U-M alum Adam Schefter says book about his wife and her late husband was “tough to write”

University of Michigan alum Adam Schefter, a popular football analyst with ESPN, had a story to tell – one with emotion, heartbreak, perseverance and mostly hope and love. The problem was, shockingly, no one wanted to hear it at first.

Schefter had brought up the story of his wife’s late husband Joe Maio to ESPN in previous years but the network passed on the idea – more than once. On Sept. 11, 2001, Maio went to work in the north tower of the World Trade Center. He never returned, leaving behind a wife, Sharri, and 15-month old son, Devon.

Then, one of the producers at ESPN, Greg Jewell, called up Schefter and said he wanted to do a story on his wife’s late husband.

“I was shocked,” Schefter said. “When that story ran during the first week of the season I got more feedback and reaction on that story than any other story I’ve done in my 28 years in the business. It’s not even close. E-mails and texts poured in. The story was a tribute to my wife’s late husband, who lost his life on 9-11, and to her for her incredible strength, courage and determination.”

Schefter then started getting requests to write a book about Joe Maio, his wife and the aftermath of 9-11. That book, “The Man I Never Met,” will be released Sept. 4.

Schefter will appear in conversation with senior Sports Illustrated author and fellow U-M alum Michael Rosenberg to discuss Adam’s memoir, “The Man I Never Met.” In Conversation with Michael Rosenberg with special guest ESPN Analyst Adam Schefter will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 911 N University Ave., in Ann Arbor.

Schefter says writing the book was “very hard” to write.

“It is very sensitive, very delicate and an enormous challenge,” he said. “We are talking about something that is very near and dear and very personal. It draws out a lot of emotion and takes my wife and the Maio family back to the darkest day of their life.

“It’s not an easy thing for anyone to relive. My wife doesn’t like to look back, she likes to move forward and when she’s asked to look back it’s not an easy thing. But she found the strength to do that and I’m very grateful for her and the Maio family to allow us to do that.”

Devon Maio is now 18 years old and will be a freshman this year at Michigan.

“He took some classes over the summer and I will be coming up to Ann Arbor not only for the talk but also to help him move in to his dorm,” Schefter said. “When we were getting him settled in this summer that’s when it hit me. We would be helping him get settled in no matter where he was going to school and it turns out to be Michigan. Now I get to make a few more trips a year to one of my favorite places.

“But it doesn’t matter that I’m happy he’s going to Michigan, it’s that he’s happy to be at Michigan. We want him to be happy no matter where he goes to school.”

Adam and Sharri also have a daughter, Dylan.

“We met and she had her situation and I had my situation,” Schefter said. “We were fortunate that both situations melded together and everything worked out.”

“The Man I Never Met” is a powerful true story of loss and hope by one of the biggest names in sports media. Five years later Sept. 11, Sharri remarried, and Devon welcomed a new dad into his life.

For thousands, the whole country really, 9/11 is a day of grief. For Adam and Sharri Maio Schefter and their family it’s not just a day of grief, but also hope. This is a story of 9/11, but it’s also the story of 9/12 and all the days after. Life moved on. Pieces were picked up. New dreams were dreamed. The Schefters are the embodiment of that.

Tickets for the event at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre will be available through BrownPaperTickets.com. Seating will be general admission. Each ticket comes with a signed copy of “The Man I Never Met.” Schefter will personalize copies after the author talk and lean-in photos will be permitted.

Visit www.NicolasBooks.com for more details.