“The Bad Guys Won” author / former SI columnist Jeff Pearlman’s been taking considerable heat over his best-selling Walter Payton biography,”Sweetness : The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton” and a recent appearance on WKRK’s “Kiley & Booms” show earlier this week was no exception. Presumably unhappy with his treatment on the show, Pearlman took to the interweb and discovered the program’s host, Kevin Kiley, is credited on the station’s website with having been “a former NFL linebacker”. At a previous stop on the radio career ladder, Kiley — while co-hosting a show with Michael Irvin — allowed ESPN Dallas 101.3 FM to claim he’d “played college football at the University of Wyoming and professionally in the NFL and the World Football League.” Trouble is, as Pearlman found out, Kiley’s NFL history is something less than modest.
Kevin Kiley never played in the NFL. Not one single regular-season game. He was, apparently, in Jets camp until final cuts in 1974, and that was it. Hell, go to any of the Pro Football databases. No Kevin Kiley. Not a single mention. And, as anyone will tell you, attending camp with a team does not, under any circumstance or definition, make you a “former” NFL player.
Which doesn’t even matter. I don’t know Kiley, but I doubt he’s trying to lie—perhaps merely exaggerate his credentials a tad. But does he have the right to question another’s integrity? Especially the integrity of a person he doesn’t know? For writing a biography he hasn’t read?