Jeff Pearlman

  • Twitter Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • Twitter Icon

Calling

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 2.07.36 PM

I’m working on the worst part of book research right now.

Calling people.

This is what I do. I sit in my dark office, with a list of people. One Word file after another.

And I call.

And call.

And call.

And call.

Sometimes, someone answers. Usually, someone doesn’t. When a person does answer, there’s a solid 10 seconds of awkwardness. You have that amount of time to convince the person you’re not selling sponges or workout videos. Actually, scratch that. You have five seconds. It goes like this …

“Hello, is Steven there?”

Who is this?

“My name is Jeff Pearlman. I used to write for Sports Illustrated, and I’m working on a book about …”

The Sports Illustrated part is key. It establishes credibility, and shows you’re not just some voice on a phone. No, you’re some voice on a phone who last worked on the staff of a magazine … 11 years ago.

Buy, hey. It’s honest.

I’m working off of home phone lists, which—in 2014—can be a bit hit or miss. Hell, I never answer my home phone. There are actually 74 messages, and I’m in no rush to check.

Anyhow, I wish I knew of a better system. But you’re calling people you need to speak with; people who can offer texture and background and memories and history. So I sit here, brain rotting, three cups of coffee in, calling. And calling …

Too busy to listen, too self-occupied to care

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 11.29.46 PM

The woman in the above photograph was positioned two seats away from me earlier this evening.

This blog post is about her.

And it’s not about her. It’s about society, and what we seem to be turning ourselves into.

I digress. The wife and I traveled to Los Angeles to attend a movie screening—a haunting, touching, crushing movie screening. The film, titled “Happy Valley,” concerns the sexual abuse scandal that took place at Penn State a few years back. It’s a documentary that features, among other things, the heartbreaking saga of Matt Sandusky, the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky and a victim of sexual abuse. I can’t say enough good things about the work of filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev, and I can’t say enough good things about Matt—who attended the event, then stood before an audience of, oh, 150 people and took one question after another after another.

Which is where the woman comes in.

We were two rows back, in clear view of Matt Sandusky. He stood there, clearly a bit nervous, somewhat awkward, courageous as could be. He talked about his boyhood. He talked about his adopted family. At one point, he talked about feeling suicidal.

And the woman checked her phone.

She was on Facebook.

And on Facebook some more.

And some more.

She texted.

More Facebook.

We were in clear view of the man. He was there. We were here. And, somehow, she didn’t care. Didn’t show an ounce of interest.

Infuriating.

But, really, this is who we have become, and I’m not sure why. Slaves to our phones. Slaves to immediacy. Last weekend, I attended a Bat Mitzvah in New York. It was as fun as could be—killer DJ, amazing food, a photo booth, a basketball game, prizes. On and on and on. I’d say, oh, 80 percent of the kids in attendance spent the majority of time on their phones.

It was painful to behold. The Bat Mitzvah girl lit a candle for her deceased great-grandmother—phone. The Bat Mitzvah girl had a first dance with her father—phone. I know it is what it is; I know I’m old and whiny and out of the loop.

But something’s wrong here.

Something’s genuinely wrong.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 9.07.44 PM

Mark Millon

mark-millon-06

This is my son Emmett. He’s 8-years old.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 7.17.42 PM

He is wearing pajamas in this photograph. He also happens to be standing in front of the oldest poster to grace his room—one depicting lacrosse star Mark Millon.

The image exists on Emmett’s wall for a strange reason: Five or six years ago, when we still lived in New Rochelle, our neighbors—three elderly men, one middle-aged woman—relocated to San Diego. They left tons of things behind, and after nearly everything was sold we walked through, wondering what remained. There was weird stuff. An autographed script from Martin Sheen. A big African drum. A rolled-up poster, signed by Mark Millon.

Emmett was young, but he liked the image. So we hung it, then took it town and hung it again when we relocated to California. It’s a bit tattered and worn, yet also loved.

Here’s the weird thing: Neither my son nor I knew much about Millon. We’re not big lacrosse fans, and certainly not followers of the pro game. That’s why, a few weeks ago, I said to Emmett, “I’m gonna try making Mark Millon a Quaz …” To which he replied, “What’s a Quaz?”

Ah, kids.

Anyhow, today’s 181st Quaz is a dandy. Millon isn’t merely a dude from a poster. No, he’s one of the all-time greats of the sport; a UMass product and Lacrosse Hall of Famer who has earned every honor imaginable. Now 43, he devotes much of his time to teaching the game via his camps and clinics. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

Mark Millon, you’re no longer the dude on the poster. You’ve been elevated to Quazhood …

JEFF PEARLMAN: Mark, I attended the University of Delaware when the men’s lacrosse team was very strong—and I fell for the game. The speed. The physicality. The skill. So I wonder why more Americans haven’t fallen for it? I mean, lacrosse is insanely exciting, yet it remains sorta fringe, the pro leagues draw meh crowds. Why is this? And can you picture a day when professional lacrosse is right up there with the Major Leagues and NBA and NFL and NHL?

MARK MILLON: Jeff, lacrosse is an absolutely incredible game to play and watch but there are a few issues that I feel slow its growth.

Folks talk about how much it’s “growing.” Yeah, it is but it’s growing from something tiny into something just very small. Over the past five years, though, while the participation numbers are not off the reservation, the TV coverage growth is exponential and I feel that gives lacrosse its best chance ever to really kick into gear. However—and it’s a significant however—there are still huge barriers to that happening. The first is the cost to play. You cannot pick up the game for less than $225-to-$250, and that’s for the barebones low-end equipment. Every player needs a helmet, gloves, stick, arm protection and shoulder pads. So you can’t chance watch it on TV and say, “I’m gonna try that sport!”

Next, while it looks cool on TV, which, again, I think can fuel growth, the average person who has never seen it has a hard time following it. Seeing the ball, knowing about all the substitutions, etc … etc … makes it somewhat complicated. The final piece is adequate coaching. Lacrosse is actually pretty technical and there aren’t enough qualified coaches or former players throughout the country and world to teach people how to play the right way.

One more thing: when you first pick up a stick it’s not easy so you cant get instant gratification like you might get kicking a soccer ball or shooting a basketball.

For all those reasons I really don’t see lacrosse ever being up with the mainstream big four sports. I would love to see it but I don’t envision it happening. I feel like we will continue to see growth in participation but I see fairly slow growth in the pro leagues.

Millon (No. 9) alongside teammate John DeTommaso after Team USA captured the 1998 World Championship.

Millon (No. 9) alongside teammate John DeTommaso after Team USA captured the 1998 World Championship.

J.P.: In 2007 you retired as the all-time leading scorer in MLL history. Then, in 2013 (at age 42) you returned to join the Rochester Rattlers. Why? And how hard was it to get back into the sport at that age? What were the toughest physical struggles? And was it worth it?

M.M.: When I retired in 2007 I was working two jobs. I was a full-time sales manager at Warrior and I was running my camp business with 2,000 kids coming through. I had been the two-time offensive MVP of the MLL, was the MVP of the league in 2005, won a championship, played nine years in the NLL (National Lacrosse League), was an All-Pro, won a championship, played on two USA teams, was the MVP of the World Games. I really felt like I had done it all. My off-field preparation was suffering and I really wasn’t playing with passion. So I walked away.

But I always felt I sort of walked away the wrong way, sort of the opposite of Derek Jeter’s “walk away.” And it was definitely not because I couldn’t play.

Fast forward to 2013. I knew I could do it, I knew with 100-percent certainty that if I got in shape I could play. I also have two young boys who could now share in the experience in a real and understandable level. So the combination of knowing I could play, the ability to leave the right way, and for my kids to share in it and see the training it takes to compete at that that level … it was really enticing.  Was it tough? Oh, yeah, it was really tough but it felt good to work as hard as I did. I re-hired my strength and conditioning coach, did a lot of shooting and dodging on my own and even did that crazy-ass Insanity workout. I felt incredible. I went to my first training camp and a former teammate from my prime in Boston, who was a future Hall of Famer as well as the captain of 2014 Team USA, told me, “You look 100 percent exactly the way you did in 2005.”

Most people think I am completely delusional with what I will say next, but, well, I just ended up in the wrong place to succeed. It was a combination of about three or four things but it was just the wrong place and I feel with all my heart that if I went to the right place and the right fit it would have been an incredible ending. I played in three games and had one goal and three assists—far from what I was looking for.

But was it worth it? Hell, yeah. Regardless of what anyone thought, I was so goddamn close. It failed, but all you want to do is have a chance. Right?

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 2.46.12 PM

J.P.: I know you’re from Long Island, I know you played at UMass, but … why lacrosse? Like, how did you first discover the game? When did you truly start to love it? What about lacrosse did it for you? And when did you first realize, “Damn, I’m REALLY good at this?”

M.M.: I grew up in Huntington, N.Y. and in my youth I was really all about baseball. I played on all the elite teams through the age of 13 but practices were just so boring for me. I was a sports junkie, though, always playing deck hockey, pickup football, baseketball, etc. I honestly didn’t know that much about lacrosse. My dad was a school teacher at Syosset High School, and the lacrosse coach said to him one day, “Hey, I know you have two young sons. You should have them try lacrosse.” So we did. My bro and I went to a camp when I was nine but I really wasn’t hooked. It was hard and I was killing it in baseball so I just messed with the stick on the side for a few years and continued to play baseball.

In middle school I played on the team and was pretty good and really from there I was hooked and started to develop a real passion to play and practice. I think what really hooked me was the speed, the scoring and just how much fun I had playing. I got really good in high school, played on the most elite team there was (Empire State Team—Long Island) but it really wasn’t until my sophomore year at UMass where I was like, “Wow, I actually think I can do anything out here on the field I want. I can dodge, play off ball, score, pass.” I guess that;s when I started to realize that I was pretty damn good.

J.P.: I think winning—and the emphasis we place on winning—is sorta bullshit. I don’t see why losing is so awful, so long as you tried, had fun, learned a few things. The majority of people seem to disagree. How about you? And why?

M.M.: I swear I am the most competitive person in the world (I know everyone says that), but the emphasis on winning is a total effing joke. It’s really, really bad in the world of youth lacrosse. The way I coach my kids teams is, “Guys, I am going to develop the shit out of you, you are going to play the game so that you have a real chance to be good and if we win or lose so be it.” I want my kids to play like a mini-college team and move the ball around. I want everyone to participate. There are so many idiots out there that just want to win. They give the ball to the biggest kid and he bulls around and scores, but the offense looks like total shit. Yet the parents are stoked. Parents all over the country completely undervalue development and instruction and just want to win.

Where does this come from? Is it because every pro athlete says that all they want to do is win championships? Did it trickle down? Is it because we say NFL quarterbacks, regardless of stats, are nothing until they win? I have no idea. But, in my mind, if you compete as hard as you can, have a blast and get better, well, that is pretty damn important.

J.P.: Do you feel like anyone can develop lax skills? Like, can we take some kid who’s a so-so athlete, work with him on lacrosse and make something? Or do you need kids with speed, with size, with agility?

M.M.: Nah, it’s like anything else. Not everyone can be good at lacrosse or develop great skill. One thing that’s unique in lacrosse is it’s really not about the speed, size or agility. If you look at lacrosse right now, Paul Rabil is the best player in the game. He is 6-foot-3 and big and fast, but one of the best college players is a kid at Duke who is 5-foot-8. The Thompson kids from Albany aren’t crazy big and strong.

What lacrosse does take is good eye-hand coordination combined with massive amounts of practice. The skills, especially offensive skills, are really technical. You can take a so-so athlete, speed-wise, with amazing eye-hand coordination and find a spot on the field for him.

J.P.: Greatest moment of your lacrosse career? Lowest?

M.M.: The best was being named to my first USA team. It was truly my dream from when I first got passionate about lacrosse in seventh grade. I had the poster on my wall with a USA player on it and always wanted to wear that jersey.

The worst was my senior year in high school. I had a great year, I was a 100 percent lock to be a high school All-American—which I really coveted. I talked to my coach that day and he could not have been more confident for me. He called me on the way home from the meeting and was literally in tears. “Mark,” he said, “I do not have any idea how this just happened, but you didn’t make it.” I was upset but it really drove me.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 3.05.19 PM

J.P.: Back in 2006 lacrosse was all over the news because of the whole Duke lacrosse scandal. It seemed, in a way, to offer up this image of lacrosse players as privileged, arrogant, indifferent assholes. I’m wondering, at the time, what you thought of the goings-on. Were you concerned? Hurt? Defensive? All? Neither?

M.M.: Being a lacrosse player, working in the industry, running camps, I was a total 100-percent lacrosse expert. From the second the news started to break I knew with 100-percent certainty it was bullshit. I knew a bunch of educated young men … boys brought up in New Jersey, Connecticut … and there was no way they would gang rape a woman. Would they do a ton of other questionable, dumb stuff? Oh, yeah. Absolutely. But not that. I knew the truth would come out eventually. The amazing thing is what it has done at Duke. That program is by far the best in lacrosse right now and it all started at the start of the scandal. Crazy stuff. Karma? Nah. Probably just a great coach.

J.P.: What does it feel like to start getting old as an athlete? Are you aware of it happening? Does it sneak up on you one day? When did you first notice some slippage? And how did you deal with it? The inevitability?

M.M.: I will be totally honest. I have no idea. I am either so naive, stupid—or I just didn’t perceptively feel it happening. Maybe toward the end of my career, when I was not putting up the numbers and I was blaming it on lack of preparation, but was it age? I don’t know because I really wasn’t preparing properly. I know this is crazy but even today, at age 43m when my stick is in my hands at a clinic, my shooting feels exactly the same. I guess, though, one thing you do feel for sure—and I did feel it 2013—is your body can’t rebound as fast and the tendency to strain muscles increases.

I guess that’s why guys use so much growth hormone and testosterone.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 11.50.39 PM

J.P.: I’d love to hear the story of your absolute most painful injury. What happened? What was the pain like?

M.M.: Unfortunately I really don’t have a great injury story. For a smaller guy who played a really slashing, speed-oriented, attacking style, I have no idea why I was so lucky. I did break my fifth metatarsal in 1997m which required a screw and it hurt like a son of a bitch. But that isn’t really exciting. I also needed surgery to fix a torn lower abdominal muscle and it hurt. But not that bad.

J.P.: I fear death. I do. The inevitability. Like it’s just waiting there, and it’s gonna happen. I’m guessing you don’t feel that way. How do you avoid the thoughts? It haunts me.

M.M.: Of course I do because I like life so much and not being able to do it any more or share it with my kids would surely suck. But I try not to think about it much. I block it out because I generally don’t have a lot of control of the matter.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 3.04.41 PM

QUAZ EXPRESS WITH MARK MILLON:

• We take you, age 24 or 25, and give you a year to train as an NFL wide receiver, then get you a training camp invite. What could you have done?: I could have been Wes Welker. Not necessarily the straight speed but the change of direction and quickness would have allowed me to make plays. I would have loved the opportunity

•  Rank in order (favorite to least): Anthony DiMarzo, ice skating, Real Housewives of Atlanta, Marcus Camby, Roosevelt Field Mall, Paul Molitor, ant farms, black licorice: This feels like a baseline concussion test or something. Camby, Molitor, Roosevelt Field Mall, ice skating, Real Housewives, Anthony DiMarzo, black licorice, ant farms.

• Ever thought you were about to die in a plane crash? If so, what do you recall?: Oh, yeah. During my years playing in the NLL we used to travel on these Dash 8 prop planes in the middle of winter. Sometimes they would drop what felt like 2,000 feet and I would tell my teammate next to me, “I honestly thought we were going down.”

• One question you would ask Suzanne Somers were she here right now?: What was it like acting like a complete idiot on Three’s Company?

• Five reasons one should make Long Island his/her next vacation destination?: OK, this might not be five reasons but here goes. On a July day you can sit on the nicest beach in the world from 9 am until 2 pm. Jump in the car and go watch the greatest sports franchise in the world (Yankees), then go hit a world-class restaurant. After dinner go down to the Meatpacking District, party till 5:30 am, head back east and you can fall asleep on the nicest beach in the world.

• The world needs to know—what was it like playing alongside Dan Radebaugh?: Words that come to mind—intense, loyal, fundamental, angry, fun.

• What’s the all-time best psychup song before a sporting event?: It’s an oldie—The Cult’s Fire Woman. On a side note, I saw them live at Nassau Coliseum in like 1985 and it took two days for my ears to come back on line.

• Who wins in a 12-round boxing match between you and Eli Manning? What’s the result?: While Eli looks like a 5-year-old schoolboy who lost his puppy, he is still 6-foot-4 and tough. I out-quick him for a while but TKO in the 10th. I lose.

• How many Mark Millon sex tapes are out there on the underground market?: I hope none.

• Would you rather drink a full cup of Tom Marechek’s spit or sing the national anthem at the next Philadelphia Eagles’ home game?: That is just a nasty visual. Would anyone not take the National Anthem option there?

Walking off the court

cra

So last night I spent about 1 1/2 hours at the gym, working out with weights and the ol’ StairMaster. At, oh, 10:30, I headed over to the basketball court, to see if anything was going on.

As soon as I entered, I heard, “Hey, you want in?” There were nine guys on the court. They needed one more.

“OK,” I said. “I’ll play.”

Teams were immediately divided, and I knew it’d be a regrettable experience. I’ve written much about Ski Cap McFuck, a dude at the gym who absolutely makes me want to vomit. But there’s another guy—close second—who I’ll call, ah, Slim McFuck. He’s a skinny guy, maybe 25-years old. He wears orange sneakers, baggy shorts, a sly grin. Like Ski Cap McFuck, Slim McFuck thinks he’s a particularly good basketball player … which explains why he averages 432 shots per game.

That’s an exaggeration. But not by much. And maybe, just maybe, I could deal with Slim McFuck thinking like Kobe Bryant, were he to play an ounce of defense. But he doesn’t. Ever. He shoots and shoots and shoots, then lets his guy glide past for uncontested buckets.

Anyhow, I can’t stand playing with this guy, and last night was no different. Slim McFuck was on my team, and he immediately took the ball up, dribbled left, dribbled right, shot, missed, played no defense, had his guy score. It happened again. Then again.

Finally, I walked off the court.

Just walked off.

Jerk move? Perhaps. But I’m 42, with a bad back and a lifetime of playing with roaches like Slim McFuck. They’re everywhere, and no matter how many times their egos seem to be squashed by shooting, oh, 2-for-30, they return. Bolder. Stronger. More irritating.

I know I’m now the angry old guy with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s probably a bad spot to reside.

Why? Because my next blog post may well be written from a jail cell—after breaking Slim McFuck’s jaw with my forearm.

Held hostage by a newspaper

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 2.19.13 PM

I moved to Orange County a few months ago. I hadn’t been a print newspaper subscriber for quite some time, but I signed up to receive the Orange County Register for a weird reason: I took my kids to an Angels game, and there was a woman sitting at a table inside the stadium, peddling print subscriptions. I felt awful for her because nobody approached. So I went up to chat, felt even more guilty—and signed up for a cheap two-month print subscription. Have actually sort of enjoyed the paper. The sports guys are clearly busting their asses, and the work is strong. The news is v-e-r-y thin, the paper is more inserts than content, etc.

But here’s the weird thing: I recently went away for a few days, and I called to put my delivery on hold. And I could not reach anyone. I called, I e-mailed—nothing. Like, I could not suspend delivery because nobody was available to suspend delivery.

I’m now trying to cancel my subscription—and the newspaper won’t let me. I’m being held captive by a dying newspaper. Seriously. I’ve called, left messages, e-mailed—no reply. Today I even went to do it via online chat … but you can see that (didn’t) work out.

I feel awful for the employees, because they’re clearly working hard, employed by a sinking ship. The whole situation sucks.

And now I’m getting a paper I no longer want.

And I’m fucking paying for it.

When Jerks Get Exposed

Mr. October? Try Mr. Asswipe.

Mr. October? Try Mr. Asswipe.

In case you missed the must-read sports piece of the week, here’s the link.

It’s a profile of Lisa Saxon, the longtime sports writer who, as a pioneer for women covering the games, had to endure tons upon tons upon tons upon tons of shit from asshole neanderthal ballplayers.

The worst of whom was one Reginald Martinez Jackson.

Read the piece. Trust me. You’ll seethe, then seethe again. Jackson is, at his best, a piggish dolt. At his worst, he’s a threatening caveman. He went out of his way to bring misery upon a woman merely trying to do her job—and he often succeeded. Again, he’s horrible. Awful. The worst.

And that’s what makes me so happy about the story, written nicely by Jack Ross. It allows readers to finally see what so many inside the game (myself included) have long known. Namely, that Jackson has always been a two-faced fraud. Smiling and polite when need be, but often cruel, belittling, mean.

Perhaps ironically, perhaps not, the Jackson piece appeared on the same day that “State of Affair,” Katherine Heigl’s new TV show, debuted on NBC. Like Jackson, Heigl is a once-bright star whose reputation has been largely destroyed by repeated reports of her ego trumping her talent. Though I’ve never met Heigl, I have a good friend who has worked with her, and calls her—simply—”mean” and “awful.”

Which doesn’t mean her career should end.

It just means, as in the case of Mr. October, I won’t waste time rooting for her.

This, I believe, is a good thing. A good development. A good byproduct of the information age. I like knowing when people are wonderful and kind and huge-hearted. I also like knowing when they’re mean and petty. Yeah, it’s just baseball and just acting.

But, really, it’s not. There’s something to be said for those who treat others with respect and decency. They’re the ones I want to root for and support..

The angry old man

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.44.26 PM

So I pulled up to my new favorite coffee shop out here in Southern California, and there was only one parking spot left. Regrettably, it was reduced in size by, oh, 17 percent by this obnoxious vehicle and a truly awful job of maneuvering the wheel …

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.36.20 PMI’m a nice guy. Well, I think I’m a nice guy. But I have my moments. They usually involve either:

1. Hard-core conservatives who call Obama a Muslim.

2. Folks who leave their trays of half-eaten food on a table at restaurants that call for patrons to clean for themselves.

3. Circus clowns.

4. Bad parkers.

Shit, I hate bad parking. I really, really do. Because, when you exit your vehicle, you inevitably have to realize that you did a shit job. In particular, I hate shit parkers who drive inexcusably large vehicles that get less than 10 miles per gallon. I mean, if you’re gonna choose a tank as your means of transportation, at least park it well.

Long story short, I left this note …

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.36.06 PM

And now I feel like an asshole.

Because it was mean and unnecessary.

Slava

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 11.03.15 PM

Earlier this evening I was walking through New York City to meet a friend. I turned right on 15th Street and found myself passing the apartment building I last called home 11 1/2 years ago.

The place has special meaning for me. It’s where the wife and I first cohabited; the location where, in 2001, I proposed.

Anyhow, I looked inside the lobby and saw a familiar face manning the door. Her name is Slava. She was one of my absolute favorite people. Whenever I returned home back in the day, I’d yell out, “Slava!” and she’d counter with, “Jeff!” We’d talk about life and kids and experiences. On the day I proposed, Slava gave me a warning that the girlfriend had arrived. “She’s here!” she said, calling up.

“OK,” I replied, nervously. “Thanks.”

Anyhow, it’d been a long time. Very long. And, at first, I just walked past the building. Hell, there’s no way she’d remember me. Think of all the tenants who’d come and gone. We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of faces.

Then, after walking a block, I stopped and turned around. Why wouldn’t I say hello? What’s the worst that could happen? She wouldn’t recognize me, I’d explain, there’d be an awkward silence, I’d leave. Big whoops. Hence, I marched back down, nervously opened the door and stood before her.

She looked up. One second pause.

“JEFF!”

“Slava!”

She gave me a warm hug. A great hug. We chatted for a long time. Her son—a boy when I last knew her—is now a man. Married. A daughter. She was warm and peppy and enthusiastic. The Slava the wife and I always loved.

Anyhow, I’m not entirely sure of the point here. But it pays to turn around.

Always turn around.

Roll Tide! Roll Press!

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 1.52.33 PM

This may well be the greatest thing ever. And I’ve witnessed many great things.

The University of Alabama is holding an auction, with the winner receiving four passes to spend the big Western Carolina game sitting … in the press box!

Yes! The press box!

I love Alabama, and I love press boxes, so I can tell you—it’s fucking thrilling! And I’m! Using exclamation! Marks on purpose! It’s! Thrilling!

In the press box, there are long rows of desks! Where one can place his laptop! In the press box, overweight men in bad sweaters type! And Tweet! Sometimes, when nobody’s looking, they visit this site! But only sometimes! When nobody’s looking!

In the press box, there’s free soda! With cups! There’s a lunch area that costs, usually $8! The people who serve the food wear gloves! And smile! Sometimes!

Once the game starts, the press box gets serious! Overweight men in bad sweaters complain about the food served by the people wearing gloves! They whine about declining newspaper circulation! They use the bathroom, then get more free soda!

Sometimes, words are written!

Sometimes!

In the press box, there’s always one guy who’s been there for 40 years! His nickname is usually Skip or Pops! He wears the home team’s colors, and cheers when someone scores! Why is he there! We have no idea!

But it’s amazing!

The current high bid is $750! But that’s crazy!

There’s free soda!

Showtime Book
Love Me, Hate Me Barry Bonds Book
Sweetness Walter Peyton Book
The Bad Guys Won Book
The Rocket that Fell to Earth Book
Boys Will Be Boys Book

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