Jeff Pearlman

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Kit Hoover, 23C and the time my plane was going to crash

For those of you who read my Quazes (No. 75, with John Wesley Harding, was posted today), you’ve likely noticed that I ask every single person whether they’ve ever thought they were about to die in a plane crash.

Recently someone asked why I keep bringing that up.

Answer: Because oftentimes it’s accompanied by a helluva story.

Even I have one.

Twelve or 13 years ago I was flying from New York to Nashville. I don’t recall much about the actual contents of the airplane, save for the fact that, sitting one row in front of me was Kit Hoover, the Access Hollywood host best known (at the time) as the saucy chick from season one of MTV’s Road Rules.

Anyhow, we’re flying along, no problems, when the pilot’s voice comes over the PA system. “Ladies and gentleman, it’s the captain here. So … we’re leaking fuel from the right side, and we’re going to have to make a landing in Columbus, Ohio. It’s nothing to worry about—we have enough fuel to make it. So sit tight and …”

He uttered a few more words, then—silence.

Moments later, his voice returned.

“By the way, I’d like to thank the passenger in 23C for noticing the leak.”

My two thoughts:

A. What if no one sat in 23C?

B. I’m about to die in a plane crash, and the lede in the tomorrow’s newspaper is going to involve Road Rules’ Kit Hoover.

Luckily, we made it.

PS: Years later I wrote a profile of Kit for, I believe, TV Guide or Newsday. She was cool as shit … laughed when I told her the story.

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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