The perils of former professional athletedom are daunting. Just ask Steve McMichael.
The former Bears defensive lineman has had his fair share of post-NFL stints, including one as a professional wrestler, but like any good former athlete, he's not afraid to charge a few bucks for an autograph. (Because giving them away would be downright anti-American.)
That's exactly what McMichael was doing on Saturday at the South Elgin Riverfest when he became either the target of or the cause for a South Elgin trustee's ire.
According to the Daily Herald, trustee Bill DiFulvio got into it with McMichael over where McMichael's booth was positioned. This is truly important stuff. DiFulvio says he didn't swear or doing anything wrong, but Jaycees president Frank Tripoli said McMichael and his family were the victims of a profane barrage. Both sides seem to basically admit the booth positioning system was poorly planned, and that McMichael's autographs booth was not handled well.
What was McMichael doing at the festival? Signing autographs for $5 apeice. DiFulvio says McMichael pulled him aside and told him he was making the festival "a lot of money" and to "not insult him in front of his fans."
In other words, this is basically the classiest story we've ever read. Here's to you, Mongo McMichael. Your autograph may not be worth $5, but your clashes with suburban festival personnel are worth every penny.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.