Have we reached peak Prince?

Chris O’Meara | Associated Press

John Shipley, the St. Paul Pioneer Press sports columnist has called out what’s behind many of the tributes to the dead icon: a chance to make a buck.

It’s one thing to honor Prince; it’s another to make him part of a business model, he says.

You know who would hate what’s happened to Prince? Prince.

No one is suggesting Prince didn’t enjoy center stage, or have a healthy sense of his own genius. He was hardly a household word when he convinced investors to get behind an autobiographical movie in which he played the lead. The movie grossed almost $80 million on release and won him an Oscar. That’s what the old-timers called moxie.

But he was also rarely seen in public and protective of work, constantly recording but only releasing relative handfuls of songs. This is the guy who changed his name to a glyph just to get out of a record deal; how do you suppose he’d feel about seeing it on a Vikings jersey?

It just doesn’t feel right anymore.

Shipley, in particular, called out area sports teams. The Twins will break out the Prince jerseys next month, the Timberwolves already wear them, the Lynx wore purple shoes in the playoffs.

Perhaps it’s time to move on.