In the 13th post of this blog’s illustrious history, I wrote about the trials and tribulations of Mr. Hooman Hamzehloui, the Orlando Magic fan who was removed from the Amway Arena in October 2006 for calling Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutumbo a “monkey”.
In the nearly two years since this black mark on fan-player relations, I had pretty much forgotten about Mr. Hamzehloui. Last week, however, I received a mysterious press release in my email box. It was from Mr. Hamzehloui.
This press release, entitled “Everyone loves a happy ending”, gave an update on the famous ejected fan. According to the email, after his moment of national embarassment, Mr. Hamzehloui spiraled into depression. The stigma of being labeled a racist had cost Mr. Hamzehloui his successful real estate practice and made him an outcast. To quote the email, “Hooman became the recipient of hate mail, death threats, and nasty calls” and felt his words brought out “the hatred of people all over the world”.
Fortunately for Mr. Hamzehloui, his depression would recede. After finding himself again, Mr. Hamzehloui decided to take on the problems of the world and become a motivational speaker. Through his website, www.hoomancan.com, those needing a pep talk are now able to book Hooman and have him tell them the secrets to a happy life.
Honestly, I think this stinks. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel can believe Mr. Hamzehloui all he wants, but Mr. Hamzehloui’s new venture seems to me to be nothing but a marketing ploy. Like blogger Delinda Lombardo and many of Bianchi’s commentators, I agree that it seems Mr. Hamzehloui is using all the free press he can get to promote his new money-making scheme and his new book, the aptly titled “Dikembe and Me”.
Mr. Hamzehloui is no dummy. Anyone who becomes a success in America through sales has to know a little about the opinions of the public, and Mr. Hamzehloui has mastered this craft. As he did after his incident with Dikembe Mutumbo, Mr. Hamzehloui is convienently playing the media to get attention. Now, with his latest venture, this man, who failed to think when he called Dikembe a “monkey”, will attempt show everyone how to “help change the world one thought at a time”.
Sorry, Hooman. Count me out.