Jeff Pearlman

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Paul Olkowski and the most unique of eyes

Back in 1991-92, the University of Delaware had one of the hottest men’s basketball teams in the country. The Hens rolled over everyone—Vermont and New Hampshire, Drexel and Towson. They won 24 games, I believe, and even reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

With one small hiccup.

Midway through the glorious run, the Hens lost to friggin’ Bucknell. Yes, Bucknell. A school half of us had never heard of. A school with a glorious tradition of, uh … ah … not sure. The Bison boasted a 6-foot-8 power forward named Paul Olkowski, who scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the win.

Friggin’ Paul Olkowski.

Well, fast forward. It’s 2011, and my wife—a Bucknell grad who insists her school is better than mine—happens to be good friends with the man nicknamed Tall Paul. Turns out he’s (egad) a helluva nice guy. And an absolutely dazzling professional photographer.

And an absolutely dazzling professional photographer … who takes spectacular pictures of my kids. For free!

Go Bucknell! Go Olkowski!


I’m a fan of talent, and I’m an even bigger fan of talent bestowed upon wonderful people. So, if you have a chance, check out Paul’s killer work. He’s one of the best.

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