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After reading Michael Sneed's ridiculous column this week about Michael Jordan's dinner at what she calls "the city's new and hip seafood eatery," C Chicago, my insight into today's boorish behavior of so many of our athletes again is reaffirmed.
Set the bar low enough, and the simple, polite, civil actions - those which many of us perform daily - become celebrated. Furthermore, there's a direct relationship between the stature of an idol like MJ and the height of the bar which descends lower and lower as the star power rises.
Sneed, who writes as though her big night out includes Chicken McNuggets, publicizes Jordan entering through the front door and sitting at a table with other patrons rather than in a private room. What a great guy!
Then he orders "uber-expensive French Burgundy" and makes nice-nice with the waiter - MJ was so accommodating that he posed for a photo that accompanied the column - who has 75 pairs of Air Jordan shoes, leading me to believe that diners where he's toiled tip more than Michael Jordan. Then Mike picks up the "four-figure tab" for his party of eight.
To say Sneed's column needs a dose of perspective is like saying California needs rain.
Last March Jordan made Forbes' list of billionaires for the very first time. I'm not sure that Michael received a trophy or plaque for this latest accomplishment, but if he did, no doubt it's on the mantelpiece right next to one of his five MVP awards.
Forbes figured that there are a mere 1,740 people on the planet who have more money that Michael Jordan. We know that Mike is a competitive fellow; look for him to move up that list.
So we would assume that Michael would pass on the $70 bottle of 2012 Boisset Bourgogne Rouge from C Chicago's wine list in favor of the 2003 Domaine Henri Boillet Bonnes-Mares with a price tag of $700. (Keep ordering bottles of that potion, and you just might fall off the billionaires' list.)
The final kicker is that MJ tipped 20 percent. Now that you have read this far, ask yourself if you have ever tipped 20 percent.
My pal Tim, a gem of a man who picks up tabs about as often as our celebrated athletes pick up women, texted, "Can you imagine? Mike Jordan reached for the bill!! What [was] he supposed to do? 'OK, folks, let's divvy it up.'"
Imagining that he was Michael Jordan, my friend continued, "What do you think he tipped? I would be embarrassed to tip like that."
All of which brings us to a place where an "uber-rich" celebrity treats his wife and friends to a lovely dinner, while according his waiter respect before leaving a not-unusual 20 percent tip. The result is glamorous coverage on Page 3 of one of two big city dailies.
Did I mention that the bar keeps getting lower and lower?
1. From Brad Herzog:
Amen, Roger Wallenstein. Every time I hear something about Michael Jordan, I like him less and less. Every time I hear something about Magic Johnson, I like him more and more.
2. From Ben Glazer:
I once had dinner with a veteran pro football player and we did split the bill and I had to leave the tip. He was a high paid linebacker for the Eagles at the time.
3. From Rory Clark:
I think that would have been a more stunning event had it been Scottie Pippen. He is notorious for not tipping.
Thanks for a good laugh and a great observation.
4. From Tom Chambers:
And the Tribune ran a thing: Just how well is Michael dressed?
Well quite nicely, right? He SURE AS HELL ought to be!
Athletes' boorish behavior? Be a nice person, but when people drool over him they're an easily exploitable crowd. I know for a fact Scottie Pippen is a cheap SOB and he has that rep. But proportionally, Jordan seems worse. Should have been a 100% tip!
Is it any consolation that perhaps Jordan himself was overpaying for the wine?
I could NOT believe the verdict. They didn't even really use his likeness. The number 23 belongs to the Bulls, or NBA. Dominick's for a piece of beef they had to give a name: Rancher's Reserve Steak. What part of the cow's butt did that come from?
What about the kids who died because of his shoes?
Don't think you know them and don't think they're nice people.
I've got Michael Jordan right here:
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