End of an Era

The contrast hits you like a bucket of ice water.  Amidst all the shocking news coming from the NFL, a powerful and positive story is playing out alongside it. While the NFL deals with a new crisis every day, this one is becoming the feel good story of autumn. Derek Jeter is playing out the final days of his baseball career. Aside from the fact that he has spent his entire career in the same organization— and who does that?-  and that he’s got five World Series rings, and that he’s a sure bet to make the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, and that no Yankee will ever wear the number 2 again, Derek Jeter is a man of great personal integrity. He has given his time, his money and lent his name to dozens of great causes.

But most of all, Jeter is a gentleman. In the intense environment of New York City, he managed to keep himself out of the tabloids (with the exception of photos of him escorting a beautiful woman). With dozens of paparazzi following him wherever he goes, Jeter stayed out of trouble. The one and only time he was criticized, unfairly as it turned out, was by the mercurial owner of the Yankees, George Steinbrenner, who told the press that Jeter shouldn’t be out partying while he was in a slump. And what happened? The incident was diffused as Jeter and Steinbrenner taped an hysterical Mastercard commercial with the two of them dancing in a conga line in a night club. It was brilliant.

To this day, Derek Jeter refers to his long time manager as “Mr. Torre.” What the NFL wouldn’t give to have this kind of publicity right now.

And speaking of commercials, if you haven’t seen Jeter’s new Gatorade ad that came out this week entitled “Made in New York,” you should check it out. It will give you goose bumps. The ad, which was Jeter’s idea, shows him walking down River Avenue in The Bronx on his way to Yankee Stadium for a game. The music, of course, is Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” It was shot in black and white, and according to Jeter, took only about a half an hour to complete. It’s a masterpiece.

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