Doing that won't be as easy for Woods as it was for Jordan. Woods doesn't wear a uniform that kids can adopt, and don't expect to see youngsters trading in their Air Jordans to hang out at the mall in Tiger Spikes. Jordan was also helped by the presence of other celebrities in the NBA, by his often getting the best of superstars such as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Think you'll ever hear a barroom conversation begin with, "Man, did you sec Tiger dust Phil Mickelson"?
There's another question that no one can yet answer: Will Woods make wise endorsement decisions? " 'Michael picked the right advertisers and made the right commercials," says Ric Anello of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles agency in St. Louis, the man behind the Budweiser frogs. "The Michael Jordan Nike persona is more well known than the Chicago Bulls." It remains to be seen if Tiger can burn that bright.
Why Not Orlando?
Just thought we would let you know that the FedEx Orange Bowl, which is played in Miami, has announced its "official vacation destination": the Bahamas.
A Footnote to History
About a minute into the New York Knickerbockers-Toronto Huskies NBA game at Maple Leaf Gardens on Nov. 1, 1946, Knicks playmaker Ossie Schectman caught a bounce pass from Leo (Ace) Gottlieb, took a dribble or two and made a layup. Score: New York 2, Toronto 0.
The significance of that shot wasn't recognized until 1988, when Ricky Green of the Utah Jazz scored the NBAs five-millionth point, prompting league researchers to dig through old play-by-play sheets to find out who had scored the first point. The answer: Schectman. "When they called me, I remembered the play, but I hadn't thought about it in 40 years," says Schectman, 77, who lives in Delray Beach, Fla. "It was just another layup." On Friday night Schectman and eight others who took part in that first game will be back in Toronto to watch the Toronto Raptors (the Huskies lasted only one season, leaving Toronto without a franchise until the Raptors were born last year) host the Knicks and to kick off a season-long celebration of the NBAs golden anniversary.
Schectman, a star at Long Island University from 1937 to 1941, averaged a solid 8.1 points and a team-high 2.0 assists a game in that inaugural year. But he quit before the next season because of a ruptured intestine and a salary dispute; he went to work as a salesman for a textile company in New York City, where he remained until his retirement 15 years ago.
"I've been lucky," says Schectman. "To be remembered for something like this when it could've been anybody who scored that first basket, well, it's made an old man's life very special."
There are plenty of diamonds in the rough scrawls that make up most of Seth Swirsky's book, Baseball Letters: A Fan's Correspondence with His Heroes. Swirsky, a Los Angeles-based songwriter (Taylor Dayne's Tell It to My Heart and Prove Your Love are among his compositions), sent letters to scores of former major leaguers, and the book features 97 handwritten responses. Our favorite comes from Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish, a righthander who won 92 games with seven teams between 1944 and '64. Swirsky asked McLish how he got his name.