Air Jordans for Everybody!

It will probably take someone with larger vision to bring another Eddie Cicotte into this world. Or a second Fred Merkle. Or a new version of Buffalo Bills placekicker Scott Norwood, right out of the shipping carton. What bold innovator, meanwhile, might chance an anniversary reprint of the 1962 Mets?

These are worthwhile projects all, if for no other reason than to give certain people the chance to redeem themselves. Hey, how hard could it be to scrape up a little vintage DNA from Cicotte, the Chicago White Sox pitcher who conspired with gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series? Give Eddie Number Two another shot at life and maybe he won't foul up. Merkle, of course, made the most notorious base-running error in major-league history--"Merkle's Boner"--which snatched the 1908 National League pennant away from his New York Giants and handed it to the Chicago Cubs. Xerox Merkle, and maybe this time he'd be extra sure to step on second base. That way, he'd be remembered for his bat instead of his boner. And next time around, "Wide Right" Norwood might even win the Super Bowl.

As for those '62 Mets, on second thought, maybe there's a limit to the wonders of science. Let Casey's jokers rest in peace, along with some other Homo sapiens most folks wouldn't really want to see making the rounds again. Any decent list would certainly include Hitler--despite the mad doctor who reproduced him in The Boys From Brazil. Put George Steinbrenner on there--despite his winning the World Series last year. Add O.J. and Nicole, just because everyone's sick of them both, dead or alive. And Imelda Marcos.

Meanwhile, once the factories start cranking out DiMaggios, Walter Paytons and Babe Didricksons like candy bars, the geneticists in charge would probably do well to guard against carelessness. Because of repetition and the resulting boredom, assembly lines can be dangerous places. Even the most highly skilled worker can occasionally screw up. Imagine, for instance, the Michael Jordan plant in Chicago, where the Mike-23 model will someday be manufactured at the rate of 300 units per shift to fulfill demands that every high-school basketball team in America feature a player who can hang above the rim for six seconds. Imagine one little slip-up, one tiny mishandling of new skin-cell samples messengered over from the United Center. Before anyone could do anything to stop it, every gymnasium in the country might be stuck with its own All-Rodman Team.

Word now comes from on high that the Broncos will play an exhibition game in early August in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Good. Stay there.
Too bad the Donks aren't visiting Shanghai in August. Or Murmansk. Or Uranium City, Saskatchewan. Any of those places would make an even better new home for a team owner who's worn out his welcome here. But Guadalajara will have to do.

Pat Bowlen and his unindicted co-conspirator, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, clearly believe that they can point their little popguns at the citizens of Denver and those citizens will dutifully reach into their pockets and build Bowlen a new football stadium.

Good luck.
If people here have any sense, they'll not only vote down Pat and Tag's bold-faced extortion scheme, they'll chase Bowlen out of town with six-shooters.

Let the Guadalajara Broncos wear those Halloween costumes. Let the Guadalajara Broncos turn to jelly against Jacksonville. Let the Guadalajara Broncos fall apart every time they feel heat.

Bucko the Bronco isn't the only horse in town anymore, Patty baby. The Stanley Cup champs are hard at work right across the parking lot. There's a major-league baseball club here that sells out every game. And the Nuggets are...well, for now, let's forget what the Nuggets are.

But the truth of the matter is that this is not 1960, Patty, and NFL football around here simply isn't some kind of cultural or psychological necessity anymore--if it ever was. So when you point your gun at the most loyal fans in the NFL, those fans are liable to snatch it away from you and stick it up your butt.

Adios, amigo. Remember to order bottled water.

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