Gambler: Jim, Jim, can I buy you a drink?
The Greek: No thanks.
Gambler: Can I buy your friends a drink?
The Greek: No thanks, we're O.K.
Gambler: Please, Jim, let me.
The Greek: No, no, we're looking at the race now.
Second Gambler: Hey, leave The Greek alone.
Gambler: I have to ask him.
Now it is a different place. The Greek is invited to speak before an alumni seminar at Duke University, near his house. He passes up a $4,500 speaking engagement in Green Bay to appear free at Duke. "What can I do in sports anymore?" he asks. "I want to make my mark in politics. Compared to politics, the Super Bowl is a deuce in a pinochle game."
James Barber, a professor of political science at Duke who will chair the seminar, has invited The Greek, and Jimmy knows full well that Barber is one of the foremost presidential scholars in the country. The Greek can tell you as much about James Barber in the first-person singular as he can about the San Diego Chargers in the first-person plural. But The Greek is very nervous. He can stand up with ease before a television camera every Sunday and tell millions of people all about depth and momentum, but to appear on the same bill with James Barber before several hundred Duke graduates.... The Greek is not very nervous; he is extremely nervous. It was not long after he put down the violin that he gave up education altogether and started running the Big Six wheel at Money O'Brien's Academy Pool Room in Steubenville. "Jim still feels embarrassed around people with a great deal of formal education," Joan says.