Every once in awhile, I see a “celebrity” of our era and try to think what it would be like to explain that person to my future son, King Phillips.
(Please note that King Phillips, my future NBA-playing son, has been a running joke among friends of mine for over a decade, except they’re totally unsure if I’m actually serious about using that name. It’s fucking fantastic; my girlfriend hates it.)
Kids ask a lot of questions — a lot of blunt, honest questions — and I know that I asked my Dad about plenty of obscure celebrities when I was growing up.
Who is Boy George? Who is Corey Feldman? Who is Ross Perot? Who is Milli Vanilli?
God, I feel bad for my old man. I probably peppered him with questions every week about useless people that he knew next to nothing about or didn’t feel like explaining in-detail to his prepubescent oldest son.
But these future conversations with my son, King, are the things I think about late at night.
So what would it be like if my son, King, asked me about 1990s multi-sport athlete and NFL All-Pro cornerback Deion Sanders?
Here’s how it might transcribe:
King: Dad, who is Deion Sanders?
Scott: You mean “Leon Sandcastle?” (starts laughing out loud)
King: (Stares blankly)
Scott: Sorry, that was a joke from a long time ago.
King: Why do you always laugh at your own jokes, Dad?
Scott: I do not.
King: Yes, you do. Mom and I always just look at each other and don’t know what to do.
Scott: (Interrupting son) Well, King, Deion Sanders was an All-Pro cornerback. One of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game of football, actually.
King: Better than Richard Sherman?
Scott: Oh yeah, definitely better than Richard Sherman.
King: But Richard Sherman is always on TV talking about how he was the best ever.
Scott: Richard may destroy Deion on television, but Prime Time was the coolest two-sport athlete of my day. Deion was an unreal football player, but he also played for the Atlanta Braves for a few years.
King: You mean Deion Sanders played two sports?
Scott: Yup, pretty cool huh?
King: Didn’t Michael Jordan do that too?
Scott: We don’t talk about Michael’s baseball career, son. That never happened. Understand?
King: Okay, okay…
Scott: So why the question about Deion Sanders? What made you bring him up?
King: They showed a highlight reel of NFL players that danced on “SportsCenter” and Deion was on there high-stepping and dancing. Why was he wearing a bandana?
Scott: People in the ’90s and early 2000s thought that bandanas were a lot cooler back then.
King: So how come you liked Deion Sanders so much? I found an old jersey in your closet.
Scott: Well, I liked the Dallas Cowboys for a few years when I was a kid because every kid goes through a soul-sucking phase where they root for a team that’s just really good for no reason.
King: Kind of like how I like the Charlotte Bobcats (just kidding, let’s try that line again)
King: Kind of like how I like the Los Angeles Clippers?
Scott: Yeah, just like that. You like Blake Griffin and the Clippers because they win a lot, yeah.
King: Yeah, and Derrick Rose is always injured.
Scott: (under breath) I hate you, son.
King: What, Dad?
Scott: (Turns on radio loudly and drives a touch faster) Nothing, son. Dad needs to stop at Binny’s.
Image credit: NFL.com