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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

Brooklyn Decker, Hugh Jackman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Apollo Anton Ohno and more

Celebrities! Celebrities!! Celebrities!!!

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     What an amazing week on media row.  Not only is the Super Bowl America's biggest sporting event.  The week leading up to it is one of the biggest party events in the country each year.  This year was no exception.  Academy Award winning actors, Superstars from other sports, and singers are all here trying to get a little piece of the action. 

 

     So the first day here we're setting up and a lonely PR guy with a clipboard came up to us.  "Hey would you like to talk to Brooklyn Decker?"  Hmmm.  Let' see.  Victoria's Secret Model.  Sports Illustrated swimsuit model cover girl. 

     "OK.  I guess." 

     "Great, we'll bring her by at 1p on Wednesday."

     Wednesday came and we knew Brooklyn was in the house when the buzz began.  And if there was any doubt, it evaporated when the swarm of paparazzi stormed media row.  She sat down and we chatted for about seven minutes.  She was charming.

 

BROOKLYN DECKER

 

     The same PR guy, sporting the same clipboard, checked in with us the next day.  "I appreciate you guys helping me out early on when I was trying to make sure I had my days filled." (Let me get this straight... we talked to Brooklyn Decker, and somehow that was doing you a favor) "I want to offer up Adam Sandler." That's right, That Adam Sandler.  The time was set for 2:10p Live on our air on Friday. 

     At 2:10p on Friday we didn't need a clock to know that Sandler was in the house.  About eight police officers began to part the crowd, and here comes Sandler.  He sat down, and brief introductions were made.  He was warm and genuine.  We chatted live for almost ten minutes.  Sandler was in town promoting his new film.  (The same one that Brooklyn Decker was promoting).  At one point I looked up and there were hundreds of other journalists crowded around our table taking pictures and videos on their cell phones.  Sandler only ended up talking to about half  dozen radio stations and we were one of them.  The most impressive thing for me was at the end of the interview.  He shook everyone's hand and looked everyone in the eye.  He seemed genuinely grateful for the time we spent together.  No one felt rushed.

 

ADAM SANDLER

 

     I looked up from our work station a couple of days ago and speed skating legend Apollo Anton Ohno was standing about ten feet away.  There were people hovering around him and I was one of them.  I didn't have an official time to talk with him, which meant it was highly unlikely I would get a shot.  A TV crew was beginning an interview with Ohno and their battery died.  I saw my opportunity.  The photographer stepped away to get another battery.  Ohno's PR handler was distracted and I slid in, introduced myself, and began asking him questions.  He was great. He was wearing a Packers colored shirt.  I asked him if he was cheering for the Pack.  He said he needed to stay impartial.  When I was done recording and posing for a picture with Ohno, he whispered that he was pulling for the Packers.

 

APOLLO ANTON OHNO

 

     This is my favorite story of Super Bowl week.  So one morning off to our left, the crowd is so thick that I can't see through it.  I walked over to take a look.  Boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard and actor Hugh Jackman were sitting doing and interview.  It was a challenge just to get to Sugar Ray's handler.  When I eventually did talk to him he told me that Sugar Ray was only doing network interviews, nothing with local networks.

     That didn't sit well with me.  As a matter of fact, it really ticked me off.  As I walked away, I began to stew about it.  The longer I thought about it, the more agitated I became.  I decided to do something about it.  I needed to show them how I roll.  I walked up to where Sugar Ray and Hugh Jackman were doing an interview.  As they left one location and began to walk toward another, I slid through his inner circle..  I gently pulled his shoulder and said, "Milwaukee loves you, Sugar Ray." 

   He responded how I had hoped.  "I love Milwaukee," he said as he turned toward me.  I had my in.  As his handler pulled him toward the next stop, I walked with him and we chatted.  I ended up with a minute and a half interview and lots of dirty looks from his PR guy.

 

SUGAR RAY LEONARD

 

     I figured what was good for Sugar Ray would also be good for Hugh Jackman.  As the AuAustralian lady killer stopped to pose for a picture, I positioned myself for an opportunity and pounced.  He was very gracious and spoke to me for almost a minute, as the same handler I had a run in with with Sugar Ray bit his tongue. (By the way, of the hundred or so interviews I did this week, his was the shortest, and according to my wife, the best)

 

HUGH JACKMAN

 

 HUGH JACKMAN and SUGAR RAY LEONARD

 

     What a week.  There are so many stories still to be told.  Please check the podcast section of www.620wtmj.com to hear these interviews.

 

     Have a thought, comment, or question?  I would love to hear from you.  jmercure@620wtmj.com

 

 

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