My Sweet Spot … promoting a book

I love writing books.

I love researching books.

Talking and talking and talking and talking—mmm, not my favorite endeavor. Obviously, it’s important. And I try my absolute best. But you’re pretty much answering the same 10 questions 150 times. It actually makes me appreciate the Derek Jeters of the world, who do this day after day after day.

Bottom line: I’m lucky people even care. So many books go ignored … gotta jump into the publicity and embrace it.

5 thoughts on “My Sweet Spot … promoting a book”

  1. I’m starting to understand you’re character Jeff…You’re a guy who enjoys literature…you enjoy the art of words and stories. You’re also a guy with no respect for the lives of human beings. True, Walter Payton and the Payton family aren’t even human beings to you. In your eyes Walter Payton isn’t a man but an object. You’ve tried to assert that the mission of your book was to ‘humanize’ Walter Payton, when in fact you don’t even regard his humanity to begin with. His past, his trials, his shortcomings, those things that belong to a man, you for whatever reason feel you have the authority, discretion, and even the obligation, to unnearth and disclose to the world. Even worse is the fact that you neither have any regard for the humanity of the living: Walter’s widow, his young son and daughter, his family immediate and distant. To you they aren’t people with emotions, heartache, the void left behind of a passed loved one, spouse, and father. Who are they to you, but objects, characters in your story, pieces of a puzzle that is your narrative, dots to connect? As a Jewish man I’m sure you’re familiar with the Lord’s commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. Is that what you’re doing with this book? Would it be fair to you for me to write a ‘biography’ disclosing the deep, long-hidden secrets of a well lauded, long-gone family member of yours with the simple journalistic purpose of “telling the whole story”. I didn’t think so. Jeff, one of the most dangerous things we can do as humans beings is disregard the humanity of our neighbors. This precise ill was recipe for the Shoah, the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and every other genocide and social injustice in the history and present of humanity. I don’t think you are a bad person Jeff, in fact I’ve got good faith to believe in a few years or less you’ll look back and realize what a mistake it was for you to publish this book; but until then, this I leave with you. God Bless.

    1. Sweet merciful crap–how many times is this line of thinking gone down on here? Jeff wrote a book, a good book. It outlines some character flaws of a good man and shows his struggle to overcome those flaws.

      I fully understand that your comparing his authoring of a well-written and well-researched book to slave traders is trolling to the Nth degree and I’m embarrassed that I’m responding to it, but let’s move on and let Jeff get back to what he does second-best: giving me my latest up-to-date information on what Rider Strong is up to.

  2. First of all, thank you for writing this book. I admit, I was skeptical at first. Walter Payton was not only a childhood hero but an adult ideal, solidified once I read Never Die Easy. When I heard about your book, I was not happy.

    Then I read your book.

    At one point you say Payton cherished the love his fans gave to him but believed it was not real because they did not know the “real” Walter Payton. After getting to know the real Walter Payton through your work, I have to say I was shocked at times to see some of the less than heroic behavior of my childhood hero. There are many things I would not have wanted to know as a child. As an adult, however, I am glad to know that Payton was as fallible and as human as the rest of us, yet he still possessed those heroic qualities that made him stand out as something special, as someone who was unforgettable, and not just as a football talent.

    This book may tarnish Payton’s legacy in the eyes of some, but anyone who believes that was your goal just has not read the book or just must be missing the point. I do not see how an intelligent person can read your book and come away with that.

    Payton may not be as beloved in the eyes of some because of some of this book’s content, but that’s not fair. Those who judge Payton harshly should think of what their own biographies would look like, assuming they were important enough to have biographies written about them.

    As for me, Walter Payton is still one of my heroes.

    In closing, Mike Wilbon says Payton is no longer here to defend himself, right? While I understand where he is coming from, I also cannot help but think that Payton would not feel a sense of relief that the truth did finally come out and people still did accept and love him. I think the burden of portraying what he thought people wanted him to be was too much for him and lead to much of the depression that afflicted him. I think he would be happy to see that his true fans still loved him and could forgive him for being… well, like everyone else… fallible.

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