Date Published: February 23, 2023
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
In the twilight of his NFL career as a middle linebacker for the Chicago
Storm, Mike “the Steelman” Stalowski masks his physical pain and
mental anguish with alcohol and painkillers. The fan favorite has a rebel
image and a notorious reputation, and he plays a violent gridiron game
fueled by inner rage.
While estranged from his wife and living in the fishbowl environment of
professional sports, he unexpectedly meets the fresh-out-of-college Kim
Richardson. She sees through Mike’s star persona to who he really
is—a kind guy from the Southeast Side of Chicago who has never
forgotten his humble blue-collar roots. The lives of the star-crossed,
seemingly mismatched couple collide during a whirlwind romance that
culminates in a tragic series of events.
The Walk-On is a timeless tale of love and loss that explores the
consequences of personal decisions and the rewards of faith, redemption, and
About the Author
Richard Podkowski, a native of Chicago’s South Side, began writing
fiction while studying criminal justice at Loyola University Chicago.
As a United States Secret Service special agent, Richard protected U.S.
presidents and foreign dignitaries and investigated major domestic and
international financial crimes. After retiring from the Secret Service in
2003 as a supervisory special agent, he became a management member of a
Fortune 100 company’s global security group. For the last several years,
Richard has been a private sector strategic security consultant.
Inspired by professional athletes who lived in a fishbowl under constant
media scrutiny and made life-altering mistakes, Richard wrote The Walk-On.
Other projects include a holiday rom-com manuscript and a crime story. In
his free time, Richard enjoys riding his road bike, working out, and making
Christmas ornaments. He currently resides with his family in Los