Shooting a Nike Super Bowl commercial in Orlando, Florida. Why Orlando? Because many Nike athletes lived there for tax reasons. They basically get free houses because of tax breaks. Tiger Woods lived there as well as Shaq (although he wasn’t a Nike athlete). Shaq played for Orlando at the time, but that’s not part of the story.
The commercial had all the Nike athletes there for a Super Bowl party put on by L’il Penny, from Tiger to Steve Urkel. I think Urkel was there for bowling. I was shooting a scene with two VERY young athletes, Alex Rodriguez and Sergei Federov, and I was astonished at how handsome they both were. I then went on to film all the others and didn’t think of them any more.
Time goes by and I’m in Detroit filming a quick scene to finish a Fed Ex spot with some of the Red Wings, including Federov. We shake hands and he admonishes me for his not being in the Super Bowl spot for more than a few seconds, and even then he (and A Rod) were behind the Iceman (George Gervin).
‘I hope I be in ’dis one for more than twos seconds.’
‘It’s not me. It was Phil Knight. I don’t think he likes hockey. Besides, why are you complaining? You have a great girlfriend.’
Federov was dating the great tennis beauty Anna Kournikova, who was a tennis star despite the fact that she had never won a tournament. Federov had started dating her when she was fifteen or sixteen. I think the age of consent in Russia is ten. Remember Nabokov wrote a soft core porn novel, LOLITA, that is considered a masterpiece. Back to gossip. Federov had a comeback…
If she be only my girlfriend.
I have no idea what he’s speaking of. Later I find out that she’s been in the press making out with another hockey player, I think it was Pavel Bure. He was a cutie pie as well, so Kournikova at least had good taste. Bure was playing in New York and Federov was in Detroit. New York was more fun than Detroit, especially then, so you could make a case for Anna hanging there. What’s a girl to do?
An irony here is that there were a number of athletes in the Nike shoot that were notorious womanizers, the more famous would be A Rod and Tiger Woods. It’s a shame that Wilt Chamberlain wasn’t a Nike athlete. He has the record, a claimed 20,000 women in his career. Who’s on second? Actually, Wilt’s on second. The most notorious is Fidel Castro, who is said to have had sex with 35,000 women.
Why is he mentioned here? Well, Castro was rumored to be a decent enough baseball player to have been given a tryout by the Pittsburgh Pirates but couldn’t make the cut. Because of this, he became bitter and virulently anti-American. If he had made the cut and played baseball in North America, there would have been:
NO Cuban Missile Crisis
NO Bay of Pigs
NO Russian presence in Cuba
NO Lee Harvey Oswald
NO Vietnam War
Ergo, the course of history would have been irrevocably changed.