Two Irish Catholic guys from Brandywine Hundred will share what could fairly be characterized as “interesting life experiences” in long-awaited memoirs due out this fall.
Actually, the two former footballers – Vice President Joe Biden and NFL star Kevin Reilly – are Delaware legends, two of the most accomplished and fascinating personalities ever to grace the First State stage.
Beyond their shared CYO gridiron roots, the Biden and Reilly biographies famously include some of the most poignant moments of triumph and tragedy two lives could possibly be expected to hold.
Biden’s book, “Promise Me Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose,” is touted to be “a deeply moving memoir about the year that would forever change both a family and a country.” From the publisher:
Promise Me, Dad chronicles the year that followed, which would be the most momentous and challenging in Joe Biden’s extraordinary life and career. Vice President Biden traveled more than a hundred thousand miles that year, across the world, dealing with crises in Ukraine, Central America, and Iraq. When a call came from New York, or Capitol Hill, or Kyiv, or Baghdad — “Joe, I need your help” — he responded. For twelve months, while Beau fought for and then lost his life, the vice president balanced the twin imperatives of living up to his responsibilities to his country and his responsibilities to his family. And never far away was the insistent and urgent question of whether he should seek the presidency in 2016.
The former vice president’s book will be released in November, accompanied by a 19-city speaking tour that will be sure to fire flames of another Biden presidential bid in 2020.
After years on the speaking and football broadcasting circuit, Reilly, a Salesianum grad and former Philadelphia Eagle, has finally answered the call of his fans to put his own powerful story into book form. “Tackling Life: How Faith, Family, Friends and Fortitude Kept a linebacker in the Game,” is expected to be available in October.
Tackling Life recounts in deeply personal and often raucously humorous terms his “story of survival and recovery, from the highest high to the lowest low and back again.” Early notices suggest the book is bound for best-seller lists through its raw, emotional but overwhelmingly uplifting tone – as well as the cast of local characters and beloved institutions that will warm the hearts of Wilmington and Philadelphia old schoolers.
A snapshot of what’s to come:
Sitting on the examination table in the doctor’s office, Kevin Reilly was on top of the world – or so he thought. The handsome high school football hero had been on a magical run – college football star, NFL veteran, married to Miss Delaware with three beautiful children, dabbling as a popular sports broadcaster and just beginning a promising career with one of America’s top companies. But the look on his doctor’s face on that hot August day in 1978 told a different story and signaled that his life would never be the same again. “Kevin, you have a desmoid tumor and we will be lucky if I can save your arm.”
What started as an aching shoulder led to the diagnosis of a rare and particularly lethal tumor resulting in multiple radical surgeries that would leave him physically altered and emotionally drained. But the amputation that took this linebacker’s arm and shoulder could not take his fierce spirit or will to prevail.