Links: I Wrote A Book

by March 02, 2011

by Lang Whitaker | @langwhitaker

OK, many things to cover today…

• I mentioned a few years ago that I’d signed a book deal and was working on a book. Since then, I’ve spent many, many, many late nights on the couch, writing. Wifey would go to bed around 10 or 11, and I’d stay up until 2 or so, watching NBA games from out West and working on this book.

And now it’s done. It’s in stores now, or you can order it online from sites like Amazon, or Borders, or Barnes and Noble or Books A Million.

The book is called, In the Time of Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Braves, Their Manager, My Couch, Two Decades and Me. The book is a memoir, which basically means it’s autobiographical. So in that sense, it’s the story of my life — how I got to where I am today — and the big part in my life that the Braves, specifically Bobby Cox, played in that journey. It’s the things I learned about life from watching Bobby Cox manage the Braves, and what various Braves players from the last two decades have meant to me.

This is a book about life, living, learning, love and death. It’s about the ways I connected with a specific manager and particular franchise. It’s about all the things that sports can mean to a fan, and the life lessons I extracted from watching someone manage a baseball team on television.

So, in broad strokes, that is what the book’s about. I talk about basketball a bit, but I also talk about…well, lots of other stuff.

The good news is, I think it all makes sense. My father-in-law emailed yesterday and called it “a charming little book,” which is about the best review I could have asked for from one of the toughest critics I know. I also got a great review from Atlanta magazine that surfaced over the weekend, but the review from my father-in-law was the best because he never says anything nice. Which is why I love him.

Anyway, I am not vain enough to think that because I write for SLAM and SLAMonline, and because you read SLAM and SLAMonline, every one of you will immediately run out and cop this book. But if you do buy this book, thank you, thank you very much.

And most of all, I hope you enjoy it.

• Speaking of SLAM and books, there was a terrific coincidence yesterday: Not only did my book hit yesterday, but so did a book from longtime SLAM writer Alan Paul. Alan’s book is called Big In China, and it’s the story of his recent stint in Beijing with his family. He kept a blog while he was over there, which I read religiously, and it’s great to see all those stories and experiences come to life in a book. You can get Alan’s book at Amazon or any of the online booksellers I mentioned earlier, and also in bookstores everywhere. Go get it.

• A couple of weekends ago, Ben and I were out in L.A. for All-Star Weekend when we heard rumors that Troy “Escalade” Jackson had passed away. Terrible, just terrible news.

Thought maybe I should share this one story that always make me laugh whenever I think about it. I started full-time at SLAM right as the whole And 1 Tour was just blowing up, and it was really fascinating to watch it happen. One afternoon, Escalade and A.O. were in town for a game or something, so they came by the SLAM Dome. I’d never met either guy before, but they were both personable and funny and just great to be around. They hung out for about an hour, and then had to bounce. I walked them out of our office, which means leaving the SLAM Dome and going down two really long hallways, and walking past dozens of offices and cubicles from different magazine, to get to the front desk.

So we were about halfway to the front desk and walking past an office that just happened to be the SLAM advertising office, although there wasn’t really any way to tell that from the hallway — it just looked like two guys sitting at computers with their backs to the hallway. Right as we reached the door, Escalade suddenly turned and gave A.O. a huge shove into the office, knocking him a good five feet into the room. As A.O. went flying into the office, Escalade yelled, loudly, “Hey guys!”

I stuck my head into the room just in time to see the two guys at their computers spin around to find streetball star A.O. randomly and awkwardly standing there behind them, forced to introduce himself. Recalling the looks on all three of their faces still makes me grin.

Rest in peace, Escalade.

• A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon this computer game called Continuity. I was actually looking for a new iPod game, as I’d finished the latest level of Angry Birds. Continuity is a flash game, so you can’t play it on an iAnything, but play it on your computer and you will quickly discover that it is one of the most addictive games on the internets. Fun to play, simple, etcetera, etcetera.

Now, to the crowd! What other games should I/we be checking out?