Back in 2005, two weeks before my Barry Bonds biography hit shelves, Game of Shadows was released—crushing my book like soggy fruit.

Last year, as I was working on my Roger Clemens biography, I learned New York’s Daily News was working on its own Clemens book. We both floundered.

Timing is everything in the book business, and if you don’t believe me, try asking Lars Anderson. My former Sports Illustrated colleague and an all-around good guy, Lars has written three books—two of which were released shortly after other books on the exact same topics came out. Bullets, meet my temple …

As many who read this blog know, I am currently working on a biography of a legendary NFL player. It is scheduled for release in Fall 2011—when, according to DeMaurice Smith, there will definitely be a league lockout. “On a scale of 1 to 10,” Smith said of the odds, “it’s a 14.”

When I heard of the Bonds and Clemens competition, I knew it was bad news. With this, I’m not so sure. On the one hand, football hypes itself. But, on the other hand, if the games aren’t being played, there’ll be a hunger for  … something. There’ll also be an insane amount of sports talk radio space to fill; of blank column space to write; a general sports void that exists when the NFL closes shop.

So is this good? If this bad?

I’m not sure.