If there’s a great way to start off a day, for this fellow, it’s through the stomach.
After a bit of a scramble Monday figuring out where to grab a little breakfast, Tuesday brought welcome news that one of the SiriusXM’s Sports Director’s Premium Platinum Gold Diamond Status at the hotel allowed me a free breakfast from the omelet station.
After some satisfying eggs and spicy breakfast potatoes, it was time to embark to the Phoenix Downtown Convention Center for the second day of activities at radio row.
The first highlight of the day was seeing the GOAT of offensive linemen walk through radio row. That man is Anthony Munoz. As a former wubby myself, Jonathan Ogden yesterday and Munoz today is a great start to the stars coming out in Phoenix. Let me tell you, I’ve seen some mangled hands in my day from former NFL players. I’ve seen Ronnie Lott’s hand with the missing digit, I’ve seen Brian Baldinger’s bent finger, but nothing can compete with Anthony Munoz. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you must open another window and google “Anthony Munoz finger” immediately. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen.
As I mentioned in my last Diary entry, Tuesday is still a build up to that first big day (Wednesday). The convention center was definitely buzzing a little more than Monday. Everybody’s favorite Sal Paolantonio roamed the halls of the center while former Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff made the rounds doing interviews at various radio stations across the country.
Tuesday’s also a great day for us media folks to say hello to old friends. The days get busier later in the week, but as you may have noticed, media members stay in the media. They may change outlets, but it’s largely the same group of folks. You make a lot of friends in this business, and jobs change and careers diverge, but everybody comes back to media week at the Super Bowl, and it’s a great time to catch up.
After seeing some old friends, it was time to jump into work. The work day started by hearing a fascinating conversation with Maryland head football coach Mike Locksley who is a compelling interview: open, honest and opinionated.
Radio row isn’t just for athletes and coaches, but as I said before, celebrities as well! Tuesday brought our first in the famous prop comic, Carrot Top! He might be approaching 60 years old, but the man is jacked (yes, Carrot Top) and could probably take down some former football players in an arm wrestling match. 2002 MVP Rich Gannon stopped by for a conversation, followed by a chat with Shawne Merriman. Lights Out still looked like he’d knock out any quarterback if you left him free on the blind side. Perhaps he could strap on the shoulder pads and be a situational pass rusher for the Bears, he couldn’t do any worse than they did last year.
The afternoon didn’t end there. The parade of guests included legendary NFL writer Peter King, golfer Tom Herman who was in town for the Phoenix Open, Fox’s Tom Rinaldi, Garrett Wilson of the New York Jets, legendary Arizona State alumn Reggie Jackson, and oh, the only QB you can justify drafting ahead of Justin Fields in 2021, Trevor Lawrence.
Tuesday’s tough decisions included if I should attend a Luke Combs concert later in the week as well as if I should go with the butter cake or the peanut butter pie for dessert after a phenomenal steak dinner.
If you’re wondering, we’re still TBD on Combs, and the peanut butter pie was top notch: creamy, rich, not overly sweet, and a touch of whipped cream on the side to complement it just right.
We’re just 40% of the way into the week. What lies ahead Wednesday? Potentially some Chicago Bears, past and present. We’ll be back tomorrow with more details.