Tonight’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game broadcast from St. Louis on Fox will include a sentimental segment called “All-Stars Among Us,” where a group of 30 do-gooders from across the country has been assembled by People magazine after a national vote.
The finalists, according to press materials, will “be honored by the five living presidents” before the game.
One of the winners is Rob Dixon of Dorchester, Mass. He was voted in for running “Project Rise,” described in press releases he produced while campaigning for the People awards as “an academic summer camp for at-risk African American children from the City of Boston and has sent over 170 of these kids to four-year colleges, with almost all of them being the first in their family to attend college.”
Good stuff. But the same releases say “[p]rior to becoming an educator Dixon played basketball for the NBA’s Washington Bullets.”
I’d never heard of the guy, which doesn’t mean a whole lot. But when Web surfing wouldn’t lead me to any record of a “Rob Dixon” playing for the Bullets, I called the team.
There’s a reason Google was helpless.
“He isn’t on any of our rosters,” says Steve McMenamin, spokesman for the Wizards (the franchise was known as the Washington Bullets until 1996).
The resume Dixon used to get elected in the People poll says otherwise, but he never played for the Washington Bullets. Turns out Dixon played for the University of New Hampshire.
He was drafted by the Bullets in the fifth round in 1983 but was quickly cut (the league didn’t shorten the draft to just two rounds a long time ago for nothing). But Dixon never got out of camp. Jeff Gulko, who is handling media for Dixon for the People campaign, confirmed from St. Louis this afternoon that Dixon never made the Bullets.
Guys have puffed up their athletic resumes since the beginning of time. But how silly is this in the internet age? And in Dixon’s case, why the heck bother? Wasn’t this People contest about charitable works, about getting kids to college who wouldn’t otherwise go, and not about time in Bullets uniform?
Or maybe pro basketball experience is what’s important here. So, though I know it’s late, I’d like to change my vote in the People poll from Dixon to Rod Strickland.