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On Friday, Sept. 21, he was toasted and roasted in a prime-time NBC special called Comedy Salute to Michael Jordan, which was a benefit for Comic Relief and the Michael Jordan Foundation. The following day, in another nationally televised special, he was named to the U.S. Olympic team. That evening he hosted his annual gala in Chicago, which raised some $175,000 for the United Negro College Fund and other charities. On Monday, Jordan was in his native Wilmington, N.C., where a 7.1-mile strip of Interstate 40 was dedicated in his name. And the next afternoon he was at NBC Studios in New York City to begin preparations for hosting the season premiere of Saturday Night Live.
Jordan was visibly nervous as he began rehearsals, for SNL, but by Friday, the day before the show, he had calmed down considerably. His main concern, in fact, was keeping up with the televised golf action of the Ryder Cup. He was watching one match when there was a knock on his dressing room door. Al Franken, the grizzled veteran of the SNL crew, appeared with a basketball, a sweatsuit and a few pieces of paper.
"Uh, Mike," said Franken, "I told you I wouldn't ask you to autograph a lot of stuff, but...." Jordan looked up from the TV and asked, "But you want me to autograph a lot of stuff, right, Al?"
The writers had planned a sketch that called for Jordan to sink several shots—without missing—into a carnival net. But when the normally infallible Jordan missed one of five in dress rehearsal, the carnival sketch was cut.
Jordan's performance on the show was solid, but he should definitely keep his regular job. And he made several new friends among the cast members, guaranteeing severe ticket-distribution problems when the Bulls visit Madison Square Garden to play the Knicks during the season.
"What was it like having him host?" pondered Franken. "It was like having Babe Ruth host in 1927."
A Rocky Design
Nobody asked, but here's a new logo for Colorado
When the major league baseball owners decided in July to put a franchise in Denver, we applauded their choice. After all, Denver has a 105-year history of minor league baseball and becomes the first major league team in the Mountain time zone. When the franchise chose to call itself the Colorado Rockies, we could live with that, though we flinched at the association with the defunct NHL franchise of the same name.
When the Rockies announced that their primary color would be purple (for "purple mountain majesties"), we thought that was all right, although we weren't too crazy about their choice of black as a secondary color since the black jerseys of the Los Angeles Raiders and Kings have been adopted as uniforms for various gangs. When Colorado unveiled its cap with CR embroidered on it in black and silver, we kept silent, although a spokesman for Carbonic Reserve, a dry-ice company in San Antonio with a similar insignia, has said, "We think the Colorado people should acknowledge us somehow."