Is there a reality show without an athlete?
Apparently not, except for American Idol. For example I was forced to stop on the Bravo show The Millionaire Matchmaker tonight because one of the millionaires who needed help matchmaking was supposed to be a former NFL player named Matthew Hatchette.
So first I had to find out: Was there actually a former NFL player named Matthew Hatchette? Apparently there was. He once played for the Minnesota Vikings.
Patti, who is the Millionaire Matchmaker, paired Matthew with a girl named Maya. Matthew was quite pleased with himself because he opened the car door for her. Patti says "It's really exciting when a millionaire really likes somebody," and "Hatch" proved that he really liked Maya because he opened a car door!
What I can't find proof of is whether "Hatch" is actually a millionaire. I guess that's for Maya to discover.
On Tuesday night, during an episode of The Real Housewives of New York, Jill, a housewife, who is wicked competitive when it comes to her doubles tennis matches with her Housewife friend and rival Ramona, dreamed up the plan of asking has-been pro tennis player Justin Gimelstob to be her ringer in a match with Ramona and Ramona's husband.
Confession here: Not a big Gimelstob fan. When he was a barely-ranked young player entered in a winter pro tournament in Philadelphia where I was writing about tennis, I did some serious begging for him to show up for a 10 a.m. interview. I just needed a few minutes of his time so I could write a fluffy, positive feature story about a guy who, other than being from nearby New Jersey, didn't have that compelling of a story. He showed up full of snotty attitude, barely awake, less than civil and willing to bust out the one-word, yeah, nah, uh-huh, answers for about two minutes before he demanded coffee and an end to the horrendous effort of speaking.
Anyway, on the show, Gimelstob, true to form, whimped out on Jill at the last minute, ruining the moment, and Jill had to scramble to find another ringer who was really not a player and more than that you don't want to know.
But here's how desperate Gimelstob is for a little publicity. He allowed his phone blow-off of Jill to be on the show. He probably got paid for that.
And, OK, I watched it. So I'm as bad as Gimelstob.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: A 1998-99 season photo of former Minnesota Vikings receiver Matthew Hatchette. Credit: Associated Press