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Beebe to sign new book Saturday

Six Rings from Nowhere. A biography DBeebe with Denise Crosby.

Six Rings from Nowhere. A biography of Don Beebe with Denise Crosby.

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Updated: January 15, 2013 6:14AM

It’s shocking that Don Beebe ever made it to the NFL.

After nearly quitting, the Kaneland High School grad finished his college career at tiny Chadron State. Surprisingly, Beebe got a shot to try out for NFL scouts. He arrived in jeans shorts and fishing shoes — but set speed records.

And when he finally got in his first game?

“I go in and (quarterback Jim) Kelly calls a play for me to run a post corner route,” Beebe recalled. “But as we’re breaking the huddle, Jim says to me, ‘If (cornerback Cris) Dishman presses you, just go deep.’”

Dishman pressed and Beebe caught his first career pass for 63 yards and a touchdown.

It was another turn in the story of a man who has inspired thousands, including Beacon-News columnist Denise Crosby. She first heard his story at her son’s graduation where Beebe was the speaker.

“I was fascinated. To me, it played out like a movie,” she said. “I always believed it was a good story because it struck me so visually.”

Beebe was harder to convince.

“I wasn’t a Pro Bowl guy,” Beebe said. “But so many people came to me and said, ‘You’ve got a great story to tell about succeeding against all odds’ that I finally came around to it.”

Beebe and Crosby worked together to write that story.

Beebe will be signing copies of “Six Rings From Nowhere” from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Aurora Christian High School, 2255 Sullivan Road, Aurora, where today he is the head football coach.

Beebe is most widely known for one play in his career, in Super Bowl XXVII. Ahead by a huge margin, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett recovered a fumble and began to celebrate on the way to the end zone. Incredibly, Beebe chased down Lett and forced a fumble. ESPN ranked the never-give-up play as the ninth greatest Super Bowl moment.

After the NFL, Beebe returned to Yorkville and opened the House of Speed center. In 2004, he became head coach at Aurora Christian.

For Crosby, these twists and turns made the story exciting to write with Beebe.

“It’s not a football book so much as it is about overcoming odds,” Crosby said.

For the book’s hero, it’s another chance to coach.

“I see it in kids all the time. They’re scared to dedicate themselves to something but just go out and play,” Beebe said. “Hopefully, this is a feel good story encouraging people to never give up.”

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