Jeff Pearlman

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Andrew Whitworth is my hero

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As I wrote in a column for CNN.com, the Super Bowl sucked. The game sucked, the ads sucked, the halftime show sucked, New England winning for the 800th time sucked. Everything. About. The. Game. Sucked.

Then, Andrew Whitworth saved our souls.

With this …

I don’t think Whitworth’s brain works as mine does—which is to say he’s consumed by the inevitability of eternal nothingness. But, in this area, he’s completely correct. Life is filled the gap between birth and death with all sorts of stuff. Hugs, kisses, car rides, bad grades, flights, fights, sodas, books, flat tires, movies, funerals, Bar Mitzvahs. On and on and on—we’re all seeking the best filler we can find. And the Super Bowl, more than anything I can think of, is pure filler of the greatest degree. It’s bright lights and loud noises and sparklers and cheerleaders and nonstop talk of immortality. Tom Brady is immortal. The Patriots are immortal. Bill Bel—

No.

We will all die. People will forget we existed. A century from now, if the earth still holds humans (I kid), nobody will be discussing Tom Brady. When I say “nobody”—I actually mean no one. Oh, sure, perhaps there will be some genre of research paper recalling a period in history when it was acceptable for large men in helmets to slam into one another. And maybe there will be a Tom Brady Lane somewhere in Foxboro. But, truly, none of us are immortal, or forever remembered.

And, even if you dispute that by saying, “George Washington! Abraham Lincoln! James Madison!”—well, no one actually remembers them. Because they’re long dead. We know of their deeds, but only via regurgitation of information.

So, long story short, Andrew Whitworth was the best thing to emerge from shitty Super Bowl LIII.

Because he was real.

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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