For those of us who wake up in a cold sweat these days, imagining the nightmare scenario of Donald Trump's candidacy extending into next November, a mostly forgotten aspect of his past provides a small dose of comfort. Three decades ago, Le Grande Coiffure was a professional football team owner. He bought the New Jersey Generals of the fledgling United States Football League, in a circuitous attempt to bully his way into the NFL.
Not only did that ploy fail miserably, but so did Trump's team. And here's the comforting parallel: The Trumpsmen were stellar during the early-season contests (think meaningless debates more than a year before the election), but never managed to win a single playoff game (think Iowa, New Hampshire), and never even sniffed the championship game (think November '16).
Back then, I ran the league's production company and spent all-too-much time in the boss's office at Trump Tower. Our shows were just another opportunity for his self-aggrandizement, but I soon tired of his boorish ways. And when I made ESPN's 30 For 30 film, "Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL," many years later, The Donald took issue with the film's thesis in his inimitable way.
When the letter went viral, I confess to feeling a measure of gratification. And as his hate mail Hall of Fame has swelled, I'm honored to be included alongside such recent inductees as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I was only concerned about my mother being upset at the public rebuke of her son, but she put it all in perspective: "Don't be silly," she said with a smile. "Being insulted by a man like that is something to be proud of!"
-- Mike Tollin is a writer, producer and director whose credits include "Varsity Blues," "Smallville," "Radio" and "Coach Carter."