For the third time in my life I am preparing to attend another Super Bowl weekend in a host city. My first Super Bowl experience was XLIII (43) in Tampa Bay in 2009. I have the good fortune that my best friend is somewhat well connected and got me a great "shadowing" experience with her. I attended two of the major and exclusive events of that weekend one of which was the ESPN party. Oh JOY! no really it was a joyous event. I had the distinct privilege of announcing celebrities on to the red carpet. BTW this is what you don't see on any of the award shows. When a celebrity approaches the red carpet, I would hold up a sign (piece of paper) with their name written on it and announce for the many photographers who this person or group of people were. What made this all the more precious was that 9.5 times out of 10 I had no idea who these people were. Some times the celebrity would approach the red carpet and I would have to ask them, "and your name? and that is spelled? Ok thank you." other times it became a little more complex, like when I also had to ask "are you an athlete, actor?" basically who the hell are you? my bff got a great kick out of this. But it was one of the reasons that it made me good for this job, I treated them all with the same level of anonymity. Our motto for the weekend became, "this is all lost on me" I was meeting folks, yes actually introduced to people that were a pretty big deal, and would shake their hands, nod and smile and carry on, some of these folks were sports industry executives, former professional athletes, and current athletes.
The funniest story of the weekend actually occurred at a party they night I first arrived to Tampa. We entered into this club at the exact same time that TO and his entourage arrived. I was introduced to his assistant or body guard as we walked in. As we arrived we met up with a friend and she was standing with a group of people chatting and laughing, I was introduced to them all. One of the guys shook my hand and remarked, "my your hand is so soft", I replied, "well I use lotion". Well CJ immediately commented to him, "uh uh, you aint getting into it with her, she will give back as good as you" They mentioned his name and we just carried on, he offered everyone a round of drinks and I think we obliged. And we were off. A few hours later we were upstairs in this establishment when I noticed CJ was being (playfully) tormented by the same guy, I started to make a b line to where she was when one of her colleagues said "Oh McNabb is just playing with her", I turned to him and said, "McNabb? as in Donovan McNabb/" He looked at me and his face was like "Ana, I know you knew who he was" we both laughed it off and I later told CJ. That then became the joke for several years and even to this day, about the time I met Donovan McNabb, who was introduced as just Donovan and hung out with him for several hours and had no idea who he was. See just lost on me. LOL. But it was a fun weekend. Well we will see what fun this weekend brings. Let's Go Patriots!