DALLASâ€”This has been a very rough week, book-wise. A lot of ups and downs; conflicts with HarperCollins; a book signing yesterday where 12 people showed up; waking up this morning at 5 am to do a TV appearance that lasted about 30 seconds. Mostly, I miss my wife Catherine and the kids. Traveling can be exciting, but I never like returning to a hotel room and having nobody to share things with.
With that as a backdrop, I was elatedâ€”beyond elatedâ€”to learn today that “Boys Will Be Boys” is No. 7 on the upcoming New York Times best-seller’s list. I’m not even sure if I can accurately express how meaningful this is to meâ€”but I’ll try: I have never much cared about writing awards. I don’t desire to be a talking head on TV or scream back and forth with Skip and Jay on ESPN. I don’t need fame or to be the topic of anyone’s conversation about America’s best sportswriters. But I do very much want people to read what I write; to pick up one of my books and derive enjoyment from it. Admittedly, this stuff isn’t political analysis or nuclear science. But it isâ€”at least I believeâ€”a study of sports and human nature. Or something like that.
Mostly, I like the pride that this success seems to bring the people I genuinely care about. My wife Catherine, who has spent two years living everything Dallas Cowboys (and two years living everything Barry Bonds before that; and two years living everything ’86 Mets before that). My parents, who used to stand there and listen to every high school newspaper story I wrote (Note: They sucked). My two friends/proof readers, Paul Duer and Mike Lewis, who go through my books for no money … just because they’re close pals who care; my fact checker, Casey Angle, a truly great guy. And as much as anyone, my friend Frank Zaccho, to whom “Boys Will Be Boys” is dedicated. I won’t violate Frank’s privacy with details, but the man is a pure, 100 percent inspiration to me, and has put much of my life in proper perspective. If people are buying this book, the first thing they’re reading inside is his name. That gives me great happiness.