Monday, March 27, 2006

Mark Cuban on C-Span - and how our paths come from the same fabric

Mark C did a great job with an interview on C-SPAN. Two thumbs up. I saw the last 20 minutes or so this morning and dashed off a quick email to him before I took the kids to school.

There are a lot of things we have in common beyond our first names, hometowns and similar ages. I returned to Pittsburgh and he stayed in Texas -- where I had been. I went to graduate school at Baylor in the Heart of Texas and spent some time in Dallas. Recently, I was called the "maverick" candidate and he owns the Dallas Mavs of the NBA, but we both lean Libertarian in politics. He said he won't be a politician -- and I had never expected to be either -- until Mayor Murphy had such an easy time trashing our city and its future. Then I jumped from the sidelines into the game of politics -- as a candidate.

I never started a chain letter, as Cuban did in his college days to help pay his way through school, but I too payed my way. I went to Ohio University, and looked long and hard at Indiana University, twice. I took the Journalism, he business. If I dig, I'll find letters from I.U., as Doc and Hobie were there. I coached swimming and also earned some scholarships throughout my undergrad days to pay my way.

I worked in a computer store too as he did. I went to Nabih's (an indie dealer in Chicago -- Evanston, really). That's where I met my wife, as she was in grad school at Northwestern. So, we are both techies.

Long ago gave an interview to Cuban's partner when they were working Audio Net. I was helping a buddie at his trade show booth as he geared up his software publishing firm. I was doing some marketing with him at a San Jose email/web trade show. His database/webserver product then only ran on a Mac. So our paths crossed then and I knew of the Pittsburgh connection, but this was no big deal.

Pittsblog has been watching the Cuban feed and putting up a few ideas about how Pittsburgh couldn't embrace a Mark Cuban in its culture. I agree.

When they were talking about tearing down Pitt Stadium, I put in a word to the Pitt Rocks folks that Mark Cuban might be a go-to guy to team with Ditka and T.D. to save the ol gal, but they only huddled and had too many delay of game calls for my fancy.

As I'm re-tooling from the election and wondering what's up next for me -- beyond swim coaching and playing with the kids and other basics -- I generally go back to the sports, business and media enterprises. Politics is going to matter to me forever more, but in my heart of heart, and as I said on the trails in this election, I'm into politics now because of the crisis.

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