A Remarkable True Underdog Story of Perseverance Through Trials and Rejection— Showing the Power of Simple Obedience and Faith Walk On by Ben Malcolmson, longtime assistant to Seahawks’ Head Coach Pete Carroll
“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 your life that is far better than anything you could ever imagine.”
—Dr. Tony Evans
, Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and Founder of The Urban Alternative
In 1995, after a disheartening Pee Wee football experience, undersized fifth-grader Ben Malcolmson solemnly vowed never to step onto a football field again. And no one was more shocked than Ben, 11 years later, to find his name on a list of football players added to the USC Trojan football team after their spring walk-on tryouts. The impossibility of making the team, coupled with a divine encounter, solidified Ben’s conviction that he was meant to accomplish something much greater than spiking the ball in the end zone on the big screen.
In Walk On: From Pee Wee Dropout to the NFL Sidelines--My Unlikely Story of Football, Purpose, and Following an Amazing God
, Ben describes his remarkable journey where he learned to persevere through:
--disappointment after not landing his dream job with the Dallas Morning News
after a successful internship there
--bewilderment at trying to understand and use the complex USC Trojan football playbook,
--being slammed in practice by his “monstrous” teammates (54 went on to play in the NFL),
--being taken off the team due to a dislocated shoulder injury and the grueling rehabilitation that ensued,
--self-doubt, failure, fear, and tragedy.
After finishing rehabilitation from his shoulder injury, Malcolmson threw himself into the practices with reckless abandon. As a walk-on, he was a bit of an outsider and didn’t have many close friends on the team. Yet, as the season wore on, he became friends with several players. He was satisfied with the amazing experience of being able to run out of the Coliseum onto the field and watch the game from the sidelines, but he realistically thought he had no chance to get any playing time.
However, one of his fraternity brothers started a massive campaign to get Malcolmson some playing time on the team. One morning, he was astonished to see that every message board, tabletop and hallway on the entire USC campus was covered by “Get Ben In” postcards and signs. Finally, during the heralded Notre Dame matchup in the final home game of the season and amid the chants of the crowd yelling “Get Ben in! Get Ben in!” his dream had become reality and he was brought in for the last play of the game.
At one point, Malcolmson was inspired to invite his teammates to join him for a prayer meeting before a practice—yet no one showed up. Then, just before USC was to play in the Rose Bowl, he felt called to anonymously place Bibles in all 100 of his teammates’ lockers on Christmas Eve—to resounding indifference and rejection. The following day, he found torn and shredded Bibles littering the locker room floor along with many others discarded in the garbage. It wasn't until nearly four years later, when his role at USC had led a similar role assisting Coach Pete Carroll at the Seattle Seahawks that an old friend connected with Malcolmson and told him one of the Bibles had captivated the heart of a teammate in the three days before his tragic death.
A true underdog story that will be appreciated by readers of all ages, Walk On
displays the power of simple acts of faithfulness and what can happen when we trust in God’s purposes. About the Author
Ben Malcolmson is the director of external relations and assistant to Seattle Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll. He has a print journalism degree from USC (where he also assisted Carroll) and has written over 200 articles for many outlets including The Associated Press
, USA Today
, and Sports Illustrated.
His story has also been featured in The New York Times
and Los Angeles Times
Ben is dedicated to mentoring young people and has shared his story on college campuses, corporate events, churches, and at Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Life events. For more information, visit www.benmalcolmson.com. Praise for Walk On
“Ben Malcolmson has a fascinating and inspiring story to share that has touched my life, my family, and my career in ways I could never have imagined.”
, Head Coach, Seattle Seahawks (from the Foreword)
“An inspiring story that encourages all of us to live boldly and maximize the opportunities God gives us.”
, Senior Vice President, Chick-fil-A, Inc.
“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 to the top all about people and cultivating deep and 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 love people well along the way.”
ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Host
“Walk On reminds us how God can turn our worst moments into our best ones, how He can make our biggest setbacks our greatest gains, and how to live fully, love generously, and leave it all on the field.”
, author of Love Lives Here
“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.”
New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker
and Chase the Lion
Lead Pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C.
ISBN 978-0-7352-9127-0 ● Trade Paperback ● 224 Pages ● $15.99 U.S./$21.99 Canada
eBook ISBN 978-0-73529-128-7 ● $11.99 U.S./$13.99 Canada