Jeff Pearlman

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The press box

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“Wow!” they say. “You get to meet the players!”

Yup.

“And watch the games!”

Yup.

“And eat for free!”

Yup.

“And sit in the press box!”

Yup.

But about this press box thing. I’m sitting in one now. Soldier Field. Cardinals-Bears. It’s 70 degrees outside. Sunny. A beautiful day for football … to kick back, down a beer and a hotdog, wear your jersey. Great day. But here in the press box, it’s as stale as last week’s ham on rye. Temperature controlled. Almost no noise. Writers making snarky comments about broken players, meditating on this play or that play, whispering, complaining, sipping drinks. Quiet. Dull.

As an up and comer, I longed for the press box. Now, I long to escape the press box. Just a miserable place to observe a sporting event, generally alongside unhappy people who spend 80 percent of their time checking e-mail, downloading porn, calling so and so to complain about so and so.

Which is exactly what I’m doing right now.

Ironic.

PS: I was e-mailed this by the author today. Though I agree with little of it, and his facts are off throughout, I admire the passion he put into the argument. A worthy read.

  • Rudy

    I’ll bet if you were to quit your boss would accept your resignation. Stay home with your kids every weekend….oh wait, no more time for hanging out all day at Cosi and listening to Hannah Montana.

  • kevin

    I’m a professional business journalist who has occasionally been sportswriter-for-a-day at charity events. My experience in the press box is the exact opposite of Pearlman’s. The pro sportswriters in attendance are genuinely excited about the game on the field, and they are grateful for the excellent view of the action. If anything, I’ve been surprised at how passionate they are about even the most unimportant game.

  • Eric

    His facts are off throughout? If you’re going to make a claim like that, you should at least post the passages that you deem to be inaccurate, instead of labeling the whole piece this way.

    After all, he did the same for you. If you want to respond to the piece, fine, just don’t link to it as a backhanded compliment to the author.

  • http://www.amazinavenue.com James K.

    Agreed with Eric above.

    If the piece has factual inaccuracies it would be better to explain what they are, rather than simply writing off the whole piece and saying facts are wrong “throughout”. The author of that piece cited a source for any facts (yes, it’s Wikipedia but it’s something).

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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