Jeff Pearlman

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The final class

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Last class of the semester tonight at Chapman University in Orange, Cal.

I teach sports journalism, and 13 students showed up pretty dutifully every Tuesday for (more or less) 2 1/2 hours of my jabbering.

It’s a weird thing, the shoes and vantage point of an adjunct. I feel like, because I only lead one class, I become particularly close to the students. I desperately want them to do well; I’d love to hand out only As; I can’t wait to see their careers … their lives … their accomplishments. This was probably the best group I’ve ever had in one room. They were inquisitive and challenging and funky. Some arrived with more experience than others; some are staffers at the Chapman newspaper; some write with automatic flow.

But, to a person, they were enjoyable. Which makes teaching equally enjoyable.

But here’s the thing: I grow attached to the students. I truly do. Yet to a good number of the attendees, it’s merely a class. One of many. Maybe they liked it a lot, but—day’s end—it’s three of 12 or 15 credits. And I don’t blame them. I was surely the same way in college. Trying to get by, itching for class to end so I could go play hoops or eat at The Scrounge or … whatever it was I did in the early 1990s.

So I’m sad tonight, and they’re not.

It makes sense.

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