JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Obscure athletes …

Was in the Citi Field press box a few weeks ago; ran into Keith Olbermann, who I know a little bit from our crossover worlds. The Giants were playing the Mets, and San Francisco was starting Ryan Vogelsong. I jokingly said to Keith, “Excited to watch some Mets baseball?”

“Well,” he said, “I get to see Vogelsong.”

I laughed.

“Seriously,” he said. “I’d rather hear about his story than Tim Lincecom.”

I nodded, because I actually know exactly whereof he speaks. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been a fan of the smaller stories and more obscure athletes. Watching Mavs-Heat last night, I actually upped my level of interest when Juwon Howard entered the game for Miami. I love scanning benches and seeing the backups; embrace assistant coaches—the ones who played long ago.

In other words, you take Derek Rose, I’ll go with Brian Scalabrine.

You take Derek Jeter, I’ll pull for Scott Pose.

You take Mark Sanchez, I’ll pull for Joe McKnight.

Just how I’m wired.