This one will be short and sweet.
My first “friends” that I can actually remember were Mitchell and Matthew Brownfield.
They were twins.
Which means I got 2 friends for the price of one.
I don't think colleges have to pay student athletes. I just think players should be able to profit on their own as college students. If that means selling autographs, if that means having a deal to promote the local Chevy dealership, or even if that means shooting a commercial for a shoe company that is different from the one their team plays in. That could also mean, you know, having a part time job at the mall, just to earn some spending cash.
So here we have the first 40 for 40 that was an original 30 for 30. I think what I said in the 30 for 30 pretty much stands up for the last 10 years. Of course there was a recent surge of Jordan hysteria thanks to the recent Last Dance documentary on ESPN. I watched the 10 part series as religiously and as excitedly as anyone. But while the miniseries was billed as “never before seen inside look at Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls,” I’m not sure I actually learned anything new. Growing up I read every Michael Jordan biography, basketball card, and magazine article. I watched every highlight video and documentary. I actually was hoping to learn more about the other Bulls in the documentary. I learned things about Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc, and Kerr. But all the Jordan stuff was pretty much old news. Except for the flu game actually being bad pizza/food poisoning, that I had not heard before. I was kind of bored and disappointed at the supposed controversies and conversations after each episode.
Everyone always has a “best friend.” That one person you identify above all others. And it has no objective criteria. It doesn’t have to be your oldest friend, or the friend you have known the longest, or the person you have the most in common with. It doesn’t even mean the person you trust the most as plenty of best friends exist in kind of a hazy rivalry and exploitation territory were, where you expect them to take your money, steal your girlfriend/boyfriend, and leave you hanging in a Mexican Jail cell, and then simultaneously expect they would take a bullet for you or cut off a foot a la Saw for you and so you trust them with your life, even though you may not trust them with anything else. Usually forged by random circumstances and chance encounters, there is no rhyme or reason for any particular pairing. Best friends are Best friends, period.
My Best Friend is Casey Richard.
Now the temptation for me here is to just start telling stories from our childhood together. Particularly ones that are cherry picked to embarrass him, which is exactly what Casey did for his best man toast at my wedding. But my intention here is to demonstrate the profound impact my Best Friend has had on the first 40 years of my life,...........
and embarrass him in the process.
Growing up as a kid in the 80’s I pretty much had no choice but to become a He-man fan. Thanks to the culture of cartoons and the billion dollar (Even in 80’s terms, hate to think what the numbers would be in today’s terms, accounting for inflation) toy market, He-man was literally designed as the bait in a trap for young boys like me. Through the cartoons, comics, books, bed sheets, movies and every other avenue possible He-man and the masters of the Universe was broadcast into my awareness and I of course was powerless to resist. Now days, “the product is the marketing” and every detail of a product is designed and tailored to a specific demographic. But before He-man is was kind of the other way around. People created movies or books or what ever, and then they had to find ways to make them into toys and find ways to appeal to the general population. Star Wars was the quintessential example and it was The fact that Mattel passed on making Star Wars toys that led them to invent a line of toys and media they could mass market. And the result was He-man and the Masters if the Universe. This was a product line designed specifically to ensnare me, the little American boy, and ensnare me it did!