Facebook: The gateway to retired athletic stars


I initially joined Facebook to whore books. Now, however, I’m all about friends.

Retired sports friends.

Two weeks ago I received a friend request from Manute Bol. I have no idea how or why, but when Manute Bol asks to be friends, you say yes. Then, a couple of days back, I became pals with the one, the only—Ellis Valentine. Man, when I was a kid I loved Ellis Valentine. But not nearly as much as Christian Okoye, also a friend. For those who might not remember, Okoye was “The Nigerian Nightmare” at Azusa Pacific. And if one has a chance to team up with the Nigerian Nightmare, he takes it.

But that’s not all. Thanks to Facebook, I’m friends with Robert Person and Junior Spivey; C.J. Nitkowski and Adam Hyzdu; Brian Johnson and Joe Oliver. Conrad Dobler can’t kick me in the groin via computer, but we can IM about popcorn and long walks on the beach. Curt Schilling probably doesn’t remember me (even after, oh, a dozen interviews), but I consider us to be the closest of chums. Dan Sileo is a former Dallas Cowboy who never returned my calls for Boys Will Be Boys. Yet when we became Facebook friends, he asked me for a free copy (I declined). Marcellus Wiley has an Ivy League degree. I don’t. But as Facebook friends, we’re intellectual equals. Willie Gault might still be fast, but, on Facebook, he can’t outrun me.

Ah, Facebook.