The Dope Bowl

Lawyers, goons, money--and some very curious sex toys. Laura Miller does the post-game analysis of the Michael Irvin trial.

But when Irvin finally breezed out of the courtroom, Johnson got the strong, silent treatment, and Clancy brushed her off. As she pleaded all the way down the hall, which was empty at that particular moment except for a couple of reporters, Clancy and Irvin continued to ignore her--except for Clancy's raised hand at the elevator. Just before the elevator doors closed on the stunned fan, Clancy and Irvin saw that reporters were watching their pathetic little scene. At the last possible moment, they told Johnson that she could get an autograph when Irvin stepped off the elevator.

Which, of course, was ridiculous, since he was gliding away while she was left behind five floors in the sky. Not to be deterred, Johnson, who is not a small woman--or a fit woman--ran to the nearby escalators and began an O.J.-type sprint down five floors to try to meet Irvin as he got off the escalators.

It was so pitiful--her determination pitted against his gall--that I chased out after her. Down and down we went, one escalator after another, down to the basement of the building. Seeing no Michael Irvin anywhere, she proceeded to run right out of the basement, right into the parking garage, which she also searched in vain. Sweating and panting in her pink dress, she finally, regretfully gave up.

"Dang!" she cried out to no one but herself, tears nearly coming to her eyes. "Shucks. What could it have hurt if I'd ridden in the elevator with him?"

She looked at me, scribbling away in my notebook. "You see, this is why fans are so disillusioned."

Blaine Jon Howard and Paula Park contributed to this story.

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