2:07 am

It’s 2:07 am, and I’m about to go to bed. Just spent the last three hours going through promotional material for Sweetness, talking with different people about excerpts and advertising and whatnot. To be blunt: I want this book to sell. I need this book to sell.

Why? Because I put everything, everything, everything I had into it. I mean—everything. Time, energy, emotion. This will sound sorta goofy, but there were moments—while running late at night—that I felt Walter Payton trotting besides me. Now, I’m aware nobody was there. But I’d spent soooooo much time researching the man; getting to know the man—well, there he was. Wearing his headband and a KangaROOS jacket, asking me how it all was going.

I actually met Payton once. It was 1999, and I was a kid reporter at SI. An editor assigned me to fly out to Chicago and meet him with. This was shortly after the announcement of his illness. I’ll never forget seeing him, sitting across from him. I won’t say much more, but it’s the opening to the book …


Night, night.