You can stop laughing, because this isn't a joke at all. Even though Elam hasn't written anything since college, he somehow has authored a 350-page book that is loosely based on his life. The main character of the book will be Riley Covington, a military guy who has finished serving a tour of duty who then comes back to play for the local pro football team only to find himself brought back into the military world unexpectedly. Just so you know, Covington will not be a kicker.
The idea for the book came mainly from Elam's experiences as a pro football player. But it also came from time he spent in the Middle East. He got background for his book when he visited the Gaza Strip last year and got caught in a shootout. Sweet.
If you think there's no way this'll work, I'd have to agree with you. But apparently the publishing industry doesn't agree with us. That's because Elam already has a contract for a second book, with the lead character along the lines of fictional adventurer Dirk Pitt out of the Clive Cussler novels.
"What I was hoping to do, and think I pulled off, was contrast Christianity with radical Islam and moderate Islam," Elam said. "If Osama bin Laden himself were to pick up this book and read it, I'd want him to say, 'Yeah, that's why I do what I do. That's how I justify, how I reconcile, that's what I believe.'"
So if you're looking for a book about an NFL player who battles terrorists and solves the Mid-East crisis in his spare time, it'll soon be available. You can read an excerpt here.
I think I can confidently say without question that Elam is the new Shakespeare.