Jeff Pearlman

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Dirtbag

Two weeks ago I received an e-mail from Amanda Koval, an Iona College journalism student who wanted to interview me.

“Sure,” I replied. “Give me some dates.”

Amanda responded, and we agreed I would come to campus on a weekday morning. Fine. Great. No sweat.

Well, some sweat—I suck at keeping a schedule. On the agreed upon morning, I dropped my kids off at school, returned home and prepared to hit Starbucks for some writing. I checked me e-mail … CRAP. It was Amanda, reminding me she’d be on the third floor and …

I bolted out the door and jumped into my car. I forgot what Amanda was doing this for—print, web, radio. I arrive, and there’s a TV camera. I’m wearing my typical dirtbag attire. Gray sweatshirt with the pocket stuffed with wallet and cell phone. Baggy maroon hoops shorts, straight off the Marshall’s clearance shelf. Sandals.

Amanda did a wonderful job.

I look like a fool.

  • davem

    I would have thought profiling athletes would be one of the most sought after assignments in journalism. But if what you say is true about them being far less interesting than regular people, how do you balance telling a true story about the athlete while still giving the audience something enjoyable to read?

  • George

    Jeff, not a fool at all. You went there as you are and you don’t put on a show. I figured you had just come from a good run or just finished shooting some hoops. Hey, its better that having to wear a tie. LOL!!!!

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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