Chris Colston draws on his experiences as a sportswriter for USA Today and Sports Weekly to create the adventures of James Hoak. Much like the fictional Hoak himself, Colston sometimes aggravated coaches, exasperated editors, and vexed athletes—but unlike Hoak, he never hit anybody upside the head with a tire iron. According to Colston, these are his 10 greatest Sportswriting achievements:
Receiving political advice from baseball legend Ted Williams, even though I didn’t exactly ask for it.
Finagling a ten-minute press conference answer out of laconic New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick (at left).
Stumping The Rock at Super Bowl XXXVIII by asking him who might play Belichick in a movie. (The Rock’s brother was also there. Not sure if it was Scissors or Paper.)
Not being called an imbecile by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Incurring the wrath and spittle of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher as the pool reporter for Super Bowl XL.
Conducting a one-on-one interview with LeBron James and not asking him for his autograph.
Nearly catching a Barry Bonds home run in McCovey Cove (OK, not really, but I was in the boat).
Receiving a hand-written thank-you note from football coach Nick Saban that didn’t contain anthrax.
Getting tips from former NBA Commissioner David Stern over the phone on how to avoid sinus infections. (His advice: Install a steam room in my house.)
Having Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux disparage my sunglasses during spring training.
Because he’s weird that way, Colston still keeps a hand-written note from esteemed author/editor/inventor of fantasy baseball Daniel Okrent, who called Colston’s story on Rotisserie baseball the “definitive history” of the pastime. Colston was generally too lazy to enter many national writing competitions, but when he did he somehow won first place in a couple of them. A graduate of Virginia Tech, Colston feeds his college athletics fanaticism by writing close to two million books about Hokies football, some of which people actually read. When he’s not writing fiction and investigating various government discrimination complaints, Colston enjoys spending time with his family, attending his kids’ sporting events, and slicing golf balls into various bodies of water.