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Al Horford versus Paul Simon Charity Game in the Works

Forty years ago, former Atlanta Hawks forward Connie Hawkins challenged music legend Paul Simon to a game of one-on-one down in the schoolyard. This week, we've found out that Al Horford is attempting to reclaim the crown for Hawks fans.

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

"You Can Call Me Al."

You have undoubtedly heard a snippet of this song played on the organ in Philips Arena by Sir Foster after a made field goal from Al Horford. It's fun and catchy. "You Can Call Me Al." Indeed, Al is the name that Alfred Joel Horford has chosen to go by. And it makes sense to think that the song is played because of Horford's name.


Al Horford recently sat down with Peachtree Hoops to explain why he requested "You Can Call Me Al" to be played

"Well it's funny actually, I met Connie Hawkins in the 2008 offseason at a Basketball Without Borders event."

That's right, Connie Hawkins of the 1975-76 Atlanta Hawks.

"This was right after my first Boston Celtics series. Connie brought up my 'beef' with Paul Pierce. We had a good laugh about that, but then Connie got real serious. He says to me, 'you know this isn't the first time a Paul has been involved in Hawks skirmishes?' I had no idea, but he continued to tell me about how he and Paul Simon had a dispute in the 70s. It was so bad that Connie and Paul eventually had to settle it on the courts."

Whoah. At this point in the interview, Al brought up the following video to illustrate what the public knew about this feud:

Paul Simon, Connie Hawkins - Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard - SNL 1975 from Simon and Garfunkel News on Vimeo.

"First time I saw this, I thought it was a joke skit," Al continued. "But Connie was insistent that, even though Saturday Night Live produced the video, the basketball game was real. He was so dejected after being defeated by Paul Simon that he lost his desire to play in the NBA."

The 1975-76 Season was Connie's last. So the connection is clear, Paul Simon effectively drove Connie out of the NBA.

"Connie and I really bonded during the Basketball Without Borders events that offseason. I knew I had to do something in his honor, which is why I requested Sir Foster play 'You Can Call Me Al' when I score at home. It's my little way of saying 'I got your back, Connie.'

"I've always tried to get in contact with Paul Simon about a rematch, for the Hawks. Paul has ducked those requests for the past 7 years. He's a hard guy to get a hold of!"

You could tell that this was no joking matter for Al.

"But yeah, stayed tuned. It looks like Paul is finally receptive to a rematch after all these years. All proceeds will go to charity and the event is going to be held in Atlanta. I can't say much beyond that as nothing has been finalized."

So watch out Hawks fans, after the Hawks playoff run this year we might get another chance to see Al play.

Note: Paul Simon could not be reached to comment on this story.

Editors Note: Dear fellow members of the media and our beloved community: Before you confront Horford on this, or Paul Simon for that matter, you should consult the calendar and the date on which this has been published. Seriously. Look closely. Contact us in the comments area if you are not sure what day it is. OK, you've been duly instructed. The rest is up to you.