Or the afternoon I spent with O. J. Simpson, who complimented me on my tie while he chatted up an awestruck blonde, six months before his ex-wife was murdered.
Or being ten feet away from Larry Holmes when he threw up in the ring after going the distance with Evander Holyfield.
Or that night when the Reverend Jesse Jackson tapped me on the shoulder and introduced himself in the old Chicago Stadium. He said he wanted to go on the air and talk about the Bulls. And he did and he was wonderful, and knew more about basketball than most of the reporters covering the game.
I've had mayors in three cities proclaim days in my honor, I've interviewed Woody Allen and Jack Nicholson, the governor of Illinois calls me "Greeny," and I once convinced Senator Joseph Lieberman to do an impression of Sylvester Stallone on the air. The only thing more amazing than any of those is that I got paid for all of them. It almost doesn't seem fair.
So here's the question now: Is it all going to have to end?
It might. When I was growing up, I don't think I would have wanted my dad on the road two hundred days a year. I don't think I would have liked seeing him more on television than I did in person. I don't think I would have been excited to hear about his dinner at the White House; I would have wanted him to eat at my house, with me. I suppose that means I'm going to have to start eating at home. That's going to take some getting used to.
Now, I can see where there is going to be a bright side to this crazy job of mine. Maybe my kids will come with me to the Super Bowl someday. Maybe I'll bring them on the field before the game, and into the locker rooms to meet all the players. My kids will be the coolest ones in school if I do that. (When I was ten, the girl in my class who picked her nose took me to a World Series game. She was my best friend for the rest of the year.)
That's going to be great, but it's a long way off. And between now and then, I'm going to have to be there. Not in Miami, not in Atlanta, not in L.A.
Which, I suppose, is now forever to be defined as "wherever the kid is."
I guess this means I am going to have to put something ahead of sports. And ahead of myself. That's going to be quite an adjustment. Frankly, I wouldn't bet I'll be able to make it.
* Editor's Note: Expletives have been changed where appropriate.
Excerpted from WHY MY WIFE THINKS I'M AN IDIOT by Michael Greenberg. Copyright © 2006 Michael Greenberg. All rights reserved.