Shoot a 3-pointer for $1 million? Are you crazy?
Posted: Friday March 26, 1999 11:05 PM
By Dan Shanoff, CNN/SI
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Take your regular old college 3-point shot: 19 feet, 9 inches.
For Trajan Langdon, it's a layup.
For Mateen Cleaves ... well, let's not go there.
For the average YMCA chucker -- of which many of us count ourselves -- it's an enticing distance, a makeable shot.
Dare we say it?
It's not that hard.
Now attach a value to a single shot -- say, 100 bucks. Still easy? Your throat begins to tighten as you think about the money.
How about $1,000? Now we're talking serious draining for dollars. The effects: sweaty palms and maybe a hitch in what is normally a smooth release.
Now multiply that pressure you feel by a thousand -- a million dollar payday for a single 3-point shot. And throw in a frenzied crowd of 30,000 screaming around you. And a national television audience in the tens of million.
A million bucks. A life-altering total, to be sure. Pays for college (yours and your kids), a new car, a new house. Financial stability for -- dare we say it -- a lifetime.
A million dollars for a single 3-point shot. But no room for error. No "do-overs."
That's 19-year-old Alicia Brown's opportunity Saturday between the two semifinal games: If she hits the shot, she gets $1 million and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation gets a matching $1 million.
Hopefully, as the shooter, you can put it down to just you, the ball and the basket. But come on, who are you fooling?
In an empty gym, given unlimited practice shots, you might hit the shot one out of three, perhaps two out of five -- if you were a decent shooter to begin with. But no one ever gives you the chance to do it -- for a million dollars, in front of millions.
For a million dollars.
The shot presents an interesting question, philosophically: Given the opportunity, would you even accept?
The knee-jerk reaction is: Of course, you idiot! We're talking about a million bucks!
But what if you miss?
How would that affect you? Affect your life outlook? This close to financial stability for the rest of your days -- and you blew it. You'll replay the shot a million times in your head (and, god help you, on your VCR), a new nightmare for every dollar you blew.
If only ... what if ... I shoulda ... woulda ... coulda.
It's the devil's bargain, really. Viewers tune in for the drama -- a Mitty-esque dream come true for every driveway hoophead.
But what about you, shooter? We know you have the strength to deal with the ensuing madness when you hit the shot, when you win your million.But do you have the strength to deal with the madness when you don't?
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.