Perhaps it had to be this way. Only Nixon could go to China, and only Rodman could go to North Korea. The weirdest man for the weirdest country, right?
I am nothing if not a child of the ‘90s, so I vaguely remember Rodman’s time in the NBA, especially his stint in Chicago: the successive rebounding titles, the freakish 72-10 regular season record in ’95-6, the pink hair and piercings. I also remember that on the playground and in gym class whenever someone did something unsportsmanlike — threw a dodge ball at somebody’s back or kicked a soccer ball too hard in the direction of a girl — we would all say, “Don’t be queer like Rodman.” We had no idea what it meant to be queer, but we knew that it had something to do with a man posing in a bridal gown and that it was, distinctly, a Bad Thing.
I wonder whether others my age remember this once-popular insult. It definitely wasn’t indigenous to my elementary school, as I discovered when I heard one of my older cousins employ it (“Pokémon? That game’s queerer than Rodman”). Just a piece of lore for the benefit of oral historians.