EXCLUSIVE: Rich Kurtzman on his new book “Chasing Lombardi: The Elway-Manning Era”

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Chasing LombardiRich Kurtzman, the Denver Broncos managing editor here at cover32 and a freelance sports writer whose work has been featured by CBS’ Denver affiliate and Mile High Sports, has penned an intriguing book chronicling the Broncos’ historic 2013 season. Titled “Chasing Lombardi: The Elway-Manning Era”, Kurtzman delves into Peyton Manning’s legacy in Denver and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway’s rise to esteemed NFL executive in search of bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to the Mile High City.

Throughout the book, Kurtzman unearths some unknown nuggets about the Broncos of past and present, all while documenting and revealing the unknown intricacies of what it takes to build a championship contender in the NFL. He truly seeks to show you what it means to be “Chasing Lombardi.”

Beyond the grit and grandeur found on the gridiron, you’ll find one of the most insightful looks into an unforgettable year in sports—and you will not be disappointed.

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Well, first and foremost, could you tell us a little bit about the book?
The book is basically about the last three years. It focuses on the time since John Elway has taken over [the Denver Broncos], the free-agent acquisitions that he’s made such as Peyton Manning. It first was a focus on just the 2013 Peyton Manning season and now we’ve kind of molded the scope a little bit so that it’s not just the 2013 season but also recent history going as far as Josh McDaniels and how impressive it is that Elway was able to lead [the Broncos] back to the Super Bowl.

What influenced you to write the book in the first place?
I think watching history unfold, specifically on the offensive side. There were a lot of special moments throughout the season, every single game was highlighted. I think it was the last game of the regular season when Manning got the yards and touchdowns record, he came off the field and Jack Del Rio rubbed his head like a little kid. You just don’t see that very often. You just had a feeling that it was going to be a special season.

What did the entire process entail? What went into writing the book and how difficult was it?
It was really difficult. I’ve tried to write a couple books before and I’m still working on them, but this will be my first completed book.

Getting going was nerve-racking. It was a much bigger load than a 700 or 1,000-word article. It was a little bit of a daunting task to think about writing a book, but I had a feeling that this would be a season that should be retold to everyone because of the history that was made.

What advice can you give to other people who might be interested in writing a book or taking on such a daunting task?
You have to set up goals for yourself, whether that be weekly goals or monthly goals or even just a full goal that you know, “I want to get it done by this time.” It’s a huge task that has so many other small tasks associated with it that you should just be prepared for doing all of that. Finding an editor, working with the editor closely to try to mold the final project. Searching for a publisher and then, beyond all that, you have to be able to fund it. That’s the biggest obstacle right now. Not only to fund being able to pay for the editor, paying for the photo for the cover of the book through an official source like USA Today, but paying to publish the book.

Speaking of that, you’re working now to raise some funds to get the book published and take care of all things you need to take care of. Could you tell us a little bit about what you have going on there?
[We’ve launched] a Kickstarter campaignwhich will run from now until Saturday, May 24. What we’re looking for is—it’s a lofty goal but I’m hoping that it’s manageable—$5,000. We’re asking for any kind of donations. $10, $20 or $100, anything will help. You have rewards which people can purchase or you can just donate to donate. There’s also a video on the Kickstarter page which explains the entire project. It’s exciting!

Why should people want to read this book?
There are a lot of tidbits that you just being a regular fan may not know. It talks a lot about all the history of the 2013 season and really everything the Peyton Manning and John Elway era. It kind of encapsulates the era and it highlights not only the successes but the failures to this point while also looking ahead to the 2014 NFL season.

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I had the opportunity to read the first chapter of “Chasing Lombardi: The Elway-Manning Era” and let me tell you, it’s good. Kurtzman knows his stuff and the insight into the Broncos in just that first chapter leaves you wanting more. But he needs our help to put this book on shelves in bookstores throughout the country.

Interested in helping him complete a lifelong dream and kickstart his career as a book author (no pun intended)? Drop by his Kickstarter page here, donate and tell your friends!

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