Jonathan Eig sent me a dumbfounding story he’d just posted on his website

It’s “When Chicago Went Sour on Sweetness,” a plea for understanding by the writer Jeff Pearlman. Pearlman’s the author of Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton, a biography that came out last autumn after being excerpted in Sports Illustrated. The book, says Pearlman, “made the New York Times’ best-seller list, but flat-lined in Chicago.”

It flatlined, he explains, because of the icy reception the media gave it. John Kass (headline to Tribune column): “Walter Payton Didn’t Deserve This Treatment.” Michael Wilbon, ESPN: “This isn’t news, it’s pandering.” Mike Ditka to Channel Five: “Pathetic. Despicable.” Former Bears PR director Ken Valdiserri, in the Sun-Times: “A self-serving, profit-mongering effort to sensationalize meaningless details of a complex person.”