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A Big Miss
Michael Jordan skips out on a White House ceremony
If the Chicago Bulls fail to repeat as NBA champions, President Bush may have to share some of the blame. It seems that the President invited them to that ceremony thing in the Rose Garden of the White House on Oct. 1, and one Bull was conspicuous by his absence—Michael Jordan.
Jordan claimed he didn't appear at the White House because he wanted to spend more time with his family, although that excuse lost a little air when it was revealed that he was playing golf the day before. As a consequence of his no-show, Jordan was blasted by the media in Chicago for snubbing the President and criticized by teammates for causing dissension. "Now I think a lot of people are seeing there's a double standard," said the Bulls' Horace Grant. "If we don't do anything about it, I think it'll be the death of this team."
Lighten up, Horace. Jordan said he meant no disrespect toward the President or his teammates, and we believe him. Besides, these presidential honors for sports teams may be getting a little out of hand. When SI asked the White I louse how many teams had been greeted by the President since he took office in 1989, a spokesperson said, "You've got to be kidding. We couldn't possibly count them all." Among the teams Bush has welcomed to the White House are the Ursinus College women's lacrosse team, the Kenyon College swimming team and the Harvard hockey team. Waiting in line behind the Bulls last week were 12 high school basketball teams from the D.C. area.
Honoring so many teams is very nice—cynics might say it's also politically very smart—but all those invitations do indicate that it's not such a big deal for an athlete to shake Bush's hand. So it shouldn't be a big deal that Jordan chose not to.
One more thing: Last Friday morning Bush honored the U.S. Ryder Cup golf team. Nothing was made of the absences of three of the team members. Perhaps they were off playing basketball.
Florida Stale isn't fit to be ranked No. 1 by one poll
When Florida State beat Michigan 51-31 on Sept. 28, the Seminoles staked a pretty strong claim to being the No. 1 college football team in the land. In fact, SI nearly ran a cover proclaiming NO DEBATE: IT'S FLORIDA STATE. The weekly polls by the Associated Press, United Press International and USA Today seemed to confirm that opinion.