The Path is Still There, Class of 2020

During this time of staying at home more to combat the spread of COVID-19, we’re all a little starved for entertainment. So to the folks who recently discovered that their evening stroll would include a live comedy performance, you’re welcome.

The comedy occurred when a man, certainly lacking in grace but seemingly able-bodied, fell while performing the complex act of walking. I wish I could say it was while playing a sport, or running, or pushing through some 20-minute online workout called the Fat Burning Ab Blasting Glute Smasher, but no, I was walking. I wasn’t even trying to chew gum at the same time.
I was just walking. And then falling. And then, while still a bit dazed, thinking about the advice I would give this year’s high school and college graduates, perhaps through a glitchy Zoom teleconference in which every third word sounds like a combination of badly autotuned human voice and random guitar strumming.
I’ll get to that in a moment. But first, a few more details on my role …

My New Novel: 3 Seats from the Hero

Theodore Meyer has been called Teddy, T-Dawg, the boy with Down syndrome, and the kid who is lucky to be alive. But what he really wants to be called is important.

In my new novel 3 Seats from the Hero, two boys bond as first graders. Michael is the can’t-miss kid, the boy everyone talks about, the boy everyone wants to be around. Teddy is the baseball star’s little brother, the boy who dreams bigger than his challenges, the boy who longs to prove he is more than special.

Teddy and Michael take different paths through childhood, but as they grow and change, their unique connection remains. They are at the center of their intertwined families, who watch the friends step forward, stumble backward, and then make a decision that changes their lives forever.

3 Seats from the Hero is a portrait of two boys and their families laughing, learning, sharing, and sacrificing. It’s a story of parents and children, brothers and sisters, the things that bring us together, and the heroes …

More on my novel Fourth Down in Texas

It doesn’t take long for Gordon Nehls, the narrator and lead character of Fourth Down in Texas, to get across how much he loves high school football. As the novel begins, the longtime football coach is standing in one of the team entrance tunnels at AT&T Stadium, minutes before the start of a playoff game. He looks at the players, including his oldest son, and remembers how these moments felt as a player.

"This stadium will be rocking soon, and the players standing next to me are the reason why. They’re shoulder-to-shoulder, internally pacing, waiting to take the field. They’re both thrilled and terrified, the unforgettable combination of being simultaneously fired up and scared shitless that I remember from the last time I put on shoulder pads in high school. Even then, as a teenager who rarely thought farther ahead than my next Whataburger order, I thought about becoming a coach."
It’s fair to say that Nehls is a conglomeration of the coaches I've known over the las…

What happens if high schools stop offering football?