A Rose by Any Other Name

It’s fair to question whether ESPN reports on sports or runs them (especially college football). To its credit, the Worldwide Leader is conscious of the issue and has partnered with the Poynter Institute to police itself to some degree. (The first order of business, though, will always be to turn a profit for Disney and its shareholders.)

Despite all that, ESPN’s commercials are still funny, especially this new entry in the “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” series:

Clever, certainly, but the ad is a clear case of life imitating art.

Did you know that Michael Jordan played for the Penn Quakers, made the All-Ivy League first team three times, and was Ivy League Player of the Year for the 1999-2000 season?

The "other" Michael Jordan in action for the Quakers of Penn. Photo courtesy of penngazettesports.com.

Wait a minute. His Airness was not on an NBA roster for the 1999-2000 season, but did he somehow convince the NCAA to make him eligible again? After six NBA rings, did Jordan covet the Ivy League award, one of the few basketball honors he didn’t achieve?

No, of course not. (Aren’t you the least bit curious, though, what a 37-year-old Jordan would have averaged against Ivy League competition?)

Michael Jeffrey Jordan, the man behind the shoe from which this blog takes its name, was born on February 17, 1963, and played his college ball under Dean Smith at UNC.

Michael Hakim Jordan, fourteen years younger than Michael Jeffrey, graduated from Abington Friends School in Philadelphia and played four seasons at Penn under coach Fran Dunphy (currently the head man at Temple).

Michael Hakim finished his college career with 1,604 points, currently good for fifth on Penn’s all-time list. Michael Hakim and Michael Jeffrey both wore number 23, but the Quaker Michael was humble about any comparison between the two, telling the Chicago Tribune, “People just assume you’re going to going to go out and play like him, which nobody can do.”

Even so, Michael Hakim played several seasons of professional basketball in Europe and hopes to transition to a coaching career.

For his part, Dunphy said that, “[H]ere at Penn we’re real proud of our Michael Jordan.” Although that comment came in 2000, Dunphy can continue to be proud of Penn’s Michael Jordan, who remains a devoted supporter of his alma mater and blessedly has nothing to do with the Bobcats.

The gold standard.


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