For 31 years, Clyde Bolton wrote four sports columns per week for the Birmingham News. By his estimation, this makes him the most widely read Alabamian in history. He may be right.
In Stop the Presses (So I Can Get Off) he takes the reader along on a joyride through more than three decades of Alabama sports. Unsurprisingly, tales of Bear Bryant and Shug Jordan, Roll Tide and War Eagle, dominate, but at one point or another, Clyde covered just about every type of sporting event in the state. Personalities and events from the realms of high school sports, minor league baseball, college basketball, and Nextel Cup Racing are just some of the many facets of his personal and professional life that he shares in this, his 17th book.
In relating the outlines of his life, Bolton pays homage to his mentors, including famed sports editor Benny Marshall, and shares some insights he’s gained after a lifetime in the newspaper game. But throughout the book, he never forgets that any good journalist—any good writer—is in the business of telling stories. And oh, what stories!
Bolton writes of meeting Michael Jordan during the basketball star’s year with the Birmingham Barons; of having dinner with Muhammad Ali at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house at Auburn University; of walking incognito down sunny Birmingham sidewalks with Hall-of-Famer Johnny Unitas. He explains why Bear Bryant, in his opinion, is the greatest football coach ever, tells of interviewing Joe Namath in the men’s bathroom, and reveals why his grandmother watched professional wrestling on her hands and knees on the floor in front of the television.
Stop the Presses (So I Can Get Off) is a joyous romp through the SEC, the Nextel Cup Circuit, and, in the end, life itself.