Adam Torres and Hillary Crawford discuss “Bye Bye Barry” autobiography.
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New book alert! In this episode, Adam Torres interviewed Hillary Crawford, Senior Writer & Editor at Mission Matters. Explore the recently released “Bye Bye Barry” book written by Barry Sanders and Mark McCormick which was published by Mission Matters.
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About Hillary Crawford
Hillary has worked in the media her entire career, doing almost all areas of media. She is currently the senior writer and editor for Mission Matters Media, where she works on collaborations for our books, from start to publication.
Hillary’s expertise includes project management, editing, writing, ghostwriting, formatting, layout, graphic design, social media management, social networking, web design, Amazon backend, publishing, podcast management, teaching, mentoring, press releases and coaching. In her spare time, Hillary also freelance edit books for authors all over the world, including various nonfiction and fiction manuscripts, through development to proofreading to finalizing for publication.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to be part of our community, head on over to missionmatters.com and click on Community to Apply. Alright, so today is a very special episode. I get to bring Hilary Crawford on the line, who is a Senior writer and also editor over at mission matters who I work with day in and day out.
And I was like, Hillary, you have to come on the show. We have to talk about the Barry Sanders book. So first off, I just want to say Hillary, welcome to the show. Thank you. I’m excited. All right, Hillary. So I, you got, you have your background. I have my, I have my book here and I’m excited to get into this.
I mean, this project’s been a year in the making and or more now. And finally it’s out promoted. It’s doing great. The, everything else is doing good. The, the movie went to number one and, and on Amazon for their prime documentaries. And I think it was the number one For the, they’re streaming ever for a documentary.
So I just want to, let’s just, let’s just start at the beginning here, like any good thing. You Barry Sanders football. Give us the backstory. Okay. So I grew up in metro Detroit and actually grew up in the town that he lived in when he played. And so it was always. All the time. It was, he was everywhere.
We were all super excited all the time because he was doing so well. And I actually I worked I was the statistician for the football team for my high school. My dad was a coach and he would come to the games. And sit way up in the back of the stands. And my mom actually would sit that, sit all the way back there too.
So he would sit like right next to her. So we had like front row to who he was. And I graduated in 97, which was the year that he did the 2, 053 yards. So that was an amazing year. And so, you know, it’s just, it’s been, I’ve been a fan forever. So this was such an exciting project. So this was I mean, you’ve, you’ve obviously done a lot of, a lot of books with mission matters since you’ve been with us.
And also I mean, when it comes to editing the backend of not only books, but just making sure the content comes out right, editing and, and managing some of the projects that we work on, definitely an invaluable. Peace and part of our team here. But when the, when you heard about the Barry Sanders project, like, were you a little excited?
Well, it was pretty hilarious because you called and you’re like, do you know who Barry Sanders is? I was like, are you kidding? And do I know who he is? Of course, for everybody watching, by the way, that was a joke. I’m from Detroit too. But it was hilarious because I was like, of course I know who he is. So then, you know, you were like, well, we’re going to be working on his project.
And I was like, I’m in, I’m in. So it’s been such a phenomenal time. I’ve loved it every minute of it. And how fun has it been working with like I, we work with other athletes in the past and not say anything, you know, good or bad, but just in general, like his team, the back end, JB, Mark, I mean, all the people that we’ve been able to work with, maybe talk a little bit about the process and how it’s been.
Okay. So yeah, we, obviously there’s a lot of project management when it comes to a huge project like this. There were so many different variables. And we had to get the book updated. We had to work with Mark, who is his coauthor to help update information that was in the previous book to make sure, you know, we had everything current and then I had a whole lot of calls, a lot of time working with his family members his agent, JB, who has been on.
Unbelievably awesome guy. Like I couldn’t wish for a better person to work with. And same with Mark, they’ve just been phenomenal. And a little shout out, shout out to his sister, Krista, who has been an amazing person to work with as well. She, you know, when we had to wrangle all of the photos to put into the book and pick which ones were going to go in the book and.
All that process. I think I had over like 300 photos to go through by the time I put theirs in the mix. So working on all of that and, and then working with Amazon, I mean, they’ve been a phenomenal group of people to work with. Nick is when he was the marketing guy who helped us understand what we were doing as far as the whole collaboration with the documentary, because that is a huge piece of this.
That is a typical thing that you do when you’re publishing a book. You’re just, you. Working with the team, that specific team not adding on a massive documentary that took a year to make too. So it was, it was a huge project. Huge. So you, so along with the project and you really documenting this with that, which I’ll put you on the spot.
spot for everybody watching. Yeah, I’ve been, I’ve been bugging Hillary. Hillary’s a phenomenal writer to write, you know, reporter style, just some of her experiences up to this point. Hopefully this interview sparks a little bit under her, but that being said, a lot of you’ve had a lot of other experiences that have gone on this journey with Barry and getting this book out and really documenting everything.
So let’s just start with the statue unveiling. Okay, so yeah, that was an amazing thing. So my mom and I were invited as part of the VIP group to go to the statue unveiling in Detroit. And And the statue was at Ford Field, like give a little bit of the context for those that maybe had didn’t get to catch it.
Okay. So they Put it in front, right in the front of Ford Field. It’s an eight foot bronze statue. Like look it up if you haven’t seen it because it’s so amazing. So they had a whole unveiling ceremony that they did for just VIP people that were in his group. So we went and should I tell her, tell her, of course we’re talking.
Okay. So we totally were fangirls, like the whole time we’re like, Oh my God, do that with your mom. Right. Yeah. I kept telling her, I’m like, that’s so and so that’s so and so. And I was like, totally geeking out. Right. And over like far enough away that we couldn’t see him very well was Flavor Flav.
And so I kept telling them, I’m like, that’s flavor, flavor. I know that is, look at the clock. It is definitely. So we’re trying to take pictures far away, you know, and we get this, the ceremony goes on and then they take you by golf cart over to Detroit athletic club, which if anybody knows anything in Detroit, that’s like a huge, beautiful place to go.
It’s So it was a whole private event and you know, you get off as you’re turning the corner to go there. The band is playing and the cheerleaders are cheering you on and everything. And we went and got, you know, it was the champagne and everything to celebrate. And, so we sit down at a table and we’re thinking we’re out of the way.
We’ll be able to kind of like, see everything that’s going on, check everybody out. Well, we’re, we sit down, enjoy some of our food and there’s a couple other people at the table, but we didn’t know who they were. And then they, they pushed over two of the chairs so that nobody could sit at them. And next to me is One of Barry’s sons and then another one of his sons come and sit at the table.
And we’re like, this is really interesting. So now, okay, we thought we were out of the way, but of course not now. And then lo and behold, Flavor Flav comes and sits right next to my mom. Like as soon as he sits down, I’m like, Oh my gosh, can I get a, can I get a, um, picture for my mom? And he’s like, yeah, sure.
So he stands up, does a selfie with my mom. That was pretty, pretty hilarious. The whole family has definitely enjoyed the fact that mom has a selfie with Slaver Flav. Oh, I’ve enjoyed that. I’ve enjoyed that thoroughly. That means I’m thinking about making it a screensaver. So I don’t know, but that, when you do write your article on this, on the experience, you got to put that one in there because that picture is epic.
They’re both smiling big. It’s amazing. Yeah, it was hilarious to him because she kept saying his knee kept touching her knee and she did. He was like, I just, I can’t believe I’m sitting this close to somebody like that’s hilarious. So, and this was, I think this is the first time you got to like well, obviously this is the first time anybody saw the statue, I believe.
And then, so this led into then the next big, I think the next big milestone was the movie being released in the premiere, right? Am I off on that? I think that was the next big milestone. Yeah, that’s yeah. So we went to that and that was absolutely phenomenal too. I mean, being able to walk the red carpet, take a picture with him, shake his hand.
And he, and you know, JB introduced me as, you know, his editor, like, so that he remembered, because obviously there’s like tons of people he’s going through at the night, that night. And, you know, he was, he is very appreciative. Yeah, it was, it was. Just really, really neat. And then we went into the back, back area, the VIP area where they had like appetizers and stuff.
And we waited until it was time to go walk into the premier. And if anybody has ever been to Detroit, the Fox theater is like the pinnacle of a place to go as far as beautiful theater. Yeah. I mean, it is so gorgeous. And of course we have to walk right into the front and then we go up the middle aisle and the whole, the whole theater is filled with fans screaming and everything walked up to like, I think we, we ended up in like the fifth row or something like that and sit down.
Oh, and Chirag was with us. So that’s the first time you met Chirag as well. So that’s the other co founder at mission matters for everybody else watching. But yeah, that was the first time you met Chirag. Yeah, that was really awesome. And he sat with us and then of course they usher in all of the famous people and Barry was sitting over a couple of like on the other side of the aisle, but in front, right in front of us was like all of his friends.
The like Herman Moore and Lomas Brown and all of that stuff. So it was really just such a surreal experience. I can’t even, it’s hard to put into words, even as a person who writes and seeing the, and seeing the response to like, when I saw like one of the, one of the moments that hit me hard was a. from the whole experience was when I watched the, the first highlight, I don’t know if you call it a highlight reel, but the reel of the personal messages that people were giving to, to Barry Sanders at the statue unveiling, when you saw people like, you know, big Sean Emmett Smith, you seen like all these.
Superstars. I think Joe Montana, like all of these legends in football, really supporting him. And this was at the statue unveiling. So this is backing up a little bit. This is even before the movie. But they were just supporting him and there was just so many names and people. And I just was like, wow, you know, Detroit doesn’t.
You know, always make it into the news for the best things historically. So for this to lift the whole city, a project like this and to lift, you know, the hopes of many and for people to see that, you know, it’s a, it’s a success story out of Detroit and for everybody, all of these other, you know, big mega stars like Eminem, all these other people supporting Barry Sanders and really the city.
I mean, that was just, that hit me. I was like, wow, this is so much bigger than a movie. This is so much bigger than a book. This is, this is a movement of showing individuals that, you know, if they have a dream and if they, if they, you know, if they go after that, it’s possible, right? Things are possible.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And you know, it’s actually really kind of interesting too, because the lions are actually doing really well this year too. That’s not an accident. That’s got like, God’s like, all right, I got this one. This one’s for Barry. It’s okay. Yeah. Yeah. So it makes it even that much more special because you know, diehard lions fans are always going to be fans.
There’s no doubt about that. But you know, those people that are on the, on. On the fence about it a little bit, you know, once this came out and everybody has been hyped, hyping this up. And then, you know, the team’s doing well. It’s just, it’s been a phenomenal year. It’s exciting. Yeah, it is exciting. What, what great timing and to see all this happen.
Amazing. So let’s let’s talk, let’s talk about the book a bit here. So the book and I mean, it’s, I know right now, well, so while we’re recording this, when the next version of this is out, I’m sure the contest will be out will be done by now. But for when we’re recording it today on December 14th we’re, we’re celebrating the, the 20 days till Christmas with Barry tell us about the contest and what’s going on.
Yeah, so that’s pretty exciting. Every single day until Christmas, he’s giving away something whether something signed, whether it be a movie poster football, he had a helmet, I think like one of those miniature helmets. And so he’s given away stuff every single day. So all you have to do is go to one of his social media and then post something, be as creative as possible, obviously, cause we love that.
Show your love for Barry and, you know, he randomly will pick somebody to win. What is even more amazing is that Christmas Eve. The last one that he’s doing, he’s giving away the shoes that he wore to the premiere, which yes, they’re one of one and they’ll be signed and they’re just super cool.
Yeah. I was like, wait a minute, since I’m the publisher, does this mean that I don’t qualify? Technically speaking? No, I’m not. I know I don’t qualify. for someone else, but I saw them and they’re sweet. If you don’t, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, or if you don’t follow Barry yet, definitely go to his Instagram at Barry Sanders, of course, and you’ll see it or on Twitter or anywhere else, and you’ll see videos of, and the videos where Barry’s also talking about the contest and essentially, you know, you post a picture of yourself holding the book, make hashtag bye bye Barry, when you post that picture and, and he’s picking random winners from that. And you’ll see some of the videos that he put out that has that show the shoes that show some of the contest. And what I like is I saw the I saw the real that he put out the other day where he actually has screenshots of some of the other fans that have that have that have posted pictures with the book.
And you saw I saw this one where there’s like five books around a Christmas tree. I saw another one where this gentleman he had this Awesome. He’s sitting down on his sofa. He has the book. He has a mug. He has a berry like poster. He’s got, I can’t even go through how many things he had, but I was like, yeah, do you think he’s a fan?
I think he might actually at this guy wins, this guy wins. So the contest has been a ton of fun to watch it happen. Just see all the lions fan. They just reminds you, like I said, like this whole Project. Of course, it’s Barry Sanders. He’s amazing. One of a kind legend. But to see the people rally around it, I mean, it’s just, there’s just such a story here and it shows the power of sport, the power of a, of a mission, the power of somebody like Barry Sanders, who was a great, still being humble, still still having a clean brand, still, you know, being in tune with the fans.
To me, it’s just, it’s just a super story overall that transcends sports. Absolutely. It’s, it’s heartwarming to watch all of the fans, just how much they adore him. And you know, and he’s a really good dude. He like just really nice, humble. When I met him on the red carpet, you know, and there’s cameras everywhere and it’s.
And there’s all the fans screaming and stuff. And, you know, he shakes your hand and he looks you right in the eye and talks to you like you are the most important thing right now. It’s not, you know I don’t know when you think of some people as celebrities, you think that it’s just like, shake hand, go shake hand, go, you know, it’s not, they’re not getting involved where he had a conversation with me.
We talked about the book, was it. So I did about it, you know, it was just really cool to talk to him and know that, you know, the persona that he brings out and on, on a daily basis and the skill that he had as a player. And he’s still so humble and down to earth. It’s, it’s inspiring. I know that some, some people have contacted me and said, you know, like he’s the kind of person I want my, my child to look up to as a hero.
Yeah. And that’s, that’s the truth, you know? So it’s amazing. What do you, so speaking of the book what do you hope that readers get out of the book? Cause there’s a, there’s some differences in the book versus the movie as well as in any book and movie, of course, but what do you hope some of the readers get out of the book as well?
Right. Well, so the movie is more the sports part aspect of his life, you know, and the book is, has so much personal touch to it. It tells his personal journey as far as who he was as a kid and what sports meant to him and his family. And it takes the whole journey, not just the sports part of it. I mean, obviously that’s a big part too, you know, Stats for diehard fans.
The stats are going to be important. I had to be very particular when I was looking through the stats NFL films and NFL, right. And they were very helpful in making sure that my stats were all perfect. But yeah, so that’s, you know, for diehard fans, that’s something that’s super important. But as far as for, you know, the, the, maybe not the.
Typical fans, or maybe they’re just football fans in general, not necessarily just lions fans. It gives you a, a glimpse into who he was as a person throughout the whole process, throughout the whole journey. So that’s, I think when you talk about like, you know, the movie was very detailed as far as the sports aspect of it.
If a little bit of his personal story with, you know, the, the relationship he had with his dad and how, how big his dad was in the sports world. And I don’t know too many football players that have their dads, they’re doing interviews. I thought it was really cool. Like that was, yeah, really interesting.
But the book gets into more of like, His just the person who he is as a person, and I think that’s something that is super special. Yeah. And then you also a ton of pictures. So there’s pictures, there’s expanded content, there’s things that you’re not going to see anywhere else. One of my favorites is, and I know we have Mark coming up on the show and we’ll be, we’ll be talking about this, but that picture of Mark and Barry when they were young.
Priceless. But talk about the pictures and what went through to, it’s almost like you get to see the piece of the family album. Kind of, yeah, it was really special because like I said, I had like, you know, hundreds of photos to go through and pick which ones to put into the book. And. It was not only did I, you know, edit the book.
And so I was really involved with the text, but I got to be really involved with what the photos were. And, you know, so you got to see who he was and how he grew up and. And then what was also interesting is when I was talking to Krista, she would give me backstory to some of the photos too. So I could understand who, what was going on in the photo and the timeframe.
And so, you know, there’s so much more photos that. It’s just it’s there’s a whole section at the end. Let’s put it that way that there’s there’s a whole chapter basically that’s full of photos. I think it’s 1015 pages worth of photos. So yeah, it gives you a really rich understanding of you got to see like his sons and like some Some of their upbringing and it’s just a whole nother, which I think the movie, by the way, did a great job.
I love the ending and how they’re sitting around a table and it like the way the movie was produced. I thought it was awesome. So it started that way. It was a good, it was a great way to end it. And so when I think about the book and how that was constructed as well, which that wasn’t by. Plan from the standpoint of we didn’t see the final movie.
The book was already done when the final movie came out, but it kind of had almost that same feel, but to me, it just went a little bit deeper as well, because you could, you could obviously expand more because you could use the actual pictures. Right. Yep. Yeah. And it’s, you know, it’s funny you talk about how the, the movie started and ended with the kids and the fax machine.
And, and then, you know, to be able to actually see like that fax and what it meant. And when you’re talking to somebody who, who experienced the loss of him, you know, when he, the loss of the, for the lions that when he retired, it was, it It’s also been pretty amazing to hear what people are saying, as far as like how they felt about the, the big reveal of why he decided to retire when he did, you know, and a lot of people understand it.
I mean, Jamel Hill, who she, she, said it pretty well, you know, in her portion of the documentary, when she talked about what was going on at the time and how she felt about it and how fans felt about it. But now looking back, you can see it a little bit better. Yeah, that’s great. What do you hope? So, so, so final question here, Hillary, what do you hope and see the vision of this book and this project being going forward?
I just hope that we can get the story into as many hands as possible, obviously I feel like it is something that is unique and not like a lot of the other books that are, have been done before. So I think it brings a different kind of richness to what a sports book is. Person is, you know, like what a player really is and, you know, what they go through on a daily basis.
And I really liked that, you know, it was just true to him. It was well done and his story is unique. It’s upbringing, you know, it’s heartfelt. You can see a lot of heart into it. And you know, I just hope that people see it and read it and understand who he is. Yeah, I do too. Yeah, I just I see when I see his legacy as a whole, I think the movie, the book, like all of these things, they just intertwine.
And I hope you know that that it represents it the way that he would want it done. I think it’s a it’s as close as we as we could get it. And I think that the fans are definitely loving it. I can tell based off of all the responses, the post on social media. Otherwise that remember if anybody if you haven’t checked it out yet, Hashtag bye bye, Barry.
And you’re going to see everything from the movie to the books you’re going to see on any social media platform. You could care to care to visit. You’ll find it there. Well, Hillary, Hey, first, I just want to say thank you for coming on the show. You know, you know, I drug you out. I’m like, no, Hillary, you’re coming on here.
We’re, we’re having too much fun telling these stories to not share it with our audience. So thank you for coming on. It’s been a lot of fun. I’m glad we could encapsulate this moment for you as a fan for me as a fan and for everybody else to kind of get a little bit of a sneak peek to behind the scenes of what made the book possible and get another perspective on the whole thing.
And speaking of anybody that’s watching, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or engaging with the platform, we’re all about bringing on Business owners, entrepreneurs, experts, and entertainers, and having them share their mission, the reason behind their mission, the projects they’re working on, and really just what fires them up and gets them motivated to go out there in the world and make a difference.
That’s type of content that sounds interesting or fun or exciting. Do you hit that subscribe button? We have many more mission based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing. Hillary, thank you so much again for coming on the show. Thank you so much.