MLS star Jeff Attinella plays goalkeeper for the Portland Timbers. However, he's more than just your typical professional athlete. Jeff is a loving husband, dedicated father, and in his spare time, he's the author of multiple illustrated children's books for the publishing company, It Had to be Told, which he started in 2017 with his wife and father-in-law.

Sports play an important role in the Attinella household; so, it's no surprise that the children's books they choose to publish are based on sports history. Interestingly, their titles are some of the only non-fiction illustrated kids’ books covering historical sports moments that you'll find. From LeBron James bringing a ring back to Cleveland to the Chicago Cubs surmounting a century-old World Series curse, the books help fans relive the excitement and give kids a fun alternative to traditional children's books. Think Dr. Seuss meets Sports Illustrated for Kids.

Jeff's first title, The Curse Endsis even a finalist for two national book awards.


 

Roll, Bama, Roll: The Beginning

Following Alabama's epic overtime comeback over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, Jeff decided that the Crimson Tide deserved their story to be told. He sat down with his father-in-law, Wayne Curtiss, to write a children's story that paid homage to this college football dynasty.

Jeff and Wayne worked hard to craft a fun and educational script that weaved together some of the most iconic Alabama football memories with the rich tradition and history of the program and its fans. The goal was to not only write a story that kids will love, but also one that 'Bama fans of all ages will enjoy reading.

After they finished the 700-word script, they partnered with a local newspaper artist, Steve Madden, to start sketching and illustrating the artwork for all 28 pages in Roll, Bama, Roll. As you can see in the images below, these beautiful and captivating illustrations will keep you turning the page.


Roll, Bama, Roll: The Kickstarter

In order to help get this amazing piece of 'Bama memorabilia produced, It Had to be Told is looking for help from the Crimson Tide community. They launched a Kickstarter campaign that is running until May 2nd. With help from Alabama fans, alumni, former players, and anyone else, they hope to raise enough money to produce and distribute thousands of copies of Roll, Bama, Roll.

To participate, you can visit their Kickstarter page and pledge anywhere from $5 to $3,000+. Each pledge tier comes with a reward. The basic ones include e-book copies of the book, hardcover copies, or even signed bookplates. The larger pledge tiers come with some really awesome and unique rewards.

- Pledge $280+: If you pledge $280 or more for "Big Time Booster" tier, you'll receive three copies of the book AND It Had to be Told will donate ten titles (six Roll, Bama, Roll, and four of their other titles) to local elementary schools through Alabama.

- Pledge $3,000+: Only one pledger will have the honor of the "Walk of Fame" tier which features a friendly rivalry component. On top of the other rewards, It Had to be told will send 17 books (nine Roll, Bama, Roll, and eight of their other titles) to the 12 elementary schools in Auburn, Alabama on the pledger's behalf. Perhaps some of the Auburn children will be persuaded to join the Crimson faithful.

What Can You Do?

Outside of pledging to help Jeff and his team reach their Kickstarter goal, you can share their story with your friends and family. The more people who hear about this project, the more money they'll raise to get it funded.

If you'd like to learn more about the Kickstarter, you can visit the crowdfunding page.

You can also learn more about the project and company on It Had to be Told.