Jeff Pearlman

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Wendy

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Back when I was in high school, I had a crush on a girl named Wendy.

I did what loser boys with crushes do. I followed her around. I talked about here. I longed for her to pay attention to me. Then, as she ignored me, I started telling people I didn’t like her after all. She was a jerk, she was rude, she was standoffish. What made her think she was so great? What was the big deal? She wasn’t even that pretty. Or smart. Fuck her. Who in the world would want anything to do with Wendy?

Of course, it was all envy and jealousy and the immaturity of a horny little dipshit. There was nothing wrong with Wendy. She was actually sorta wonderful.

Enter: Fox News.

In 2019, Fox News is Jeff Pearlman 1989-90, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is Wendy.

The freshman New York congresswoman is, truly, just a freshman New York congresswoman. Yes, she’s outspoken and dogged and passionate. But she has, literally, no more say or power than Harley Rouda or Dan Crenshaw or any of her fellow 434 representatives. She’s a person. Just one.

But Fox News absolutely obsesses over her. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it’s so preposterously transparent: They love her. It’s a crush. A sad, pathetic little crush. Just watch a guy like Tucker Carlson every time he mentions her name. There is wood under the table; the unwanted little boy who was ignored by girls throughout his youth, now trying to get his revenge. So he bashes and ridiculed and ridicules and bashes, all the while trying to conceal what he possesses in droves for her.

Lust.

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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