The only group who can officially settle the Shaq vs. Howard "Superman" nickname debate has finally weighed in. The Plain Dealer reported this morning that the Siegel & Shuster Society has given Shaq their official blessing.
Dwight Howard laid claim to the Superman moniker. Shaq said it's been his, is still his, and he's not ready to cede it to Orlando's big man anytime soon. NBA pundits, bloggers, PTI, talk show hosts and others all took sides and debated the claim.
It didn't matter. None of them really had the power to make anything official. Now it is.
From Michael McIntyre's Tip Off column:
The society, named after the Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, two Glenville kids who created Superman, wrote to tell the Cavs that its members "applaud Shaquille O'Neal's history promoting the Man of Steel, from proudly wearing the character's emblem tattoo to starring as John Henry Irons in the 1997 film Steel. But most of all, we thank him for being part of the excitement the Cavaliers have brought to Cleveland sports. It's a whole team of supermen!"
Society president Mike Olszewski said he'd like to make a personal presentation to O'Neal. And his intentions are undoubtedly pure. But his idea — to bestow O'Neal with a "commemorative brick" from Jerry Siegel's boyhood home — might not be the best idea. Anyone who has seen Shaq attempt a foul shot — his basketball Kryptonite — knows the last thing he needs is another brick.
Hacky joke aside, not a bad development. So the vote might have been rigged a little bit — Cleveland-based Superman society proclaims the Cleveland-based athlete the real Superman, but we'll take it. At the very least, it'll give the boys something to talk about when Orlando and the Cavs match up in the Eastern Conference Finals.
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