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Monday Night Jihad

Jason Elam's accomplished just about everything there is for a kicker to do in the NFL--he's won two Super Bowls with the Broncos and (still, barely) shares the all-time league record for longest field goal (63 yards). So, as the Rocky Mountain News reports, he's turning to a new line of work: writing action novels. His first book is entitled Monday Night Jihad, and its main character is Riley Covington, a special-forces soldier turned football player who finds himself pressed back into fighting terrorism. (Though frankly most Broncos fans probably find al-Qaeda far less terrifying than their team's mind-numbingly porous rush defense.) Elam, for his part, makes his book sound less like a shoot-'em-up novel than an anthropological look at what motivates jihadis:

"If Osama bin Laden himself were to pick up this book and read it, I'd want him to say, 'Yeah, that's why I do what I do. That's how I justify, how I reconcile, that's what I believe.'

"I'm really trying to take people into the mind of this person as best I could and really show the why; not just what they believe, but the why."

Of course there's a precedent for the football–terror connection: you may recall the climax of Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears occurs when terrorists explode a nuclear weapon at the Super Bowl in--you guessed it--Denver. (Though, as my Coloradan colleague Barron YoungSmith notes, in the movie version the targeted city was changed to Baltimore for some reason.)

--Josh Patashnik