Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ken Rosenthal - not a player, still a charity all-star

If you're a baseball fan, you're probably familiar with Fox Sports broadcaster and commentator Ken Rosenthal.

But, you may not be familiar with the story behind his bow ties. (There's often a story behind a man who regularly wears bow ties, I think, but that's a matter for other blogging.)

It actually starts with a player, though -- Dhani Jones, shown here being interviewed by Ken, at right.

The 11-year NFL veteran (I think of Alan Page when I see him in the bow tie) saw Rosenthal wearing one on TV during last year's World Series and said he had to talk to him, specifically about Jones' Bow Tie Project. Rosenthal, wearing his World Series bow tie under Fox orders, decided to listen,

The story about how this developed is here.

The idea goes back to Jones' college days, and took off from there.

Here's the basics:
In 1999, Dhani Jones’ senior year at Michigan, his best friend, Kunta Littlejohn, was diagnosed with lymphoma.

The next year, the New York Giants selected Jones in the sixth round of the NFL draft. Jones, who is from Potomac, Md., had never lived in New York. Littlejohn felt compelled to offer him some advice.

“If you want to be anybody, you’re got to rock a bow tie,” Littlejohn said.

Jones responded as 99 percent of the male population would.

“Man, you’re crazy,” he said. “I’m not wearing a bow tie.”

At the time, Littlejohn was in remission but facing a challenging time in his recovery. Jones said he began wearing a bow tie in “quiet support” of his friend.

Today Littlejohn is in full remission, and Jones is the father of a cause.
And, that cause is now Rosenthal's as well, wearing a different bow tie every week.

Want to know more? Here's information on the one he wore on air Saturday, June 23, in the Mets-Yankees game, pictured at right. Ken's making a statement, not just a fashion statement, with these ties. (That said, many of them are snazzy, yet understated.) A lot of these charities are small, and specialized in their focus. They would attract little attention without Ken's willingness to partner with Dhani on this.

Ken says more ties are in development. Don't know if he'll take suggestions as to what charities to support (or bow tie design) but, it's worth a shot. Here's his Twitter account. ( @Ken_Rosenthal )

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