This might surprise you, but I was not invited to Oprah Winfrey's two-day party that celebrated her 25-year-old show ending. I'm sure I would have enjoyed hanging out with people like Aretha Franklin, Tom Cruise, and Michael Jordan. And I probably wouldn't have been able to resist telling Maria Shriver, "Eat a little something." But I wasn't there, and that's okay. It's fine with me that Oprah was praised by people for two days. Why not? She earned all that adulation.

Oprah's story is an "only in America" one. She started with nothing, and ended up one of the richest people in the world. She turned unknown writers into literary luminaries, and was responsible for several people getting their own TV shows. She had four former presidents on her stage as well as President Obama. And me.

That's right, back in 1990, an entire Oprah show was devoted to a "My Turn" column I wrote for Newsweek. I wrote that kids were playing too many video games instead of real games with actual bats and balls and mud and the occasional scraped knee. Apparently, a great number of people wrote to Newsweek lauding or decrying my article. So, Oprah decided to devote an hour to the topic and have me on the show.

I barely got to talk, as it seemed that whoever talked the loudest got to talk the most. Parents of kids who played video games 15 hours a day bellowed about how wonderful their kids' hand-eye coordination had become. Others sobbed loudly about the whole family going to support groups because of their electronic game addiction. I was the only one who didn't come with rehearsed remarks. It never occurred to me to do that. I figured I'd throw in something clever now and then. That didn't happen. Most of the time, I just sat there looking almost as uncomfortable as I felt.

Despite my poor on-camera performance, Oprah wouldn't have had that entire one-hour show without me. Don't get me wrong. It was a thrill and an honor to be on her show, but let's face it: her show really took off after I was on it, and it continued to soar for the next 21 years. Coincidence? That's possible.

I'm not the envious type, but when I see what she did for so many others who appeared on her show, I can't help thinking that she could have done a little bit for me. She didn't have to make my career skyrocket, but she could have used her magic to give it a little boost – or at least keep me employed.If she had hinted that she was going to make me a best-selling author, I might have actually finished writing that book that I've been talking about starting for years.

Look at Dr. Phil, Phil McGraw. He was an unknown psychologist who earned his BA in psychology from Midwestern State University. Have you ever heard of Midwestern State University? Do you even know what state it's the midwestern university of? And this guy gets his own TV show because of Oprah. He's so successful that he doesn't need a last name. He's just "Dr.Phil." You've made it in our culture when you're known by just your first name – like Barack or Madonna or Lady Gaga. If you say, "Lady Gaga," everybody's going to know which Lady Gaga you're talking about. Similarly, if you say, "Dr. Phil," nobody is going to think you're talking about that credit dentist at the mall.

So Oprah, if you're reading this, and I assume you are, I congratulate you on all of your success and wish you well on your new ventures. I really don't want anything big from you, but I would love you to do something for me that you did for Dr. Phil. Could you please just make sure that everybody will think of me whenever they hear someone say, "Mr. Lloyd?"

The Butler Didn't Do It

This was the game that millions of fans waited for an entire year to see, and yet it wasn't much of a game at all. Last year, when Butler played Duke, even though man for man Duke was probably a better team, Butler hung with them and almost won. This year, UCONN was the better team, and well, they played like it.

Butler’s shot a pathetic 18.8%. You want it to sound worse? Okay, they missed 81.2% of their shots. More than 8 out of 10! I can miss eight out ten shots, and I haven’t been practicing for four hours a day for eight months. UCONN didn’t shoot all that well, either, but at least their game didn’t make you wince.

Even she thought the game stunk.

Obviously, when you watch a big game like this and it turns out to be a dud, you’re more disappointed than if it were just a regular season game. Our expectations were too high. We were waiting and waiting for a fantastic game, and then when it didn’t come, well, it was a little depressing for all but the UCONN fans.

And if we felt bad because it was such a crummy game, imagine how the Butler players felt. For some of them, this was the last game of organized basketball they’ll ever play. I mean, how many of them are going to play in the NBA? And even for those who will still be at Butler next year, don’t count on them being in the Championship Game again. The basketball gods might give you two chances in a row, but not three.

I wonder about the impact this game will have on their lives.Actually, I wonder about the impact on the UCONN players’ lives, too. Often, we’ll hear that a night like this – playing for the National Championship – will be the biggest event in these kids’ lives. And if you perform so dismally in the most important thing in your life, that’s got to be depressing.

Of course, not every athlete holds onto his sports days as the best possible days ever. Some find other things that are fulfilling. But some don’t. And it’s no wonder. It’s doubtful any of these kids will ever hear 70,000 people cheer for them while millions more watch them on TV – unless they find a cure for some horrible disease or figure out how mattress stores make money.

Some on Connecticut may very well turn out to be those guys who are still bragging about the big game long after it’s an emotionally healthy thing to do.Whenever there’s a lull in a conversation, they’ll bring out that game DVD that they always carry with them. And what about those guys on Butler? Will they still be haunted by missing shot after shot when they’re grandfathers?

Most of us know deep down that continuing to obsess about their sports careers for the rest of their lives indicates that their personal growth stopped the night of the big game. We know that being a good person, falling in love, or becoming a parent “should be” the most important thing in one’s life, not the score of some game. It’s somewhat pathetic for someone ten or twenty years after a game to still feel it was the most important thing they were ever involved in. Those of us with families, friends, and real adult lives know what’s really important.

Despite knowing all these wise things about life, how many of us wouldn’t change places with these athletes just to play in that one game? Even with the guys on Butler.