Comments and feedback on ‘The Eric Weddle Story’

When you work hard, really putting your heart and soul into something, it’s nice to know your work is appreciated.

That is especially true for a writer.

I have been grateful to receive many kind words from people who have bought and read “No Excuse, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story.” I would like to share a few emails and notes I have received from readers.

 Cindy Wiggins of Garland, Utah:

I just finished the book, “No Excuses, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story.” Great job, Trent. I read it in one day because I didn’t want to put it down.

"No Excuses, No Regrets" on display at Deseret Book in Salt Lake City.

“No Excuses, No Regrets” on display at Deseret Book in Salt Lake City.

Jon Cline, Idaho Falls, Idaho:

Trent, I just finished the Eric Weddle Story. I bought it for my 18-year-old son, but couldn’t resist cracking it open. It hooked me quick. I grew up in San Diego, and am a diehard Chargers fan. Great job with this work! Sean, my son, started it and is through 4 chapters so far. I’m taking it to my 24-year-old son (Josh) … since I feel impressed that it could positively affect his life. Thank you for following the inspiration to pursue this idea. I hope it hits the hearts of my sons as it did mine. Thank you.

The title grabbed me as something that would reach out to Sean. He’s a very good golfer, yet didn’t work hard in his senior year. Although he finished the year shooting his best golf ever, he was left out of state competition because of the point system used. I’d hoped the book would speak to him on a work ethic front. Although I believe it has that throughout, what I was most impressed with was the story of Eric’s conversion. I am a convert to the church, and have been blessed with much light. That being said, the greater part of that light has come in the last six or so years. I love how you sprinkled the gospel in this story. I could feel it before I read it. That would have to be it, for me. I hope it will touch Sean in the same way. He’s a great spirit, yet is not planning on a mission at this point. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Sean is a big fan of Eric, and the Chargers. He mentioned to Josh that through 4 chapters it was a good book.

Linda Loveland Cammack, Ogden, Utah:

Hey – I saw your book at Seagull yesterday … and thought how proud I was of you. Glad to be able to say I knew you when. Well done, Toone.

"The Eric Weddle Story" on display in the big window at Deseret Book.

“The Eric Weddle Story” on display in the big window at Deseret Book.

Brad Wilcox, Provo, Utah:

Trent:  Just finished your book this morning.  Awesome!  You have done such a great job.  Like I told you, I am not much of a football fan so I didn’t know anything about Eric and I am not usually drawn to sports books, but you totally sucked me in.  Eric’s story, his life, his conversion and his commitment to the Gospel touched me.  I love the way he keeps “proving people wrong.”  You had good material, but your writing was fantastic.  It was personal and deep.  It went below the surface.  I have read other biographies that never go deeper than what happened.  You gave a more complete picture and dealt with some of the whys and hows.  There was not one place where you lost me.  I was with you for the whole ride.  I loved your chapter titles and headings.  How do you not want to read “Fear the ‘Washing Machine'” and “The Punk Freshman” and “A Spiritual Edge”?  I loved headings like “The Girl with Long, Curly Hair” and “A Coup for the U” and “The Cherry on Top.” I loved phrases throughout the book. Loved the “Playbook of Principles”  That was a good way to handle that.

The spiritual journey was my favorite part.  I am thankful for an LDS girl in high school who kept her standards and invited him to attend church.  I appreciate a coach and some good RMs who helped him find his way into the Church.  I admire Eric for recognizing he was missing something in his life and that others had a happiness he didn’t yet have.  Not many football stars are thinking that clearly in college.  I loved the first encounter with the missionaries–the Elder from Germany who couldn’t speak and how they got mad at each other–so real.  Trent, that kind of honesty really reached me.  It made the story real and not “perfect” and “Church approved.”  Loved the influence of Moa who was willing to share his own troubled past and turn-around story and his own answer to prayer.  I loved the answer Eric received shared on p. 112.

I also loved the missionary moments he has now that start with “So you’re Mormon, right?”  Again, I love the honesty that you showed as you shared his struggle to attend Church and how he finally learned to balance that.  I loved that it was hard for him to pay tithing and how he settled that in his mind.  You could have glossed over all that, but it made him real.  Instead of feeling like he is “too good to be true,” you made me admire him.  I loved Chanel.  I can see the positive influence she is in his life, but you also gave her a life of her own.  I love that you shared some of her own successes and passions and didn’t just put her in the background.

Trent, I really liked the Afterword too.  You quoted Brigham Young about the power of sharing personal experience and then YOU did it.  You shared your own experience meeting Eric and writing the book.  That was as meaningful to me as the rest of the book.  There are lessons to be learned there too–how you had your inspiration to do it, how you stuck your neck out, and that it took time and investment and how it wasn’t easy to just whip out a book.  Your personal interactions with him–beating him at that game, looking at his favorite hymns in Church–made him more real to me and YOU more real too.  I could see that your heart was in the book and you weren’t just doing it as an assignment or a job.

I hope it sells a million copies.  I want him to succeed.  I want you to succeed and I want his message and testimony out there for the world to see.  Thanks for making it all happen Trent.  He overcame odds to reach his dream and so did you.  Now the book is a reality.  It is in our hands.  Thanks.  I am proud of you.  Love, Brad Wilcox

Dan Ward, Utah:

Trent, I just wanted to say congratulations for all the recent publicity that your book about Eric Weddle has received and to tell you a quick story. Our ward has a fair amount of big Ute fans. Yesterday, two of the biggest fans were talking about how they both went separately to book signings meet Weddle and buy the book. They were talking about things that they did or should have talked to Weddle about. Then, one of them said, “You know George knows the guy who wrote the book.” Then I said, “Oh ya, well I went to high school with him, and played on the same Jr. Jazz basketball team with him.” So, there you go… you have arrived to where people that you do not know are trying to make connections to you. Pretty cool!!

Just curious, was the book your idea and you pulled everything together to make it happen or did someone approach you about it? I have no idea what it entails to publish a book, but I’m guessing that it is quite the ordeal. What a great accomplishment!

I figured that these kinds of things don’t exactly land in your lap. Thanks for responding and giving me a small glimpse of what it took to make such a great thing happen. Hard work and determination go a long way in this life. Eric is testimony to that and YOU are a testimony to that. Your story of publishing the book inspires me to get over my fears and just go for those dreams that I have. Thanks for that example.

Kurt Kragthorpe, columnist, Salt Lake Tribune:

You did a truly admirable job on the book, and Eric clearly is appreciative of your work. I’m jealous, in a healthy way!

"Eric Weddle Story" included in Deseret Book main window display.

“Eric Weddle Story” included in Deseret Book main window display.

Rob Hazen, Utah:

Mr. Toone: Thank you for the series on Eric Weddle.  We recently moved from San Diego to Cedar Hills and I have been silently observing and respecting Eric for a long time.  He has always been revered by the Ute fans, but it is great to see him get recognition on and off the field. As a member of his stake in California, he is a tremendous example to the youth. I have seen him at Saturday night priesthood session while his teammates are checked into a hotel the night before games, at the temple on Saturday nights during the season during a stake temple project and heard him speak in various firesides. As a father to a 16 year old who loves sports, Eric is a great example that living the gospel is “cool”. He is clearly respected in that locker room and in the community. Thank you again for a great series and as a huge Cougar fan, I can’t wait to buy and read his book.

Tom Tippetts, Salt Lake City, Utah:

Hey Trent, If that’s your first book, it shouldn’t be your last. I read the excerpt in this morning’s D-News, and went immediately to Deseret Book to buy the book. Just finished reading it. It killed my plans for work today, but it was a day well-spent. Trevin, Kalen and Elise can be very proud of their Dad!! Well-done, my man.

Johnathan Kendrick, Utah:

Trent, I just want to say that I picked up a copy of your book a few weeks ago and loved it. I wrote a review on Amazon and gave it 5 stars about two weeks ago, and have already used parts of the story in a lesson in Deacons Quorum as well as shared it with all my friends and those in leadership positions over youth. Thanks for bringing a great story out. If you talk to Eric, tell him you are getting good reviews back and that his story is inspiring the youth (and guys in their mid 30’s).

P.S. I was at the TCU game where Eric hit the guy and took the ball from him on the way down. Glad you mentioned it in the book – it’s the most amazing play I have ever seen live.

Steve Acevedo, Cedar Fort:

Trent, I just read your first part of the Eric Weddle book.  Loved it!  I take it you’re a big Ute fan, being that you’re a grad from the hill.  I am too. Two, unbelievable, undefeated seasons. Wasn’t too long ago when a winning season from the Utes would have been welcome. I’m old.

W. Craig Zwick, Salt Lake City, Utah:

Dear Trent, Congratulations to you for your many accomplishments in your young life. You are a gifted writer and I am pleased to hear that your new book on Eric Weddle has now been published. Thank you very much for your visit and for the copy of your marvelous new book. I have read about 50 pages and loved what I read. You are an inspiration to many and I thank you for sharing what you did yesterday about how the Seminary and Institute application had such a perfect ending! You are a gift to the Deseret News and we are grateful to you. Just wanted to say thanks so much for your friendship and for your book which was so generously shared. Un abrazo fuerte, Elder Zwick

I’m humbled by these comments. I’m grateful people are enjoying the book, which has now sold more than 6,500 copies. With Father’s Day less than two weeks away, hopefully more will check it out.


Trent Toone

My name is Trent Toone and I’m a journalist for the Deseret News, where I write for a variety of feature sections. I was raised in Northern Utah and graduated from the University of Utah in 2003. Since then I have worked for several newspapers and received various awards over my journalism career. I am the author of “No Excuses, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story,” the sports biography of San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle. I served an LDS mission to Santiago, Chile, and spent a year teaching seminary. Like my father before me, I am a proud Eagle Scout. My wife Lisa and I have four children and live in Northern Utah. Feel free to contact me by emailing to trent.b.toone (at) gmail (dot) com.

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