This was something Jeff McWhinney believed he needed to do. The man known to Canadians as “The Fan With a Really Cool Job” always believed he needed to write a tribute to his father, the original Keeper, the late Edmonton Elks and Winnipeg Blue Bomber half back / quarterback, Glenn (Keeper)McWhinney.
Thanks to a little help from his friends, Gwen Smid, Scott Taylor and illustrator Sheldon Dawson, McWhinney along with RSG.ca and Utility Safety Partners are thrilled to announce the release of Not Without My Teammates (children’s book), a tribute to Keeper McWhinney, and the power of inclusion and diversity in football.
Keeper was one of the first Canadian professional football players to room on the road with a black teammate. In this instance, it was the legendary Cal Jones, a remarkable lineman from Iowa who was actually the first African-American to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
However, The Keeper spent his life including people in sport and in Not Without My Teammates, his son Jeff McWhinney and co-author Gwen Smid take a lyrical look at what has been and what is certainly more important now than ever before.
Not Without My Teammates is the story of six young friends who came together on a neighborhood football field despite the restraints of the space-time continuum – Keeper, a Caucasian Canadian; Jackie Parker, a southern Caucasian American who overcame childhood illness to become one of the greatest players in Canadian football history; Normie Kwong, an Asian-Canadian who lived through Canada’s horrific immigrant laws in the 1930s, only to play professional football right out of high school in 1947; Cal Jones, one of the greatest African American players ever to come to Canada to play; Jed Roberts, an Indigenous Canadian who played 13 seasons in the CFL; and Dayna Spiring, the chairperson of the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Football Club and the first woman to have her name engraved on the Grey Cup.
It’s a fun, easy, informative read and we don’t doubt for one second that everyone will learn something during the experience.
The vision is to inspire young people through words of encouragement and a message of teamwork, inclusion, diversity and education. Jeff has also found like-minded partners that have graciously allowed him the opportunity to gift 3000 books to at risk schools, organizations and hospitals all across Canada. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be put towards assisting students through a scholarship that has been awarded annually for nearly a decade, called the Glenn “Keeper” McWhinney Perseverance Award.
Not Without My Teammates is priced at $19.09 and is available on the website NotWithoutMyTeammates.ca, at Pen and Paper (935McLeod Ave. Wpg Ph 204-661-2262), at Canadian Marking Systems (135 Midland Wpg Ph 204-775-8953), and at the Stamps Store (McMahon Stadium in Calgary). Check website for new retail stores being added weekly.
For further information and interview opportunities contact Jeff by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.