Friday, March 16, 2001

Not just MJ

Bring back retirees in quantity

        The mere hint of Michael Jordan coming out of retirement — again! — leaves me as light-headed as an overinflated basketball.

        The NBA certainly could use his star power. The league's fortunes and prestige continue to sag. So, he would be welcomed back with open arms and wallets.

        Still, chances remain slim to none that the former airborne basketball star will ever dribble another ball down the court and stuff it during a regulation pro game.

        Rumors of the latest Jordan unretirement put my brain into overdrive. I decided to have some fun at his expense. He can afford it.

Be like Mike

        The way I figure, if the world needs Michael Jordan to come out of retirement to help his chosen profession — and, by extension, improve life on the planet because he's shooting hoops again — he deserves some company. Other people in other walks of life could be serving humanity by returning to work.

        Here are some of the people I'd like to see unretire or come back and make life better — or at least more interesting — in Cincinnati:

        • Tom Luken — Return to City Council. Team up with son Charlie, the mayor. The Lukens could be City Hall's version of the Reds' Junior and Senior Griffey.

        • Bobbie Sterne — City Council needs a conscience. As the slogan on her re-election yard signs urged: “Return Sterne.”

        • Dwight Tillery — Make the strong-mayor race a contest instead of a coronation for Charlie Luken.

        • Eugene Ruehlmann — A mayor for all seasons.

        • Michael Snowden — He brings integrity to every badge he wears.

        • Leslie Isaiah Gaines Jr. — Get the judge's robes out of mothballs.

        • Oscar Treadwell — He is the voice of jazz.

        • Carolyn Watts — She put the “class” in classical music WGUC.

        • Al Mack — The smoothest sidewalks in town reflect his artistry in concrete and bear his name.

        • The Rev. Wendell W. Freshley — A man of God seeing his life's work, not as a job, but as a calling.

        • Jim and George Batsakes — Garment care experts helped keep this town squeaky clean.

        • Bernie and Buck Kathman — Shoe repairmen gave Cincinnati its sole.

        • Dr. John Pottschmidt — He knows everything about birthing babies and blooming roses.

        • Leslie Edwards — Meat inspector extraordinaire.

        • Lynwood Battle — A voice of reason and wisdom on the Cincinnati Board of Education.

        • Henry Winkler — When he ran the University of Cincinnati, the president didn't need a new mansion.

        • Gerhard Samuel — Podiums at the College-Conservatory of Music long for return engagements from the conductor and his baton.

        • Owen Findsen — Since he hung up his critic's notebook, art only appears in shades of gray.

        Last, and most certainly least, it's ...

        • Jerry Springer — Leave the trash TV in Chicago. Drop anchor again at WLW's news desk. Channel 5 could use the ratings boost.

Drop a line

        Have more names? I bet you know other people you'd like to see come back or step out of retirement and do something to help set this town apart.

        Send me your choices. Famous or not. Doesn't matter.

        Provide their name and explain why they should be on the comeback trail. I'll share them here.

       Columnist Cliff Radel can be reached at 768-8379; fax 768-8340.


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