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It’s definitely not as glamorous as Nike

In the ’90s, Michael Jordan was known as much as a pitchman as he was as a basketball player. He hawked products for Gatorade, McDonald’s and, of course, Nike, among many others. But there was one lucrative deal that Jordan had to pass on, because he refused to say the product’s name. 

In a 1992 interview with Playboy that was later republished on Longform and dug up this week by Business Insider, Jordan says he was approached early in his career to endorse Beanee Weenees, a canned combo of baked beans and hot dogs. The deal would have been worth nearly $1 million annually, but Mike just couldn’t do it. 

“Two or three years ago Quaker Oats came to me to endorse Van Kamp’s pork and beans—Beanee Weenees, I think it was called. You ever heard of Beanee Weenees pork and beans? It was close to a million bucks a year. I’m saying, Beanee Weenees? How can I stand in front of a camera and say I’ll eat Beanee Weenees? If I wanted to be a hardnosed businessman, I could have been in a lot of deals, like the one with Johnson Products. I had a deal with them for their hair-care products. I had two or three more years on that deal when I started losing my hair. So I forfeited the deal. But if I had wanted to be greedy, I could’ve said, Screw you, you didn’t know my hair was falling out so you owe me money. But I didn’t.”

To put that in perspective, $1 million in 1990 is worth about $2 million in today’s dollars. And Jordan wasn’t even making that much money playing basketball (compared to today’s players, at least). He made only $2 million in his first three seasons combined before his salary jumped to $2 million in 1988 and $2.5 million in ’89. He could have pocked nearly half as much as his annual NBA earnings if he had just stood in front of a camera and said “Hot dogs in beans: it’s not just for vagrants anymore.”

But MJ had his standards, and he went on to become a billionaire anyway. 

This is the guy with the perfect March Madness bracket 

I wrote Monday about the only perfect NCAA tournament bracket remaining, and now we know who it belongs to. His name is Greg Nigl and he’s a 40-year-old neuropsychologist from Columbus, Ohio. 

“I did four. And I almost didn’t fill that one out, because I was actually sick on Thursday, and I filled it out Thursday morning, right before the deadline, and I almost didn’t do it,” Nigl told “I was lying in bed, I was sick, and I called into work. I almost went back to bed and didn’t fill it out, but I did it anyway because I felt bad because it was my friend’s [group].”

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