Barry Neuberger
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July 28 - Third Man In

I’ve decided what my position in my next life will be. I want to be the guy who gets to sit in on all the
important meetings, dinners, etc. that shape the way our world of sports plays out. For example:

How much fun would it have been to be the third guy at the dinner table with Herb
Williams and Larry Brown the other night? I wouldn’t have said a word, just sat there
quietly, eating my dinner, but listening to whatever they were talking about. Or:

Taking the helicopter ride out to the Hamptons with James Dolan and Isiah Thomas.
What did they talk about that they hadn’t talked about before? I wanted to be there
and listen (I promise I’ll be quiet). Or:

When Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow were closing in on the deal, what was the last point of
contention and who gave in? As a former Rangers season ticketholder, I know I could have said
some things on behalf of the fans, like ‘give away your game programs for free’ or ‘give a 25%
discount on food for fans who arrive an hour before the game for pre-game warmups’. The tickets are
coded so the concessions people would know who is getting there early, so that’s easy. But, really, I
wouldn’t have said anything.

When the Yankees were at their worst, I wanted to be conferenced in on the call between George
Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman. I wouldn’t have had any solutions on this one, so I would have
definitely stayed quiet. But I’d sure like to know what was discussed regarding Jason Giambi, the
coaching staff, Bernie Williams, etc.

I would have liked to walk in with Ricky Williams to Nick Saban’s office for their first
meeting. Who needed each other more at that point? Who was more pleasant?

Do I have a Ghost fetish? Hopefully not. I just want to know without relying on ‘inside
or reliable sources’ for my info.

Today, I want to be contacted when Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph get together.
Are we ready to pull the plug or try to stumble through this into August/September? I’m not sure, but
hopefully one of them is, because it’s crunch time for the Mets.  

I’d like to be at the first meeting of the ACC Basketball Coaches this fall. I’ll walk in with Al Skinner of
Boston College, and I guarantee I’ll be the only friend he has. He may even ask me to introduce him
to everyone (which may be a violation of my ‘no-speaking’ policy), because he WILL feel like a
complete stranger. He’ll be the only guy in the room whose winter coat is lined. The others don’t need
it.

And, oh yes, I’d like to be sitting in Bobby Bowden’s office when a policeman walks in with one of his
star players and tells him that this youngster has just (you fill in the blank). How do you think that
would go?

Okay, now that I know what my next life will include, I’ll go back to enjoying this one.