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Former Titans LB Tim Shaw Hopes Book Inspires Others

Posted Dec 30, 2016

Former Titans LB Tim Shaw hopes his book inspires others.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Titans linebacker Tim Shaw has taken on one challenge after another head-on, from his playing career to his battle with ALS.

He’s now tackled something else – a book.
 
Blitz Your Life (purchase here) is a collection of reflections and challenges from Shaw, who played from 2010-12 with the Titans and was diagnosed with ALS in 2014. The Titans signed Shaw to a one-day contract at the start of the season, and he retired a “Titan for Life.”
 
Shaw began his book-writing project two years ago, and finished it recently. He’ll be at Sunday’s Titans-Texans game for an appearance on the south lawn at Nissan Stadium before the contest, and he’ll also be the 12th Titan that day. The book, written with Richard Sowienski, has an official launch date of January 3, but books will be available on Sunday.
 
“I didn’t want to write about just Tim Shaw the football player, and I didn’t want to write about Tim Shaw who has ALS,’’ Shaw said. “I thought, the kind of books I like to read are more personal stories, and I also like to read self-help, motivational-type books. So I wanted my book to be a combination of those books, and that’s what it is.
 
“As the stories came out of me, it was hard to deny how impactful both football and ALS have been in my life and how impactful they will be on others when they read about it. The goal for this book for me is impact. I want people to take a look at their lives, take action and change for the better. I want them to embrace who they truly are and pursue a life of purpose and impact and fulfillment.”
 
Former NFL quarterback and ESPN commentator Matt Hasselbeck did the foreword for the book.
 
Shaw shared personal stories about his life on the field and off it, before he was diagnosed with ALS and after he was stricken with the disease.
 
He hopes it will inspire others.
 
“My hope that by the time people turn the last page, they will have already examined who they are and where they are and where they want to and who they want to be,” he said. “And the hope is they can take steps and maximize the gifts they have been given.
 
“For me, it is not about selling books, it is about making an impact. But we need people to read the book to make an impact. I am excited about it.”
 
Shaw starred at Penn State before a career in the NFL with the Panthers, Jaguars, Bears and Titans.
 
He’s been a fixture at Saint Thomas Sports Park, as the team has embraced him.
 
Shaw freely admits he struggles with the disease, as daily tasks are difficult. His speech is slurred and simple tasks like brushing his teeth and tying his shoes are difficult.
 
According to the ALS Association, the progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, eventually leads to death. Patients in the latter stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
 
Shaw says he’s “struggling well” as he tries to set a good example for those around him.
 
He has a sense of pride for finishing a project he thought about doing a long time ago.
 
‘When I was 20 I thought I’d write a book, and I was waiting for that MVP season or that Super Bowl win or whatever it would be that would be my big book-selling moment,’’ Shaw said. “Well, this is what is has come to, and that is a lesson in itself right there, that this is the life I am living right now.
 
“No, it is not the life that I wanted. But I believe I am doing the most with what I have right now and that is a lesson in itself.”