How kind of you to come back here to the very last page. I know you're busy. I apologize in advance if reading this causes you any inconvenience. We can look out for each other now that attitudes are changing in sports. You didn't see it? Dennis (Worm) Rodman of the Detroit Pistons last week sent Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen a letter of apology for having deliberately shoved Pippen into the first row of seats in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.
"You are a great player and I'm glad you weren't hurt by the incident," Rodman wrote. "It was merely one of frustration."
Isn't that terrific? I mean, if six feet eight inches of toe jam like Rodman can change, then we are sitting on a powder keg of compassion here. Within the next few months, a lot of people will feel heavy in the heart for past indiscretions and will let their inner goodness shine through, Worm-like....
Dear John Roseboro,
I know it has been a very long time since we've spoken, but I just wanted to apologize for cracking you over the head with that bat in 1965. I don't know what I could have been thinking.
June 9, 1991
I hope the ringing has finally left your ears.
To the world's boxing fans,
Please let me apologize for my recent bout with Evander Holyfield. I know many of you paid as much as $40 to watch that fight on TV. Unfortunately, I was a fat tub of triglycerides and couldn't have fought a traffic ticket.
You do not know how remorseful I am for this. Perhaps you could invite me to dinner at your house some night next week, and I could show you.
JAMES (BUSTER) DOUGLAS
To the nation's media,
Dear Merlin Olsen,
Just a quick note to say how sorry I am for that one play in 1975 in which I inadvertently leg-whipped, arm-bit, nose-twisted, eye-spat, earhole-probed, thorax-punched, fingernail-pried and groin-stepped you. It was merely an incident caused by frustration.
You might be pleased to know that the therapy is working. Already, I am eating with a knife and a fork.
All the best,
To the fans of (fill in team),
I am sorry, but I have changed my mind about coaching the (team nickname). I am leaving to take the job with (fill in new team), and I undoubtedly will make more promises than Hubert Humphrey and then leave for the Latvian Olympic job. Hiring me is like marrying Elizabeth Taylor.
I apologize from the bottom of my heart. Unfortunately, as we both know, I probably don't mean it.
Sort of truly,
Dear Don Meredith,
I woke up the other morning and realized what a complete and utter ass I've been to you. I have treated you rudely. I considered myself omniscient and you a lummox. I was a card-carrying blowhard, waving my foul-smelling cigar in your face and letting spill from my bulbous jowls nothing but self-righteous, egocentric pap.
Not only that, but my hair isn't real.
Dear umpire Terry Cooney,
I am so sorry if I called you a (expletive) son-of-a-(expletive) who couldn't see a strike with infrared binoculars. I did not mean to call you that.
I meant to call you a (mother of all expletives) who couldn't find the (expletive) strike zone with a court order.
I hope you can find someone to read this to you.