Del Duduit has been involved with and has loved sports most of his life. He has now taken this love and turned it into something positive and wonderful. He has written a book called “Buckeye Believer.”
Duduit, a local author, says his agent, Cyle Young, came up with the idea for this first book of sports devotional-type books. He says they were on their way to Cincinnati, and his agent said, “Why don’t you write a devotional book?” Duduit says that was his epiphany right there. “It was kind of his idea, which is kind of unique, because he (my agent) played at Michigan and he was on the ‘97 championship team.”
Duduit says he looked at a couple of styles for this type of book, but there really weren’t that many. “I thought I’d come up with some great moments, just memorable moments from the history of Ohio State football and relive a moment or two.” Having a vast background in sports, including coaching, he came up with each story from his own memory. He did the research on the moments, and it was kind of like a whirlwind and took off.
“It is kind of unique, because there are other devotionals out there, but mine relives the moments. I’d take a moment, for example like Woody Hayes, legendary coach and one of the greatest, but in one moment, he punched a player and everything changed for him. The lesson in that is, one stupid act can define you, and that people need to be careful in what they do,” Duduit says. He also added scripture, and what the reader can do to avoid something like this, and keep it from happening.
“Another lesson in the book was when J.T. Barrett went down and it seemed all hopes had went down with him. But what happened is there was a third-string quarterback who stepped up. The lesson is, don’t get down, keep plugging on and see what happens. I used 40 different moments just like these throughout the book. One of the fun moments of going to a an Ohio State football game is the band coming out to script Ohio. So I gave a lesson on script Ohio, and about how a lot of folks don’t know script Ohio had already been done with another band in Ohio. The lesson was on how complicated it is to do and that if the drum major gets out of step, the whole thing can be a mess. A father is the leader of the family and you have to stay in line and your family will follow you, or your family will be a mess.”
Duduit says he didn’t necessarily gear the book for men, but it is the primary audience, and wives will buy it for their husbands. While the audience is predominately men, Duduit also wants everybody to read the book. He got former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to write the foreward for the book, and says, “he didn’t know me, but I was able to have a conversation with him. Tressel is the president of Youngstown University now, and I was able to get some of the devotionals to him and we chatted a few times. It was coming down to the wire, and I was at the Ohio State and Michigan game and I got a text that said, ‘I read what you sent me. I like what it said. I’ll do it.’ Then we went up and got a photo and all.”
“I started writing this in August/September of last year, and it was submitted in November. The book was then published in the first part of April. The book is on sale locally, like Praises, Market Street Cafe, Staker’s and on Amazon, but it had a mistake on the inside page about publishing that had to be fixed. It should be back up again now, and will be at Barnes & Noble in Columbus, and on the main Ohio State campus,” Duduit says. The devotions for the days are quick reads, he says, so the reader can get up and read the inspirational for the day. Duduit wants the book to be positive, and he doesn’t want to preach, just reach out and ask, “Have you been in this situation before? It’s just life lessons to help you.” Each inspiration is different, like winning the last game, to kicking the goal.
One example Duduit gives is Beanie Wells, a player who was known for his stiff arm. He was a perfectionist at it, and Duduit gives a definition of what a stiff arm means and how it’s used in football. “It’s even depicted in the Heisman trophy. So, people of faith, we have things coming at us, trying to tackle us every day, and how we can use a stiff arm and how we can read a devotional, how we can pray, how we can go to church — that’s our stiff arm.”
Duduit has other books coming out, He’s hopefully one will be before the NFL season, called “The Bengals Believer,” and a series with all the Cleveland sports.
“I’m excited about a book I just turned in last week. It’s a baseball devotional, and I got to sit down with some of the big names in baseball. It’s called ‘Dugout Devotions.’ It will be out during spring training next year. And then coming will be an NFL devotional.”
He says he has been able to make some great contacts through his books. Michelle Medlock Adams, a well-known Christian author, and Duduit are partnering to write a book together with the same agent.
Duduit not only writes these books, he is still working a full time job in pharmaceutical sales. He says he does a lot of writing in the evenings. He notes that his wife of 31 years this month, Angie, helps by editing his first writings. Angie works at Shawnee State University. His oldest son, Gabe, just got married to Danielle and started a new job at AWF Transport. His youngest son, Eli, and his wife, Kylee, who works at Southern Ohio Medical Center, lives in South Point and works in Charleston, W.Va., and both of Duduit’s boys do some preaching. Ironically, Duduit’s first job out of college was at The Daily Times as a sportswriter. He then left for other opportunities, but returned as sports editor for awhile before going into pharmaceutical sales. Duduit says writing the sports devotions has opened a lot of doors for him, and says it’s a lot of fun, too.
Duduit says he has accomplished much of his writing and getting the contacts through being persistent, but not being pushy. Persistence is a skill not everyone accomplishes by doing well, but Duduit has used his skill of persistence to get him to where he is now as an author, proving once again that reaching for a goal and putting in the hard work can pay off.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins at 740-353-3101 ext. 1928