|Of communists, fast food, literature|
By Chris Connelly
Special to Page 2
Item: possible new owner for the Twins
From the looks of things, Watkins has intelligence, drive, the blessing of Mr. Gammons, and a huge pot o' dough. And so I say to Mr. Watkins: Sir, lace up your Nikes and run. In the opposite direction. These baseball owners are not the sort of people with whom you want to associate your un-besmirched name right now, not with labor problems still looming and worse press for your side than Enron.
Didn't I just read that Selig spoke for nearly four hours to the players' union? Four hours! Did he discuss the desalination plants in the Caucasus, or the five-year-plan for the steel mills? Only Fidel Castro gets to give talks like that these days ... and come to think of it, he might be Bud's equal as a baseball man.
Item: Mark Cuban preps for Dairy Queen Challenge/Dave Thomas dies
Kentucky Fried Chicken: A return to the franchise's full, original name, since it so perfectly describes the Wildcats' attitude toward Marvin Stone, who may want to transfer to Louisville but isn't being allowed to. Why? Because they're afraid, that's why!
7-Eleven: Wouldn't you love to see Steve Spurrier throw his visor at those overcaffeinated guys in the red jackets? It'd be better than "Clerks"! Next, we sic 'im on the 10-10-220 guys. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself ...
Item: Nike and Hearst announce plans for "Jordan" magazine
All that fuzzy-wuzzy stuff with Bugs and kids and the burger commercials ... that's gonna seem as so-five-minutes-ago as a Tone Loc record. Same with the innumerable prose rhapsodies to his physical grace, and the way many writers went on to connect that grace to a unique state of mental refinement or tranquility that he allegedly possessed. All that is over, and the picture that remains will be truer, but far less sentimental, about the greatest basketball player of all-time.
And when everything is taken into account, given everything we know about Jordan and his focus on the game of basketball, one big question will remain: Why, exactly, did he retire ... the first time?
Item: Larry Brown is itchy, Allen Iverson is unhappy in Philadelphia
Item: Phil Jackson passes out books for the Lakers' road trip
Shaq, meanwhile, got that lit-major fave-rave, Hermann Hesse's "Steppenwolf." Why? Probably because of passages such as these: "The few capacities and pursuits in which I happened to be strong had occupied all my attention ... leaving all the rest of me a chaos of potentialities, instincts and impulses.." Hey, that is Shaq!
But according to the Los Angeles Times, which broke this story, Shaq's not going to be receiving any literary enlightenment anytime soon -- he says he's only reading books about the FBI or law enforcement, apparently looking ahead to his future occupation. Oh, well. How about some Raymond Chandler, Shaq?
Chris Connelly writes a weekly column for Page 2. "Unscripted with Chris Connelly," the TV show airs at 5 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday on ESPN.