Jeff Pearlman

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Fame is worthless

In the course of my little war with Kentucky basketball fans from earlier today, a common insult was “I’ve never even heard of you.” The translation is, “You’re so nobody, I don’t even know your name.” The translation is, “If you’re in the media and you’re not a household name, you’re worthless.”

This irks me to no end.

I don’t want fame. I don’t aspire to fame. The reason you don’t see me screaming on ESPN or Fox or wherever is because I don’t want to scream on ESPN or Fox or wherever. The world doesn’t need another Skip or Stephen A, setting aside texture in the name of volume and airport recognition. Why is it so wrong to happily write books, write a blog, do some stuff for and Tweet a little? Why does fame serve as this ultimate measure of success? Would my books be better were I a regular on TV? On the radio?


Occasional reognition is nice. Compliments are fantastic. But, for me, that’s plenty.

  • dgw

    Jeff – you do it because you love what you do, and you want to do quality work. That alone speaks volumes.

  • michael

    this is the kind of thing i will never understand. if you are so insignificant and meaningless, why do they give a shit what you say?

  • Riley

    I found your sentiments in the opening paragraph to be a little silly, since roughly 10 days ago you wrote this:

    “Up until a couple of minutes ago, I had never heard of Holly Rowe.”

    Pretty common insult indeed.

  • George Amores

    Jeff, I totally agree. Leave the scream to the Skip Bayless’ and Stephen A. Smiths of the world. You don’t need that petty nonsense. YOU DA MAN!!!!

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