You know about the dunks. You know about the rings. You know about the scoring titles. You know about the MVP trophies. You know about the shoes.
When it comes to Michael Jordan, you know a whole lot. But you don’t know everything. Here are five tidbits about His Airness with which you might not be familiar.
Once Upon a Time, There Was a Thing Called the McJordan
Hardcore Bulls fans and McDonald’s enthusiasts are probably the only folks who’ll recall a limited edition, Chicago-only burger called the McJordan. It wasn’t anything special, just a plain ol’ cheeseburger topped with pickles, raw onions, bacon, and barbeque sauce, tucked semi-neatly into a sesame seed bun, completely unremarkable aside from the fact that Jordan’s name was attached.
The Golden Arches never took the sandwich national, but a few fans were enchanted—in fact, one M.J. worshipper bought a jug of expired McJordan BBQ sauce for $9,995. (Note: We’d consider investing $9,995 to watch said worshipper down a shot of said McJordan sauce.)
Back in the Day, M.J. Wasn’t Awesome at Nutrition
While we’re on the subject of Michael Jordan and meat…
Other than those who like to glom down pregame PB&J sandwiches, most of today’s NBA players are hyper-conscious about what they put into their bodies before they take the court. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, for instance, sticks to fruits and nuts, noting, “You just need something that’s going to give you some energy that will [keep] you up if you’re playing a lot of minutes. You want something that’s going to last and stick with you the entire game.”
Before his games, Michael Jordan, on the other hand, ate like a manly-man from the 1950s: We’re talking meat ‘n’ potatoes.
But not just plain ol’ meat ‘n’ potatoes. We’re talking a 20-plus-ounce steak, a football-sized potato—or, in a pinch, a massive plate of potato skins—and a pitcher of orange juice. (It’s worth noting that M.J. scarfed it all down four hours before tip-off, so he had plenty of time to digest.) The protein/carb/sugar overload clearly worked for him, but chances are most of today’s NBA trainers would frown upon this old-school combo platter.
M.J.’s Favorite Dessert Is…Interesting
Like most of us, Jordan has an affinity for the food he ate as a child, and one of his favorite sweet treats is his mother Delores’ ginger-ale pound cake. As a public service to the culinarily curious, here’s the recipe:
- 2 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 5 eggs
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup ginger ale
Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, cream sugar, butter, and shortening. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon extract; mix well. Add flour and ginger ale, alternately. Pour batter into the pan and bake 75 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool 20 to 30 minutes; remove from pan to cool completely.
Jordan Was an Adidas Guy
In 1985, Nike owned a 50% market share of the sneaker industry, and they wanted to increase it further by bringing the mercurial Bulls rookie into the fold. Jordan, however, wasn’t initially interested, as he preferred rocking adidas kicks. adidas, however, didn’t prefer Jordan.
In typical Jordan fashion, he remained cheesed-off about the shoe diss for years to come.
Jordan Was Lacking in Television Chops…but That Didn’t Stop Him From Trying
In 1989, Chicago sports fans couldn’t get enough of Jordan. Recognizing that any M.J. face time was good face time, WLS, the local ABC affiliate, launched a show called Michael Jordan’s Airwaves. (Get it? Air Jordan? Airwaves? Get it? Get it?)
Michael Jordan’s Airwaves wasn’t good. Thanks to the YouTubes, you can watch every cringe-worthy moment from the first episode anytime you darn well please.
For the record, you can buy a framed copy of a Michael Jordan’s Airwaves print ad for around fifty clams. If you decide to invest in that oddball piece of memorabilia, make sure you don’t spill any Michael Jordan BBQ sauce on it.