "glamour and hype" that much of the media and general public make it out to be. You did an excellent job of portraying the "real life" issues that all players face, and in some instances the "dark side" of professional sports. We players have ALL seen it firsthand. - Anthony Donskov.

Donskov, btw, is back in Ohio recuperating from surgery, and while the 2002-2003 CHL Man of the Year is considering a "real-world" job, he also has the itch to play next season.

On another book-related topic, you might consider spending some of that Christmas money on They Don't Play Hockey In Heaven, Ken Baker's story of his season as the Bakersfield Condors' third-string goalie. The Hockey News said it was "part George Plimpton, part Zamboni Rodeo, part Rudy."

I also like Goon (wrote about it last year) and am looking forward to reading Blades of Glory.
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