JEFF PEARLMAN

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Richard Wood

wood-min78h

Contacted Richard Wood yesterday—former USC linebacker who went on to a lengthy NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He promptly returned my phone call, and proceeded to flatter me.

“I know who you are,” he said. “You’re a big writer.”

“I don’t know about that,” I replied. “But thanks.”

“No, really,” he said. “I love the Sporting News. I mean, it’s no Sports Illustrated. But you must be pretty good, writing for it.”

“Uh … yeah,” I said. “I suppose. Yes.”

“So, anyway,” Wood said. “Ask me anything you want.”

“Thanks, Richard. I will.”

“No problem, Greg.”