Friday, February 28, 2020

My Taste Of The NFL

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

It's hard to believe that a month has passed since Super Bowl LIV (45) came to South Florida.

I had the good fortune of working with Rudy Reyes one day as we accomplished a lot with our one day pass at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

A few of the highlights we had were interviewing former Detroit Lions QB Eric Hipple, legendary Sports Writer Howard Balzer and attending Fox Sports Press Conference.

On Saturday, January 25, Candy Ebling and I attended an incredible event, The Taste of the NFL.

For fans wanting to go to this, they had to pay $700 for a basic package. There were also VIP packages which costs considerably more.

This event was a fundraiser where there was a lot of sports memorabilia for sale. All proceeds went to charity.

There was more.

What fans had the chance to experience were food dishes from the chefs for all 32 teams. They ranged from crab cakes, seafood, cannoli, types of steaks, etc... By the end of the night, an ambitious eater could add a few pounds.

What was neat about the experience was meeting all the player representatives. These guys were signing autographs and taking photos. It was also neat talking to the chefs.

There were no shortage of Super Bowl Champions.

Two members of the Miami Dolphins undefeated 1972 team had a chance to interact with fans. It was neat talking football and taking photos with Dick Anderson and Mercury Morris.

I had to good fortune of doing a video with Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel as well as Green Bay Packers Super Bowl winner Charles Woodson.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to land former Denver Bronco Super Bowl Champion Mark Schlereth for the Rude Dog Show. Mark apologized as he was busy, but was nice enough to take a photo with Candy Ebling and I.

Former Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Champion WR was a blast to hang out with. Dexter Jackson won a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

One player who was extremely noticeable was three-time Super Bowl winning tight-end Jay Novacek, who wore his Cowboy hat and played for the Dallas Cowboys.

Former Michigan Wolverine offensive guard, offensive tackle Tom Mack played his entire career (1966-1978) with the Los Angeles Rams and was a Pro Bowl regular going to 11 of them.

The representative for the Oakland Raiders was tight-end Dave Casper, who won a Super Bowl and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His nickname is the ghost.

In this day and age, it's rare that a player stays with one team for his entire career. It was great spending time with former NY Jets running back Freeman McNeil, who is a three-time Pro Bowler and is in the New York Jets Ring of Honor.

The most interesting experience I had that night was with former Detroit Lions Al "Bubba" Baker who was the Cleveland Browns representative. Baker said the Lions losing culture was the reason he left the Motor City and wanted me to take a photo with him holding a Browns Helmet.

I enjoyed spending time with Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Curley Culp, former Miami Dolphins Kim Bokamper, John Offerdahl, both whom have restaurants that I've dined at in the area. You won't find a classier guy than former Jacksonville Jaguar George Wrightster.

I met a lot of other great players at this event and "The Taste Of The NFL" organizers did a phenomenal job putting this on.

I've been credentialed for five Super Bowls and have attended four games.

Prior to this event, I always made it a priority to go the Hall of Fame Selection Announcements, the Commissioners State of The League Address, in addition to hanging out at Radio Row doing major networking and appearing as a guest on shows across the country.

But when it was all said and done, I have to admit that this is one of the best events I've been a part of because of the positive energy in the room with media members, fans and most of all the players!

These memories at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, FL were special and it was a privilege to be a part of it.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and is the owner of this online publication and broadcasting network.

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