Drew Pearson was a near-god back in the 1970s when he and Roger Staubach were making history with the Dallas Cowboys.
People loved Pearson because he worked his ass off, made great plays, and looked cool doing it.
Now he makes his living with his brain and mouth, and they’re not as finely tuned as his athleticism. He sounds like a petty old goat by throwing wide receiver Dez Bryant under the bus after Sunday night’s loss to the New York Jets.
Various media outlets are reporting on Pearson’s criticisms of Bryant’s performance against the Jets. In a nutshell, Pearson questioned Bryant heart and soul and character. But the telling quote is this one from ESPN’s The Ben & Skin Show: “I don’t care how you start the game,” Pearson said, referring to Bryant’s three catches and a touchdown in the first quarter. “It’s how you finish the game that makes you a real 88.”
Pearson has been critical of Bryant since his rookie season last year. Bryant wears Pearson’s No. 88. Maybe Pearson resents it.
Or maybe he’s just a crotchety geezer.
The only time I’ve spoken to Pearson, he was a crotchety geezer. I was at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the mid-1990s and was assigned a silly feature story about the comeback of the afro hairstyle. For years, NBA players had favored the clean-shaven style of Michael Jordan, but by the 1990s a few NBA players had started growing out their afros, and musicians such as Lenny Kravitz were also sporting the puffy hairstyle.
Pearson had the coolest afro around back in the 1970s so I called him, explained the trend story I was writing, and tried to ask him a few questions. He wasn’t amused, thought the story was silly (which it was, but what’s wrong with silliness?), and offered little response (I had to practically beg him for a quote). He came across as a humorless stick in the mud.
He hasn’t changed much.