The Wrong Jordan

michael jordan

I have a friend who works for a corporation that sometimes lets me know when there are interesting things in sports and entertainment happening with his company. A few months ago, my friend called me and asked, “Would you like to get Michael Jordan’s autograph?”

Michael Jordan, being my all-time favorite professional athlete, I nearly dropped my cell phone when he asked me. I immediately said yes and he told me to meet him at the local convention center. He gave me the banquet hall number and I started searching for my No. 23 Jordan jersey. I found it buried at the top of my bedroom closet. I grabbed my keys and was off to meet His Airness.

When I finally found a parking space, I sprinted to the convention center’s door with the Jordan jersey in my hand, blowing in the wind. Someone yelled something in my direction, but I was in too much of a hurry to pay any attention.

As I’m walking through a corridor to the banquet hall where Michael Jordan was signing items, I had a giddy grin on my face with my jersey draped over my shoulder. I couldn’t believe I was about to meet one of my childhood heroes. I noticed that the few people that I passed in the long hallway kept giving me really peculiar looks and then they would slightly chuckle.

When I finally arrived in the banquet hall, the line was really long. There were so many fans in line – I couldn’t even see the NBA legend. I noticed a girl holding a DVD of the movie “Fruitvale Station.”

Suddenly, my friend who gave me the tip, approached me and asked, “Didn’t you get my messages?”

I took my cell phone out of my pocket and saw that I had a missed call and three missed texts. In all of my excitement, I never once thought to look at my phone.

The girl holding the DVD turned around and peered at my jersey, Giggling, she said, “You got the wrong Jordan.”

My friend, my inside man, said, “It’s the actor Michael B. Jordan.”

I was pretty humiliated. I wanted to walk out of the building with the jersey over my head so I could avoid making eye contact with anyone. I walked out of the convention center with the Jordan jersey in a wad, and I sort of held it behind my back – the walk out felt like an eternity.

I eventually watched the film “Fruitvale Station,” and Michael B. Jordan was terrific in it. If I had it to do over again, I may have waited and asked the talented, up-and-coming actor to sign a jersey of the iconic player he shares his name with.

(photo courtesy of Jerry Coli/