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Walk On: From Pee Wee Dropout to the NFL Sidelines--My Unlikely Story of Football, Purpose, and Following an Amazing God (Paperback)
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In this true, compelling account of perseverance and hope from Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll's assistant, a young journalist walks on to a top-ranked USC football team and, guided by his faith, shares God's love, launching him on an unexpected journey with an amazing outcome.
Had anyone told Ben Malcolmson that he'd someday be a wide receiver on the national champion USC football team--after not playing football since an unfortunate fifth-grade Pop Warner experience--he would have called them crazy. As a reporter for The Daily Trojan, in the spirit of George Plimpton, he participated in walk-on tryouts for the team and was dumbfounded to find himself listed on the roster. His position on the team never amounted to much in a game-time contribution, but Ben felt strongly that his faith was inextricably linked to his purpose. He felt called to anonymously place Bibles in each USC teammate locker on Christmas Eve--to resounding indifference and rejection from his friends. It wasn't until three years later, when his role at USC had led to a role with Coach Pete Carroll at the Seahawks organization, that an old friend connected with Ben and told him that one of the Bibles had captivated the heart of a teammate in the three days before his death.
With a humble spirit dedicated to consistent acts of discipleship, Ben Malcolmson is an authentic voice for the power of simple obedience and trust, for what can happen when a believer allows God to work in a life. Walk On is the result of God using his faithful people to work in the lives of others.
About the Author
BEN MALCOLMSON is the Director of External Relations and Assistant to the Head Coach for the Seattle Seahawks. He has a degree in Print Journalism from USC and is an active, connected Trojan alum. Malcolmson has authored over 200 articles including his creative article, "Day in the Life of Pete Carroll," which was linked to by the LA Times. He has contributed to a range of media outlets including the Associated Press, USA Today, and Sports Illustrated. PATTI MCCORD owns a consulting company that helps small businesses with their marketing needs. An accomplished writer and editor, she writes extensively on a variety of topics, including health and fitness and business management. She lives in San Diego, California.
“If you’ve ever felt like throwing a red flag on God because it looked like He made the wrong call in your life, Ben’s story will give you hope—and show you that God has a game plan and purpose for you that’s far better than you could ever imagine.”
—Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and founder of the Urban Alternative
“An amazing story from an amazing person. Ben’s story shows that hard work and an open mind can lead to a wonderful journey.”
—Steve Kerr, head coach for the Golden State Warriors
“God delights in doing mighty things through unlikely leaders. We see this over and over in Scripture, and we witness it firsthand in Ben Malcolmson’s life. Overcoming great odds and pursuing his God-given dreams, Ben has become a high-impact leader and influencer. He has my deepest respect, and after you read this book, I’m sure he’ll have yours as well.”
—Mark Batterson, New York Times best-selling author of Whisper and lead pastor of National Community Church
“There are numerous ways a person gets into football, and many walk-on stories, but none quite like Ben Malcolmson’s. Inspirational, encouraging, and a wonderful example of trusting God’s plan.”
—Russell Wilson, Super Bowl–winning quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks
“There must be more. This simple phrase most often finds its way into the depths of our hearts in the quiet moments after our perceived greatest victories or lowest defeats. There is no greater encouragement in seeking the answer than to know we are not alone in this journey. Ben’s story will let you know you are not alone and help you find your True North. Seeking God’s plan for your life? Take this journey and…walk on!”
—Shane Williamson, president and CEO of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
“Walk On is an inspiring story that encourages all of us to live boldly and maximize the opportunities God gives us.”
—Andrew Cathy, senior vice president of Chick-fil-A Inc.
“As a lifelong sports fan (and a decade-long Ben Malcolmson fan), I’m a sucker for an underdog story. What makes Walk On so captivating is not just the odds Ben overcame or even the incredible drive he had to overcome them, but that he made his journey all about people and cultivating deep, self-sacrificial relationships. Call it unconventional, call it divine; Ben’s story will motivate, challenge, and compel you to dream bigger than you think you’re capable of and to love people well along the way.”
—Samantha Ponder, ESPN “Sunday NFL Countdown” host
“Ben Malcolmson’s compelling tale of the ups and downs in the life of a young athlete rings so true you won’t be able to put it down. Why? Because Walk On is Ben’s true story. As you travel with him from high school to college to the NFL, Ben shares the struggles and victories that tested and affirmed his growing faith. Personal challenges and Bible quotes after every chapter bring the book’s message directly into your daily life. I hope you read Walk On—and pass it along to someone you care about.”
—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The New One Minute Manager and Servant Leadership in Action
“In Walk On, Ben Malcolmson not only shares the bright spots of his personal journey that has now landed him beside one of the NFL’s most respected coaches, but he also shares the bleak, sometimes painful moments that helped him focus on a life of purpose. His story is genuine—just like Ben—and comes from such a heartfelt place that it’s sure to capture the attention of those wondering what it looks like to live a life that follows Jesus.”
—Judah Smith, lead pastor of Churchome and New York Times best-selling author of Jesus is _____.
“Dedication is a characteristic attributed to passionate athletes. Ben is dedicated and passionate about football, but he’s even more dedicated and passionate about following God and serving His people. I would encourage everyone to read Ben’s story. And the best part of it all is that Ben isn’t done!”
—Chad Veach, lead pastor of Zoe Church and author of Faith Forward Future
“We often get so caught up in our own plans of life and weathering the ups and downs that we forget what it all comes back to. Ben’s story shows us that God’s timing and desires for our lives are bigger and greater than ours are. And as amazing as it is to travel with Ben through these pages all the way to the Super Bowl, he reminds us that the journey is also just as important as the destination. It is the beauty of how God weaves every step, disappointment, opportunity, and person we encounter together to be even greater than we could ever imagine.”
—Bo Rinehart, NEEDTOBREATHE
“Even if you don’t know much about football, you’re really going to enjoy this book. It’s full of heart, but that’s not what makes it good. Walk On reminds us how God can turn our worst moments into our best ones, make our biggest setbacks our greatest gains, and to live fully, love generously, and leave it all on the field.”
—Maria Goff, best-selling author of Love Lives Here
“Walk On will renew your faith in a God who moves in the hearts of His people—people like you and me—to accomplish His unfathomable purposes.”
—Miles McPherson, former NFL player, author of Do Something: Make Your Life Count, and lead pastor of Rock Church
"This autobiography is a heart-gripping, rip-roaring, totally engaging narrative of Ben Malcolmson’s life from tear-stained Pee Wee football uniforms to the locker room at the storied University of Southern California. At age 10, Ben cried and begged to quit Pee Wee football as his dad drove him to practice. It was traumatic enough to turn him away from organized sports for years. However, academic success allowed Ben to skip senior year of high school and enroll at University of Southern California. As a journalism major, he soon became sports editor of the campus newspaper, and he enjoyed being in the sports press corps. Ever creative with story ideas, Ben persuaded USC football coach Pete Carroll to let him walk on “undercover” to do a story on the guys who failed to earn scholarships. He wanted a story with victory, defeat, tears, cheers, and more. He got it. And he got more than he bargained for. Shocking everyone, he made the team himself! Walk On is his account of how that unexpected “victory” tested his Christian faith, bringing failure after failure as he tried to share his faith with teammates. These days, Malcolmson is Carroll’s personal assistant at the Seattle Seahawks. Learn more at benmalcolmson.com." —AFA Journal