Bowling in Montreal With Spike for a Hundred Gs

I put in a bid earlier this week at the Yahoo! auction Web site for a chance to win Spike Lee’s extra ticket for a courtside seat to MJ’s regular season debut against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden Oct. 30.

Sadly, my generous offer of $6.13 was rejected.

I take a little consolation, though, in knowing just how close I came to actually submitting the winning bid. The dude who eventually won nipped me just a tad when he put up $101,300.

I just couldn’t compete with that. I mean, $6.13 is not exactly going to make me competition for Bill Gates (maybe for a member of the Walton family, however), but let’s think proportionally?

After I made a visit to Wendy’s, popped ’em a 10-spot for my combo meal and got the change, that $6.13 pretty much represented all my material possessions (unless you count the pile of dirty laundry in my bedroom).

So, relatively speaking, I offered a far greater proportion of wealth than the guy who spent 101 Gs and change.

Of course, Yahoo! is not interested in proportions, and when the cause is charity, I guess that’s understandable. Given that all the proceeds will go to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows’ and Children’s Fund, I’m a little less perturbed about the starting bid price of $10,000, and knowing that my offer was never officially considered among the 138 bids placed on the ticket.

Still, the whole situation just seems kind of silly to me. I mean, think about it: Some guy out there just spent $101,300 to sit next to Spike Lee at a basketball game that Michael Jordan will play in.

Yes, I realize that?as the cause is charity?all but the $1,600 face value of the ticket is tax deductible, and this dude probably won’t wind up losing much. And yes, I know, it will be quite an opportunity to see His Aching Hamstring-ness play in his first game back.

But $101,300?

Seems to me if you’re spending 100 grand on anything to do with Spike Lee, it ought to be a payoff to get him to shut the hell up.

Then again, I suppose there are worse investments to make with your money. Like, say?buying stock in the Montral Expos or Florida Marlins.

Here are a pair of Major League Baseball teams that, once the World Series ends, have a shelf life shorter than Michael Jackson’s latest face.

For the first time, MLB commish ThisBud?sforYou Selig is admitting that contraction is a viable option within the league. That is to say, pretty soon the Expos and Marlins might get the luxury of having zero fans in the stadium without the bother of actually having to play the games.

It’s pretty sad to me when a city so thoroughly ignores its sports team that the league it plays in eventually just tells all involved to pack it in, then throws in the cardboard boxes and duct tape gratis just to drive the point home.

I’m not necessarily saying it’s a bad move?I mean, consider that the soon-to-be-Ex-pos averaged a whole 7,648 fans per game this year. The porn shop near my house gets that many visitors in a half-hour span. There clearly is less support for baseball in Montral than there is for increasing the amount of prison time for cocaine possession in Robert Downey Jr.’s neighborhood.

You might also think about the practical implications of sending a few baseball teams the way of Al Gore’s political career, such as eliminating just a smidgeon of the talent dilution that has infiltrated the MLB ever since the Marlins joined the league along with fellow expansion teams in Sheboygan and Kitty Hawk.

And while there will surely be rigorous debate about contraction in Miami and Montral among the 17 people who actually give a whoop-de damn-do about those two teams, I highly doubt the controversy will reach the fevered pitch that inevitably accompanies the Bowl Championship Series poll.

For those of you who have been busy personally checking every cave in Afghanistan for Osama, let me just inform you that the BCS has nothing to do with drilling three holes in a lead ball and knocking down 10 pins (as a side note, can I just say that bowling, frankly, is little more than a euphemism for chugging a six-pack, after all?).

No, the BCS determines which college football teams get a shot to play for the national championship. Last year, Miami (Fla.) got screwed like even a Bob Vila creation wouldn’t believe, and this year?despite their No. 1 ranking in both the Associated Press and ESPN/Coaches polls?the Hurricanes are but fourth in the BCS.

‘Canes fans say it’s all ‘cuz of bias. My imaginary cat’s best friend says it’s ‘cuz playin’ the Expos and Marlins does nothin’ for the strength of schedule.

I dunno?I guess I figure all this hoo-hah could be avoided if some Miami booster would just pony up a $100,000 “donation” to the BCS and write it off on next year’s taxes.

Eric welcomes feedback at: [email protected].