Scott’s “storybook ending” gets a book
All-Star. Author. MVP. Enforcer. John Scott may be the only one who can claim to be all of the above. In his new autobiography, “A Guy Like Me: Fighting to Make the Cut,” Scott takes us through his journey on how he went from a fourth-line enforcer to All-Star MVP. Anyone who wanted a tell-all about last year’s drama surrounding Scott’s controversial inclusion in the NHL All-Star Game will get that here — and more.
“A Guy Like Me,” co-authored by Brian Cazeneuve, starts with Scott’s childhood, and quickly takes us through his youth hockey days. He was never the best player on his team, and his height was often seen as a disadvantage by his coaches. Scott never even considered a pro career until he was in college, when his coach told him he could play pro if he was willing to fight.
Scott does a good job of focusing on what most readers would want to know: what it is like to be a bubble player in the NHL on one-year contracts, learning how to fight like an NHL enforcer, his memorable bout with Kevin Westgarth, his “attack” on Phil Kessel in a preseason game and — naturally — the lead-up to, and his participation in, the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. Like any good biography, the seemingly mundane parts of his life are left out; perhaps this is why Scott doesn’t talk about his junior year of college hockey. More noteworthy events in his career, like the All-Star Game and each of his five goals in the NHL, are recounted in greater detail.
But “A Guy Like Me” isn’t just the happy stuff. Before his senior year of college, Scott was arrested for getting into a car accident while drunk. A good portion of his book deals with that, and his subsequent trial and jail time. Most athletes would downplay, gloss over or even flat-out ignore such a huge mistake in their own books; Scott is man enough to admit his mistakes and even talk about them.
Quote that epitomizes “A Guy Like Me”: “I’ve gone through some stuff in my life and made some mistakes and yet things have always worked out right for me. Going to Chicago [to play junior hockey], going to a school I knew nothing about, taking engineering…those were all leaps of faith that could have gone wrong. But somehow none of them did. Every decision lifted me a little bit closer to where I am today. Honestly, I have a great family, I’ve done something professionally that I love, my health is good, I live in this beautiful house. I think more and more often about how lucky I am. It just makes me think: maybe there is someone looking after me and that even when I’m going through something bad, it will ultimately lead to something good.”
What I like about “A Guy Like Me”: Scott gives the details about what went down between him, the Arizona Coyotes and the NHL last year prior to the All-Star Game. He doesn’t try to minimize his drunk driving incident while in college. The book is a quick read.
What I do not like about “A Guy Like Me”: There are 23 photos in the book, but only four have to do with hockey. Most of the pictures are of Scott with his wife and/or his kids. Family is important, but since this is a book about a hockey player, there should be more photos from his career. Also, no mention of Scott’s scene-stealing turn in the San Jose Shark’s Holiday Sweater music video from 2014. What’s up with that?
If you were a fan of John Scott anytime during his career — even at the end, when he made it into the All-Star Game — then you will enjoy “A Guy Like Me” because it tells the story of the fan-favorite and gives insight of what it is like to be a year-to-year, non-star NHL player. If you don’t like Scott, your opinion of him might change after reading his book. ■