COURTESY J. DAVID MILLER
Former UH coach Mouse Davis convinced author J. David Miller to play arena football in order to understand the game enough to write about it and Miller scored a touchdown. CLICK FOR LARGE
Warriors get 'booked'
Author J. David Miller was scheduled to arrive in Hawaii today for research on a book about University of Hawaii football, due out around the start of the coming season.
Miller, 42, has covered pro football for several publications, including Sport magazine. He has co-written books with Jerry Glanville, Hank Stram and Neil Lomax. Miller also wrote the Super Book of Football for Sports Illustrated.
He is one of the first writers to extensively explore the run-and-shoot offense as well, which spawned a relationship with Mouse Davis, the former UH assistant coach, whose innovations in the passing game could be found at Portland State, and several NFL and other pro teams as well.
When Miller wanted to write about the new Arena Football League, arena football co-creator Davis encouraged him to try out for the league's Pittsburgh team in 1987. Miller, who didn't even play high school football, played parts of two seasons, managed to survive and even caught a touchdown pass.
"I was known as 'George' Miller," he said. "Like George Plimpton."
Miller has known UH coach June Jones and Jones' mentor, Davis, more than 20 years.
"He's a very talented guy," Davis said.
He lived in Laguna Beach, Calif., when Colt Brennan and Matt Leinart were quarterbacks at Mater Dei High School. Miller and his family now live in St. Petersburg, Fla.
"I was interviewing Chad Owens for the book in my living room the other night," Miller said, referring to the former UH slotback who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Miller said he decided to write a book about UH after watching the Warriors go 11-3 last year, breaking offensive records with a variation of the run-and-shoot attack Jones and Davis showed him two decades ago.
"We've known him a long time," Jones said. "I think it's going to be a positive thing for the program."
Miller said the book -- tentatively planned as a 200-page, hardcover, coffee-table work -- will cover a lot of ground.
"It's a combination of everything," he said. "All the best things that Hawaii, football and redemption have to offer. Redemption is a major theme. Redemption comes up again, again and again. From Pisa to Davone, Colt, June's car crash. Mouse Davis taking another lap around the track, Jerry Glanville coming back."
In his foreword, Miller recalls watching his daughters playing four-square, one falling and calling for a "do-over."
"Herein is the story of the biggest do-over in the history of college football, engineered by men whose careers personify the meaning of do-over," he writes, "and a quarterback whose personal do-over offers hope to generations of children to come."
Bess Publishing of Honolulu has contracted with Miller to produce the book.
"The idea was a no-brainer," publisher Benjamin Bess said. "There hasn't been one (on UH football) since the (Bob) Wagner book. The June Jones era has a great track record. We hope we can produce a book as good as the program has been. There's a lot of depth there, a lot of good stories."
Bess added that "the meat of it has been written."
He said the first printing run will be "no fewer than 10,000" copies, and it will probably sell for around $25.