Beer giveaway just the beginning

by David Morain

Recently, the Miller Brewing Company announced that if Rusty Wallace wins the Daytona 500 this Sunday, it will give away free six-packs of Miller Lite to all legal-age drinkers in attendance.

Wallace, who is sponsored by Miller Brewing Company, has advertisements for Miller Lite plastered all over his No. 2 Dodge. This promotion, while ill advised and underhanded, gave me an idea. What if basketball personalities could offer free stuff?

* Larry Eustachy – The fiery head coach of the Iowa State men could go with giving away stress balls or, in some more extreme cases, Ritalin.

However, I think showing Eustachy’s inane sense of style at “Mock Turtleneck Night” at Hilton Coliseum might be better than scaring young children by pointing out his psychological problems.

Or maybe ISU could do something to exhibit his superior acting skills in those commercials with Tim Floyd.

* Sam Mack – The former Iowa State basketball player could have his number retired at “Whopper Of A Career Night,” where the first 5,000 fans into the building receive free sandwiches from Burger King. Mack held up a Burger King in Ames back in 1989.

Another alternative would be “Ten-Day Contract Night,” allowing everyone in attendance to honor the man who beat out Vernon Maxwell for the most temporary contracts in NBA history.

* Pierre Pierce – Shifting attention to the University of Iowa, the sophomore delinquent for the Hawkeyes could reward fans for their patience with “Free Lawyer Consultation Night” at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

With his career temporarily on hold due to suspension, Pierce would have plenty of time to set everything up. Considering the way this case has been dealt with, however, it leaves little doubt that the Hawkeye boosters would find someone to do all of Pierce’s work for him.

* Steve Alford – Fans everywhere want to look like the suave, debonair head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes, right? Well, now they can with “Brill Hair Cream Night” in Iowa City. Now you can have that “I-am-in-league-with-the-Italian-mafia” look all day long, just like Billy Donovan and Steve Lavin.

* Anfernee Hardaway – In Orlando, he looked like the second coming of Magic Johnson. Ten years, a couple of surgeries and one trade later, no one mentions the current Phoenix Sun in the same sentence with… well, anyone. Perhaps “Camouflage Night” would be the best promotion for this former All-Star, so anyone can be like Penny and disappear.

* Shawn Kemp – Here we have another All-Star, though it’s hard for Kemp to disappear since he weighs roughly a Buick Regal more than he did when he was a Seattle Supersonic.

However, this Orlando Magic power forward’s weight is not the issue at hand, it’s his fidelity. Kemp has seven children each born to different women, so he could easily pull off “Paternity Suit Night” in Orlando. Either that or “Home Pregnancy Test Night,” where every 20th fan can bear Kemp’s child.

* Yao Ming – The Chinese giant could easily give away some big and tall men’s clothes, but as the first Chinese-born player in the league his promotion should have a larger scope.

Therefore, the Houston Rockets could give away Big Macs from McDonalds. This isn’t exactly international fare, but “Over One Billion Served Night” could work because China has one billion people and McDonalds claims to have doled out that many meals worldwide. One burger for everyone in Ming’s homeland. I know, this is corny, but I’m running out of ideas.

* Jim Harrick – After getting the boot from his head coaching job at UCLA for rules violations and almost losing the same position at Rhode Island for similar reasons, Harrick seems to have landed on his feet at Georgia.

Of course, not one of his recruits showed up this year due to ineligibilities because of grades and other NCAA rules infringements, so it just goes to show that old habits die-hard.

But Harrick keeps going strong and the Bulldog fans love him. He can reward the faithful with “Free Soap Night,” because no matter how dirty Harrick gets, he’ll always find some way to get out of the situation spotless.

* Jermaine O’Neal – The former high-school-straight-to-NBA project has paid big dividends for the Pacers over the past two years. But that doesn’t hide the fact that he blew the storybook ending for Michael Jordan at this year’s All-Star Game by fouling Kobe Bryant on a desperation three-pointer with one second left.

I propose we hold “Everyone Gets A Free Shot At Jermaine O’Neal Night” upon his return to Indiana. It’s an easy game. Rule One: You may hit Jermaine. Rule Two: Jermaine may not hit back.

* Jerry Reinsdorf – The owner of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox has made his share of enemies. First off, he dismantles the Bulls after a sixth league title in eight years, opting to let Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen go in favor of stars such as Dickie Simpkins and Zan Tabak. He later traded up and coming center Elton Brand for an 18-year-old project.

What he does, year in and year out, to the people of Chicago is reminiscent of Josef Stalin in 1930s Russia. This being said, Reinsdorf could hold “Fan Appreciation Night” at the United Center.

Fans will find that their seats have been surrounded by razor wire, the hot dogs have been replaced by fried squirrel burgers and current Bulls Jalen Rose and Jason Williams have been exchanged for Chicago talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Jenny Jones. I’m not saying Oprah can’t box out even the biggest forwards in the league, but still….