VA
  • TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / A New Childrens Football Book “Beyond the Laces” Puts Sports into Perspective

A New Childrens Football Book “Beyond the Laces” Puts Sports into Perspective

Beyond The Laces
Publish Date: 07/14/2019
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

 

I have been heavily involved in football for the last quarter century and I will admit that winning and losing has been of utmost importance to me. I had an author reach out to me a couple of years ago named Bob Salomon, who had written a Football book for children called “Beyond the Laces”. I am usually not into “kids” books, but this book struck a chord with me. My oldest son, Austin, was born on June 6th, 2000. I was so excited that I had a son, of course, I am thinking about what a great athlete he could someday be and the prospects of coaching my own son had me excited.

That first 6 hours in the hospital were amazing as I held my son and then to see my own father, who was my hero, hold my son, words can not express the pride I felt. My father had made a comment on how my son looked pale and “not right”. I brought it up to the doctor who assured me that everything was fine. Later that night though his doctor was concerned about his oxygen level and this continued on for a few hours, until finally the doctor asked me if I wanted him taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and I immediately said yes. So as my wife and I followed an ambulance with our newborn son all of a sudden, Austin playing sports was nowhere in my thoughts.

Austin, after two weeks in a NICU, did get better and I have gotten to coach him, but the thing that struck me when I read “Beyond the Laces” was that very easily could have been my son. “Beyond the Laces” is a book that all parents need to read. Especially if you coach your own son, it will make you realize that your son striking out is really not that big of a deal. The important thing is not success or failure. The most important thing to realize is that your son or daughter is healthy and has the ability to play. It is important for kids of all ages to read, because it will hopefully make them thankful that they have the opportunity to play the game, so maybe when you strike out you don’t need to throw your helmet and cuss, because maybe you should just be thankful you had the opportunity that so many other kids can’t enjoy.

Author Bob Salomon sent me a text last night with an article attached called “Seeing Owen”. I thought people might like the opportunity to read it and I really wanted a chance to share with you the love for Bob’s book and hopefully get a few more people to read it.

Seeing Owen

Going Beyond the Laces

It’s 8:00 pm in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in Upper Manhattan.  Outside, the residual rain bands from Tropical Storm Irene are passing through.  Inside, visiting hours have just ended. The parade of families begins to make their way to the exit. Some laugh and joke knowing that their new family member will be home soon. Others walk down the hall stunned at what they just saw. They continue to look back wondering if it will be the last time. As each one leaves, the remaining parents can hear that constant click of the locking door.  At the start, the clicking goes every few seconds and then diminishes down to a minute. Once the noise stops, the reality sets in that your support system has gone home, and you are left with the situation at hand, a child clinging to life. Some are micro-preemies; others have a heart defect or some other abnormality that can only be handled in a Level III NICU.  For us, the alphabet spells CDH or
Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

The final click tonight was a Priest, who came by to baptize our child, and also offer him last rights. There is something very surreal about baptism by syringe especially growing up Catholic. Our son was dressed for the occasion, his hat was a wash cloth that was used to keep the excess light out of his eyes, keeping him calm while a tube ran down his throat and another into his little nose. His gown was a diaper, adorned with a tiny heart-shaped stickers with kittens on them to keep those tubes and wires down.

As a new Dad, you can only imagine what this does to your mental state. You can’t ask God to save your child only for the strength to handle what has been set before you, no matter the end result.

So tonight with my wife asleep and my son’s vitals stable, I searched for a way to process all of this. I had a Sports Illustrated Magazine sitting next to my son’s bed. On the cover was Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox, my favorite baseball player. The title read Heart of the Red Sox. I remember reading Dustin’s book Born to Play, about how no one believed he would make it the “show”. Tonight as I looked at my son, I needed inspiration from something normal in my life, something as normal as a game. A game that, before my son’s diagnosis, wins and losses meant so much, yet now not so much at all. This was no “show”, no game, but life and death.

I decided to write Dustin a letter explaining my son’s situation, how he was fighting for his life, and although there is no equation where the life of a child = the outcome of a baseball game, I needed the same grit and determination that Dustin displays on the field. I needed my son to fight and not give in to the odds stacked against him. That night when I put my finger in my son’s hand I could feel his fight.

I wasn’t sure at the time why I choose to write that letter. I didn’t need a response from Dustin, nor was I upset when I didn’t receive one. I thought that writing it was the therapy I needed to make it through the day. It wasn’t until later, after our 52 day stay in the NICU had ended, that reading a children’s book would give me the answers I was searching for.

Fast forward three and half years, my son, despite some minor issues, is doing well. He’s going to preschool, laughing and playing and making my wife and me so proud.

We love to read to him and we remember how much peace we got from walking around the NICU and seeing a famous children’s book painted on the walls. These walls helped us through his first surgery at just 15 days old, focusing on the beautiful colors of the caterpillar as it “eat and eat”  versus the heart-stopping moments waiting for his doctors to come tell us his fate.

When I read Beyond the Laces, I had to look to the heavens, because I barely knew the author, yet his story was describing my life and the lives of thousands of other parents who face this battle every day.  The story is about a child who just wanted to be healthy enough to play football like the other kids and not face the medical issues that held him back, and parents that would do anything to help him be happy.  I remember after my son’s diagnosis, feeling like that Dad from the story, helpless and wondering if my son would be okay. Will he always be watching from the sidelines and will his lack of stamina hold him back from playing a game he loves? Reading the words in the story took me back to moments in our journey – like the day we laid our son on the operating table for the third time, trying to keep my composure, while trying to find a way to explain to him that the mask to put him to sleep would make him feel better. Yet the true power in this book is when you get it in your hands, flip through the pages to see your life being illustrated before your eyes.

The boy in Beyond the Laces put his fears and his sickness aside while watching his favorite player, and used the inspiration from his 87 to translate it to real life courage in his battle.  As I know from being involved in this NICU fraternity, not every story has a happy ending, and bereaved parents look to faith, family, and friends or maybe an athlete to mend their broken heart.

At the time I couldn’t explain what it would have done for me had Dustin Pedroia responded, nor can I feel angry that my “one in a million” went unanswered.  But after reading Beyond the Laces it helped me understand that having a chance to be “back in the game” is all a parent can ask for.

Many nights in the NICU,  I would sing to my boy and ask God, “please don’t take my sunshine away”. Today, my “cool, crisp autumn winds”, are filled with plenty of sunshine.

For the author Bob Salomon, success is measured in frowns turned to smiles, dreams made, and hearts filled with hope. My hope is to return to our children’s hospital one day to celebrate the Beyond the Laces mural on the walls of the NICU and hand out books to all the dads and kids fighting to live to see their 87 make a difference in their lives.
Visit Beyond the Laces at www.beyondthelaces.com to follow the movement.

To purchase a copy of this book visit.
Beyond the Laces 

To learn more about our story visit: Owen’s Story 

Shop Amazon – Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%

Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Read Also
Tommy Morrison and AIDS: The Truth about what happened
Tommy Morrison burst onto the professional boxing scene in 1988. Following a ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
SI Sportsbook Promo
Elmer Ray: The Humble Man of Hastings
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for ...
Daniel K’s 2021 NFL Draft Position Rankings/Draft Grades
  Round Grade Big Board Rank Position Rank Player Name Position College ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
Lady Tyger’s Tale: How Marian Trimiar Mauled the Boxing Establishment of the 1970s and 80s
To Feed the Ambition in Your Heart is Like Carrying a Tiger ...
The Forgotten Canadian Champion (And Maybe It’s Deserved): Billy Hawkins
As Mike Goodpaster and I prepare our popular Old-Time Boxing Show podcast, ...
The Army Boxer Who Knocked-Down Muhammad Ali (1960)
I had wanted to write a boxing story about Junebug Hudson for ...
Irish Heavyweight Champion (OR NOT), Peter Maher (1895)
(Phoenix, Arizona – June 2018)  Last night -- or this morning depending ...
Sportsbook of the month
SI Sportsbook - Get your Free Bet now! Get your Free Bet now!
Latest News
Top 5 MLB Teams headed for a Turnaround in 2023
2022 record: 69-93 This is the one I ...
Top 10 San Diego Padres of All Time
Active players are not eligible for this list ...
Top 10 New York Islanders of All Time
  Tonelli was a winger on the Islanders ...
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: Indiana Basketball🏀 Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Purdue Recap
Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Purdue Recap
Video: Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Purdue Preview
Indiana Basketball Weekly W/Steve Risley: Indiana vs Purdue Preview
Video: Froggy Talkin Sports W/ Ryan & Joe
Froggy Talkin Sports W/ Ryan & Joe
Betting Tips
Sportsbook of the month
SI Sportsbook - Get your Free Bet now! Get your Free Bet now!
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Review
97/100
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
96/100
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
94/100
PointsBet
PointsBet
PointsBet Review
94/100
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
93/100
SI Sportsbook
SI Sportsbook Bonus
BET $20 GET $200 IN FREE BETS
T&Cs apply
9.7/10
First deposit only | 21+ & located in VA | Promo code as seen| A qualifying bet is $20 or more | Min odds of +120 or more | Free Bet Tokens credited after bet is settled and expire after 7 days | Free Bet stakes not included in winnings | Please Gamble Responsibly - Gambling Problem? VA: CALL 1-888-532-3500 | Full T&C apply
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
No Sweat First Bet up to $3,000
T&Cs apply
9.6/10
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
Bet $1, Get $200
T&Cs apply
9.4/10
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.3/10
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
9.2/10
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsSimon Briffa
+8
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
Author Icon
Daniel Kornhauser
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Author Icon
Buddy Gibbs
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: [email protected]

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

sdfgfdgcsdfgfdgcww
Move to Top
Close
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 21+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Social casino loved by Drake!
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Bonus Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site