Super Bowl 45: Behind The Scenes, Day 4
By Greg Matzek
Before I get to the events of Thursday, I want to reflect on a cool event that took place at the House of Blues last night. Brian Lammi of Lammi Sports Management organized an event with former Packers William Henderson, Santana Dotson, and current Packers WR James Jones.
About 250 Packers fans from Houston filled the place and were treated to a private meet and greet with the players, and then the players took the stage with Bill Michaels and Today's TMJ 4's Lance Allen for a casual Q&A session.
For me, the highlight of the Q&A was a fan who was near tears as he expressed how much the Packers mean to him. He started his short soliloquy with an emotional and heart-felt "thank you". The boisterous crowd was hushed during his statement and the Packers on stage were equally choked up. It was as true an example of how emotionally connected Packers fans are with this team - it was great.
Today was essentially a repeat of yesterday, with the exception of me doing a plank at 6:00am on the ground in radio row. That's the Sporting News' Steve Czaban in the background wearing the yellow Packers hat.
The Packers and Steelers both addressed the media and practiced, but the buzz on radio row was so strong by 8:00am, I chose to stay put and wrangle some of the interesting characters strolling around us.
We had pre-booked former Packers WR/KR Desmond Howard - the MVP of Super Bowl 31 - and model/actress Brooklyn Decker, but were pleasantly surprised to pull off impromptu interviews with master impersonator Frank Caliendo, and former Washington Redskins WR Charlie Brown.
The timing was impeccable at about 2:00pm when we started our daily Super Bowl Frenzy show. William Henderson was standing right behind Producer Bryan Ramsey as Gene and I were discussing the House of Blues event from Wednesday night. I was snapping my fingers and making eye gestures to Bryan to ask William to join us. He did. William sat down at our table, and two minutes later we were joined by Packers RB Ryan Grant. The timing was absolutely perfect and completely unplanned.
I really feel bad for Ryan. The first thing we asked him was how he was feeling. He sighed, got a dejected look on his face and said, "I feel fine...that's the problem." Grant clearly feels like he could play on Sunday and explained to us that he's been running and is ready to roll. I can't imagine being in his position right now...I'd rather still be struggling through rehab than know I could play in a game that I had to sit out.
Other odd sites of the day included a 7 foot prairie dog who was squeaking a horn at any pretty lady who walked by, Bugs Bunny, paparazzi photographers snapping photos of any big name in the building, and, of course, Jersey Shore's "The Situation". It was strange - I've got Jerry Rice to my left, Joe Montana to my right, the Black Eyed Peas on stage with the NFL Network behind me, and the largest entourage of people were surrounding "The Situation" - a no-talent ass-clown with a deep tan and bad hair.