JEFF PEARLMAN

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

Fame is worthless

In the course of my little war with Kentucky basketball fans from earlier today, a common insult was “I’ve never even heard of you.” The translation is, “You’re so nobody, I don’t even know your name.” The translation is, “If you’re in the media and you’re not a household name, you’re worthless.”

This irks me to no end.

I don’t want fame. I don’t aspire to fame. The reason you don’t see me screaming on ESPN or Fox or wherever is because I don’t want to scream on ESPN or Fox or wherever. The world doesn’t need another Skip or Stephen A, setting aside texture in the name of volume and airport recognition. Why is it so wrong to happily write books, write a blog, do some stuff for SI.com and Tweet a little? Why does fame serve as this ultimate measure of success? Would my books be better were I a regular on TV? On the radio?

No.

Occasional reognition is nice. Compliments are fantastic. But, for me, that’s plenty.