Jeff Pearlman

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A reminder about Russia and the conman

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I’ve brought this up before, but it seems important tonight. So, a reminder …

After the end of the USFL’s inaugural season in 1983, Donald Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals from an Oklahoman oil guru named Walter Duncan. In the leadup to that sale, Trump praised the USFL as this great spring football league that he absolutely loved. Then, as soon as the Generals became his property, he started insisting the league needed to move to fall to directly battle the NFL.

Then, he arranged a secret meeting with Pete Rozelle, commissioner of the NFL.

He told no one.

Literally, no one.

He paid for a suite at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, and invited Rozelle for a talk. Once the two were in the same room, Trump told Rozelle—with no ambiguity—that he would throw the USFL under the bus in exchange for an NFL franchise. To be clear, Donald Trump, WHO OWNED A USFL TEAM, SAID HE WOULD HAPPILY HAVE THE USFL DIE IF IT MEANT GETTING HIM IN THE NFL.

Read that once.


Three times.

So don’t tell me he’s an honorable man.

Don’t tell me he wouldn’t collude with Russia.

Don’t tell me.

Oh, and later on he lied under oath about the entire thing.

Because that’s what he does.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life