For TV Critics, George Steinbrenner will always be Seinfeld's comedy home run
Years after my only interview with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner -- who graciously made time for me in the middle of a swanky meal in Tampa to talk about the Florida State Fair -- I would recall mostly one thing.
It was an awful lot like a Seinfeld episode.
Steinbrenner, in command and not one to suffer fools gladly, was direct about his plans for revamping the state fair, which he would rescue from financial floundering. I was too star struck in one of my first major assignments for the St. Petersburg Times to do much beyond ask the basic questions and marvel at his willingness to chat.
Seinfeld creator Larry David turned the mercurial and blunt Steinbrenner in one of the show's best characters, spouting confident eccentric demands in a gray-haired wig that was always shot from behind to hide his face. By the time the man himself made a cameo on the show, he seemed to have accepted the silly impression that turned him into a pop culture icon in a way he might never have seen before.
We've already got lots of material on Steinbrenner's legacy online, including this excellent story about the contrast between his lives in New York and Tampa. But I'm going to use this space to pay tribute to his pop culture legacy with a few choice Seinfeld clips, showing a different side to the forceful guy who built baseball's most enduring champions.