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Imagine for a moment that you are a 12-year-old boy, growing up in the middle of America in the 1980s. Your exposure to athletic icons is through Wide World of Sports and a fledgling cable network called ESPN, but mostly from magazines like Sports Illustrated and Sport.

Now imagine seeing the following ad in one of those magazines: an athlete, once great, now retired, and now better known for his sartorial and rhetorical skills than his game (which, if you know anything about his game, speaks volumes about these other skills)

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