America's Team. The moniker, a 1970s-born tribute to the Dallas Cowboys, has since been scattered like fertilizer with other notable sports teams/franchises getting in on the act and later being sorry they did.
Remember Atlanta-based TBS, responsible for televising Braves baseball games, referring to its meal ticket as America's Team. It was snicker worthy then, and is roll-in-the-aisles hilarious now. Based on the team's four-year postseason dry spell and a fan base that shrinks yearly, I'm not sure Atlanta is even Georgia's Team. We'll give them Fulton County's Team and leave it at that.
The lesson being this: if bold enough to go stars and stripes on everybody, you best have the game, the staying power, to back it up.
Like them or not, the New York Yankees do. Historically and currently, they do. From The Babe to A-Rod, they do. Attempting to overlook 26 World Series championships, the first, in 1923, coming 48 years before the Dallas Cowboys captured the first of their five Super Bowls, is like trying to ignore Shaquille O'Neal in a telephone booth.
Starting Wednesday night, the Yankees slide head-first into their 40th World Series, this one against the Philadelphia Phillies, who, for a historical comparison, have been to seven. If New York disposes of Philly, which I predict it does in six games, it will mark the ninth time the Yanks have captured at least two World Series titles in a decade, the lone eyesore being the 1980s (zilch!).
New York opened the original Yankee Stadium with a championship and hope to christen the new one in the coming nights with sound, fundamental baseball capped off by other pinstriped memories such as a wild on-field celebration and the sound of champagne corks popping.
All in an October day's work for America's Team.
PARTING SHOT: Marcus Jordan, son of Michael and a 6-3 freshman guard at the University of Central Florida, is refusing to take the court wearing the adidas shoes the UCF program is contracted to wear. Apparently the power of the Swoosh can be felt as far away as Orlando.
Family loyalty is great and all, but Marcus now represents coach Kirk Speraw's program. He's a Golden Knight. Wears black and gold. In time will know the school's fight song, and so on.
Just because his old man's basketball brilliance elevated the Nike brand into orbit once upon a time doesn't mean Marcus should be taking advantage of the power of his surname. The kid is on scholarship. Central Florida is footing your educational bill, so step in line wearing the adidas shoes your teammates are wearing.
While at it, ask yourself the following question: "If my name was Marcus Smith and my old man was, say, a postal worker and not an iconic sports figure, would I even have a Division-I basketball scholarship?"