It's not just every day that an active member of the Cleveland Browns writes a book — let alone a rookie whose NFL career might be most generously described as "promisingly mediocre."
Of course, there's never been a Cleveland Browns quarterback like Colt McCoy, a young man raised at the intersection of two objects of such fervor as modern evangelical Christianity and Texas high school football.
And so we have Growing Up Colt, an autobiographical account of McCoy's life as told by the quarterback and his father Brad, a Texas high school football coach for 27 years who now works for a "world leader in talent development and organizational performance strategies in the corporate, sports, and educational arenas," whatever that means.
Colt explains in an introductory note that he and his father decided to write the book because they couldn't keep up with requests for speaking engagements. But worry not, party planners: Growing Up Colt's table of contents directs you to page 251 for "information on inviting Colt and/or Brad McCoy to speak at your event," so for the right cause, you might still have a chance.
For the rest of us, the book's jacket promises a "fascinating and compelling story" of "the impact of a godly father, filled with life lessons for all of us." One such lesson: A godly father won't let the Bible get in the way of giving his kid a badass name. "I was probably most influenced by the TV series The Fall Guy," Brad explains. "The show was about the adventures of a Hollywood stuntman named Colt Seavers, who moonlighted as a bounty hunter. The star was Lee Majors, the former Six-Million Dollar Man. So Colt would be his name."
Colt expresses his gratitude for the decision, noting the "big jump" of his name to the 370th most popular for babies in 2009 — "from 909th in 2006, when I was in my redshirt freshman season at the University of Texas." The responsibility that comes with such power isn't lost on Colt either. "Since a lot of families have named their son Colt, I don't want to mess that up for them," he says. "I don't want to be a guy who gets in trouble ... I want to protect my name — for myself and those children named Colt."
Among the other lessons contained here, the most important one seems to be to "prepare your children for the path, not the path for your children." According to Dad, too many parents "[seek] to smooth life's bumps in the road for their children" and "do not punish their children because they fear not being liked by their offspring."
Which means that Colt got spanked a lot as a kid — with a wooden spoon, a belt, and sometimes a switch, as he remembers in the chapter titled "Getting With the Family Program." The McCoys go on to describe an episode where Dad "dragged a kicking-and-screaming Colt to the bucking shoot" at a Texas rodeo to make him ride a steer in a competition for kindergartners. Colt got cold feet, but once he signed up, Pop wasn't about to let him back down.
The lessons of Growing Up Colt aren't without nuance. For example, the one about not "smoothing life's bumps in the road" for your child absolutely does not apply to micromanaging your child's football career. Dad explains that his sons weren't allowed to play football until they were in seventh grade, "when they could play on teams coached by people I had hired or was responsible for."
"Colt was a gifted athlete," he continues. "I wasn't going to hand him over to just anyone." He wasn't going to let Colt play with just anyone either, making sure that he transferred as a seventh grader to a school where his class "was filled with stud athletes." Brad describes his "know[ledge] about how the college recruiting process works," and as the head coach of Colt's high school team, he was as well-positioned as anyone to make sure "a cover letter pointing out a nice round number of fifty touchdowns in one season" went out to help the college scholarship offers come rolling in.
So thanks to Growing Up Colt, parents looking to raise the next McCoy know exactly what to do. And Browns fans can rest assured that for better or worse, Colt's literally been preparing his whole life to be an NFL quarterback.(For even more on Colt's book, including his revelations about being tempted by girls, head to Cleveland Frowns.)
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