Announcing the Prize for our Slamonline tourney

By Sam Rubenstein

When I set up the official slamonline NCAA tourney brackets, I promised you a prize, but did not have one ready at the time. My ideas were mostly disappointing. A headband, t-shirt, DVD, guest post, free magazines, and so on. But our friends at Brand Jordan gave us an opportunity at the 11th hour and I jumped at the chance. The winner of the SLAMonline NCAA tourny will receive the new Jumpman Jeter Vital shoe. Here are the specifics from the press release:

The Jumpman Jeter Vital continues the long-standing Jordan tradition of dedication to performance and cutting
edge technology. The shoe, inspired by Team Jordan athlete and New York Yankee Derek Jeter, who was one
of the original members of the inaugural group of Team Jordan athletes in 1997, is currently one of the only
signature shoes on the market inspired by a marquee baseball athlete.

Designed with Jeter in mind, the shoe’s technology is engineered to increase performance while ensuring
comfort and optimal support. The Jumpman Jeter Vital is categorized as a turf and field trainer and takes specific
cues from Jeter himself for his specific performance needs.

Since being named Major League Baseball’s 1996 Rookie of the Year, Jeter has become one of the game’s most
complete ballplayers and earned some of the greatest achievements in the sport, including the All-Star Game
MVP, World Series MVP, three Gold Glove awards, and four World Series titles. Destined for Hall of Fame
status, his impact on New York and on the game’s most storied franchise has been incalculable.

Combination of synthetic and full grain leather upper. Foam backed collar lining, and heel offer interior comfort
and protection. Asymmetrical toe offers protection against toe drag. Lateral window cut out offers freedom of
movement as well as breathability.

Dual density phylon midsole provides performance cushioning. Internal shank plate for added arch support.

Lightweight solid rubber with a combination herringbone and nubby outsole pattern for multi-surface traction.
Integrated forefoot flex grooves are strategically placed to enhance transition and quick movements.

• Shoe inspired by Batman as Jeter is similar to Bruce Wayne
• New Jeter logo on tongue of shoe
• Glow in the dark forefoot painted wing
• Toe cap is reinforced to mimic a steel protective toe cap
• Four stripes on the heel pull tab represent the four World Series victories. Also Jeter is the Captain of
the Yankees and when one becomes a Captain in the military they receive four stripes.
• Jeter wing poster on sole of shoe with quote “Respect Earned When No One is Looking”
• #2 on sole of shoe (Jeter’s number)
• Jeter is a 5 Tool Player. There are 5 points on the bottom of the show to showcase each of these
• Hitting for Average (illustrated with the point that has two lines through it, top left point)
• Hitting for Power (illustrated with the point that has the plus sign, top right point)
• Speed (illustrated with the point that looks similar to a lightning bolt, second row point)
• Throwing (illustrated with the point that looks similar to barbells, third row point)
• Fielding (illustrated with the point that looks similar to a baseball field, last row point)
March 31, 2007

I know what you’re thinking. A baseball player? What does that have to do with the NCAA tourney? Well, it’s not just any player. It is Derek Jeter, a true champion, much like whomever wins our bracket challenge on Monday night, as well as the athletes of Florida, Ohio State, UCLA, or Georgetown. This is a champion’s shoe for a champion, and in no way am I bestowing this praise on the great Derek Jeter to counteract the incredible pressure this Village Voice cover story is trying to put on Jose Reyes.

We have enough of a variety in brackets at the top of the standings, that the contest is still wide open. Remember it’s 16 points per team that gets to the Final, and 32 for the champion. Good luck to everyone who has a shot at winning the shoe.