The Public Eye

printed 08/16/2019

Now that the frenzy over Michael Jordan’s participation in the White Marlin Open has faded, it appears that the one question no one thought to ask at the time was whether his chances of winning the thing would have been better if he had Scottie Pippen with him.

If you don’t know who Scottie Pippen is, and find the above more confusing than it is amusing — a frequent circumstance some readers tell me — then you don’t know jack about the NBA, which begs the question: why would you care where Michael Jordan goes fishing?

“News Alert! Michael Jordan has been spotted fishing in a two-quart saucepan at Exit 27 on I-95. Media crowd gathers!”

“As I always say,” Jordan told the quivering mass media, “there’s the bounce pass, the overhead pass and the EZ-pass.”

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely admire anyone who’s the best ever at anything, and Jordan is that, but it would have meant more to me if I was a big follower of pro basketball, which I am not.

That and, possibly, a Jordan travel agenda that read, “1. Go fishing; 2. Drop by mayor’s place (which he did); 3. Pay off Dobson’s mortgage (which he did not).”

My lack of knowledge of pro basketball, as opposed to collegiate ball, about which I know just enough to throw money out of bounds at tournament time every year, is because I can’t play a lick and therefore am less interested.

I couldn’t dunk a doughnut with a ladder even in my best days, while I could field a hot grounder in baseball, and was just good enough to get the stuffing, and other more descriptive terms, knocked out of me in high school football.

Hence, my baseball/football preference, in that order, and my own amazement at being able to pull off a Scottie Pippen reference like I knew what I was talking about.

I don’t. All I know is that Scottie Pippen was Jordan’s high-scoring right-hand man on all those championship Chicago Bulls teams, so it would follow, I thought, that …

Forget it. Hall of Famer Pippen was a small forward, a position that sounds incongruous to me considering that Pippen is 6-feet, 8-inches tall.

That’s like going to the movies and having the small popcorn delivered to you in a front-end loader.

Personally, because of my sports preferences, I would have been more ramped up if we had been visited by a baseball great. Say, Ted Williams, for instance.

He wasn’t the greatest ballplayer of all time — for my money it’s Willie Mays no matter what the Babe Ruthians say — but he was the last hitter to break .400 for the season.

Plus, he’s been wrapped up like a Mrs. Paul’s fish stick in an Arizona deep freeze these past 17 years waiting to be reanimated (no kidding).

It’s just an opinion, but if you really wanted to stir up a crowd, you would bring in a formerly dead baseball legend.

“Say, is that formerly dead Ted Williams?”

“It sure is, except now he’s the hitting dead, as opposed to the walking dead, or the base-on-balls dead. Cool, huh?

Not just cool, that would be huge.

PS. to Mr. Jordan. It’s just a small mortgage.

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