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I Have a Cool Job

By RD Heldenfels Published: July 11, 2006

You will probably get some whining here during the press tour. I am away from home, and yesterday I was away while my wife and younger son had to deal with megastorms, a power outage and water in the basement.

But even before I got here, I knew there would be times when I realized I have a cool job. Take last night. I am sitting and talking with colleagues who have also been friends for many years. Then, nearby, we see Mark Cuban. Yes, the Dallas Mavericks guy. The billionaire. He's here because HDNet, which he owns, is having a press conference tomorrow with Dan Rather, who since leaving CBS has made a deal with Cuban's operation. But at this point Cuban was just walking through the hotel.

We wave. Cuban waves back. Led by the TV critic from Dallas, we go over to say hello. Cuban is polite, even cheerful; he's had dinner with Rather and is now waiting for word about a possible basketball deal. But he's talking about Rather, he's talking basketball -- and not only his team's. (All right, a lot of it is about Dallas. And he hasn't forgiven the refs yet.) When other people draw near, he pauses, extends his hand to them and says, ''Hi, I'm Mark.''

Believe what you want about him. I think he's a good guy, a very basic sort of person. I thought so when I first met him a couple of years ago and I think it still. Also, as cool as my job is (since it gives me a chance to do things like stand around with Cuban), he has a much cooler one.

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