FLUTIE'S FLAGS (NOTICE THE 'L' IN 'FLAGS')
This headline doesn't seem appropriate now, but by the end of the post, it should.
I went to Surprise (a part of Phoenix's northwestern sprawl) today to play in a tennis tournament and to watch the 2008 Celebrity Flag Football Game, which was played at the spring training stadium of the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals. I was ready to see some dazzling plays, as well as the prerequisite hijinks associated with such an event. Doug Flutie, former NFL quarterback and college star, hosted the game, which featured Tae Bo inventor, Billy Blanks, and rapper DMC from Run-DMC. (Watch DMC perform "Walk This Way" with the Flutie Brothers Band in the video below.) Several NFL players played, the biggest stars being Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson and Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee. Both of these guys showed up 20 minutes after the game had started with Johnson sporting a leather suit and McGahee wearing shorts that were five sizes too big and a white, oversized hoodie. Both entered Surprise Stadium from a public gate near where I was standing, and two security guards accompanied them.
A group of teenage boys were ready for the Bengals star, as they launched a barrage of homophobic pejoratives at him as he entered. "Ocho Cinco" had the line of the day: "Yeah, well, I don't see any women wit ya'll." Johnson soon trekked down to the turf to lobby the crowd for a pair of shorts, as he allegedly forgot them. Flutie ended up scrounging up a pair for him, and then the millionaire wideout played two series of downs in his socks while everyone else was wearing spikes. To spare Cincinnati's general manager any disquietude, Flutie graciously gave Johnson his spikes, and the retired Flutie played barefoot the rest of the day. Quite a guy, that Doug Flutie, and quite a character, that Chad Johnson.
These just-for-fun exhibitions are as close to the Super Bowl as I will get this weekend. Though the stadium looms large in the horizon of my apartment complex, I--like the rest of you--will be watching on TV.