First, a little bit of personal news: I finished writing the first draft of a novel on Tuesday. It’s very exciting for me; the only thing of comparable length I’d ever completed was this post about going to the Nets’ opening night. So I was all proud and…then Broncos’ kicker Jason Elam (above) has to come along and kick my book right in its nascent novel nuts. Not only has he written something that sounds far better, but his is actually going to be published. Mine, maybe not so much. But let’s get back to the point: Jason Elam, writing a book? Or, as Lynn DeBruin of the Rocky Mountain News puts it:

Jason Elam, writing a book?

He admits it sounds a little strange, even to him.

“I’ve never actually dreamed of it or wanted to do it,” the Broncos All-Pro kicker said.

But two years ago, he had this thought.

First, his brother had been after him to capture some of the interesting stories he has witnessed in his 15 years as an NFL player.

Then he imagined a scenario in which he could combine those with something he’s passionate about – his faith, and some of the current events of today’s world, particularly terrorism.

He pitched it to a literary agent, who fell in love with the idea.

Only one problem: Elam had the concept in his brain for the action-adventure book called Monday Night Jihad, but getting it on paper was something different altogether…

So what is Monday Night Jihad?

“What I was hoping to do, and think I pulled off, was contrast Christianity with radical Islam and moderate Islam,” Elam said.

And he purposely avoids demonizing anybody.

“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.”

There’s a lot more on the other side of the link above, including a mention of Elam’s pursuit of an M.A. in “global apologetics” at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and, yes, an excerpt. Thanks to Brendan Flynn for forwarding me the link, and apologies to Ryan Genovese, who sent something similar a week or so ago (the story itself is over a week old) that I never did anything with.