The end of day 1 is in sight. We’re driving back from Ridgewood, NJ, into the City. Tony’s still got several interviews to come: a taping with Sean Hannity to air Friday, a live television bit with Greta van Susteren, and then radio with Alan Colmes (and frankly, I don’t know if his is live – I just know that it’s late).
It all started yesterday, when I flew from Gainesville to New York. Actually, if I’d flown to New York, it would have been fine. Instead, I was headed into Newark, and unlike New York cabs, turns out the New Jersey fleet isn’t totally into credit cards. Next thing I know, I’m in a small deli in Manhattan, running in to get cash from an ATM while my suitcase sits in a cab outside at the curb. Hopefully.
Other that that, it was a quiet pre-release day. I met with HarperCollins about an upcoming project and then wandered around the City, having dinner alone at Ted’s Montana Café. Then to bed in my room – the 45th floor of the Marriott Marquis, with an eye-level view of the New Year’s Eve ball to the south, and if I lean against the wall at the window, I can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance, down Broadway. (“Mentor Leader” sales rank on Amazon.com: 3,121)
At 8:30 we were headed off in a black Escalade with our driver, Anthony, our same driver from the “Uncommon” tour. Hopefully the logistics of this tour go as well as that one. There are four of us accompanying Tony on this tour – his posse – DJ Snell, our literary agent, Todd Starowitz, Tyndale’s public relations person, and Jessica Quinn, the publicist. And me. As posses go, poor Tony is saddled with the lamest ever. (Amazon sales rank: 2,183)
A few minutes later were were at “Morning Joe,” where Tony was interviewed by Willie Geist, Luke Russert, and Alex, a business writer for the New York Times. We’re particularly pleased with this lineup, as it’s slightly different from our prior ones and we’re hoping that “Mentor Leader” gets positioned in the business market. A really good interview.
A few minutes later, we were in another section of Rockefeller Center – quite an underground labyrinth, The Rock, and were prepping for The Today Show. We were a little disappointed, because his segment had been bumped the night before to the 9:40 slot, which has a lower viewing population. As it was, we almost didn’t make it at all. We were hanging out in the green room – I was on my third cup of coffee and Tony his second water, since he doesn’t drink coffee – when a producer grabbed our group. And then we were running back through the labirynth to the set for Today.
Seconds to spare, and then Tony was on with Al Roker, who did a nice job. (Our sales rank started to rise, even in this time slot: 1077)
We then headed over to Fox, where Tony taped a show with Mike Huckabee – to air Monday, we’re told. Also on the set: a Real Housewives of New York. That was a first.
Tony then did a number of radio interviews, including one with Steve Inskeep of NPR, set to air later this week. (Our rank kept climbing, despite the fact that a number of these appearances were being taped: 131)
Lunch was at the Redeye Grill, where we ate some of the largest shrimp that I’ve ever seen. I almost ordered the Shrimp Burger until the waiter told me that it was “adequate.”
Refreshed to watch more interviews, I tagged along for the rest of the day: Fox Business Channel, NFL Network at the NFL Office on Park Avenue, and that book signing in Ridgewood, NJ.
Anyway, the signing went well. Steady, for about an hour and a half. A number of Colts fans, a couple of Bucs fans, and a lot of Tony fans.
We headed back where the three remaining interviews all took unique turns from everything that Tony had done today. Sean Hannity, which will air Friday night, went through the 7 Es of Mentor Leadership – the first one today. My dad played a big role in helping me come up with the 7 Es – having that be on Hannity will be a big thrill for him, I’m sure.
Alan Colmes is so great to Tony. Asked a bunch of questions about faith (and also talked about the 7 Es) but brought groans from his staff when he asked Tony about Brett Fay-ver. Apparently he’s not a big sports fan and they try to coach him up before each of Tony’s appearances…oh, well. We still thought it was a terrific interview.
Finally, Greta van Susteren, who always does great interviews with Tony, she asked him about Allen Truman. Allen grew up in Jackson, Michigan, and for some reason when he was about 17 took a 12 year-old boy under his wing. He took him to Tigers games and Michigan and Michigan State games, and took him to play basketball. For whatever reason, Allen decided to mentor Tony Dungy.
Allen doesn’t know why he did it, and to this day, he doesn’t think he did anything special. But that’s one of the points of The Mentor Leader: it doesn’t take anything heroic, just a desire to intentionally build into someone else’s life…for their good.
Before bed I spoke with Michael Smith of ESPN about his interview of Tony tomorrow on NFL Live. He was driving from Boston to Bristol, CT, to do Tony’s interview – he and I are planning to talk in the morning about the book and the interview.
It’s midnight, and we’re supposed to roll out, checked out, at 5:45am. Good night.
Oh, and we’re at #100.