I've been fortunate in my career in sports media. I have covered such events as the Rose Bowl, The Masters, the Kentucky Derby and so on and so forth. I've also now gotten the opportunity to cover five Super Bowls: XXXI, XXXII, XXXIX, XLV and XLVI.
Until Sunday night, however, I never had the out of body experience I had while on the field where just an hour before the entire world was watching Tom Brady's pass fall just incomplete, giving Eli Manning and the New York Giants their second Super Bowl win in four years over the New England Patriots.
Let me rewind first.
As the game was ending, my job was to coordinate guests on the field and in the locker room for Yahoo! Sports Radio. So, there I was, on the field as the confetti is flying. I had a beat on a couple of guys that we wanted to speak to, but wanted to allow them to soak in the moment with teammates, friends and family before grabbing them for their network hit. Standing on the 45-yard-line, out of the corner of my left eye I spot an instantly familiar face and voice.
And my bizarre night began.
Yaeaaaah Boy-eeee!! We did it bayyybeee!! were the words and the clock around his neck could only mean one thing. Flavor Flav had a field pass and was headed straight for me.
Keep in mind I don't know Flavor Flav. I've never met Flavor Flav. I've never interviewed Flavor Flav. And yet, there I was, right in his path. And he was looking to hug someone. Anyone. Even a tall white bald guy wearing a suit.
I'll confess I did not know that the former rapper for Public Enemy was a Giants fan, but after me, he wasn't done hugging people, most famously Tom Coughlin. If you never believed me about sports bringing people together before that, believe me now. There are no two men more dissimilar than Flav and Coughlin.
After my encounter with Flav, I grabbed center David Baas for a couple of minutes walking right behind the ESPN set at the time. The only reason I know that was by the dozen or so text messages from friends.
Once inside the Giants locker room, actress Kate Mara, whose grandfather, John Mara is the co-owner of the team, was all smiles, as was singer Seal. Why was Seal in the Giants locker room? I honestly have no idea.
Once the locker room closed and all of the players had left, my job was done. The only thing left to do was write my Monday OnMilwaukee.com column, which I was planning to do back at the hotel.
However, as a pair of colleagues of mine and I walked past one of the tunnels to the field I spotted some new friends from the host committee I had met during the week drinking champagne and throwing a couple of footballs around. After popping in just to say good night and thanking them for their week-long hospitality, they invited us to stay.
So we did.
Then they invited us over to the Giants sideline where there were about 30 bottles of bubbly on ice where we were invited to help ourselves.
So we did.
As the champagne was flowing and footballs were flying, someone got the brilliant idea to start kicking field goals. Since the nets were still up, we all figured that even if we started knocking them through like Lawrence Tynes, we at least would not lose any balls into the stands.
I've been blessed. I have gotten to wear Super Bowl rings and Olympic medals; I have covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. But tossing the ball around on the field where the Super Bowl was just played like we were kids in our backyard takes the cake.
This was never something that could have ever been on my bucket list. Because in my wildest imagination I would have never been able to dream it up.
Sir, I know Flavor Flav. I worked with Flavor Flav. You, sir, are no Flavor Flav.
...But you do remind me a bit of Deezer D...
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