Well, it sure has been an interesting start to Pro Bowl weekend for me.
First, please allow me to introduce myself. In his blog, Jim Saccomano, has often mentioned the behind-the-scenes staff the Broncos have. My name is Dave, and I am a part of that behind-the-scenes staff, Saccomano’s media relations staff to be specific. Since the start of the 2008 season, I have handled Brandon Marshall’s media requests. In that role, I have forged a strong relationship with the starting wide receiver at this weekend’s Pro Bowl. I was fortunate enough that Brandon felt my performance worthy of an invitation to join him in Hawaii.
My voyage across the Pacific Ocean started with a friendly face when I spotted Kory Lichtensteiger waiting at the same gate. After a brief conversation, he told me of his plans for he and his wife to enjoy a belated honeymoon this week. He was not planning to take part in the Pro Bowl festivities.
So, upon arrival in Hawaii, while waiting for my bags at the baggage claim, I was reminded of it being Pro Bowl week. Walking past me with their entourages were Seattle Seahawks’ tackle Walter Jones, Pittsburgh’s tackle Max Starks and Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner. All right, all right, enough star gazing.
I meet up with Brandon’s parents, and we make our way to the hotel. We drop our suitcases off and are shuttled to a luau the league is throwing. Shortly after our arrival at the luau, quarterback Jay Cutler and his crew walk in. We exchange greetings, grab some grub and enjoy the entertainment. Upon a trip for a refill, I bump into Casey Wiegmann. In addition to Brandon, I am thrilled for Wiegmann. He just finished his 13th NFL season and finally was deemed worthy by the powers that be of a Pro Bowl trip. He is soaking in every minute of it and enjoying it with his family.
The next morning, it was off the practice. The highlight for the media who had been here was the first appearances of the Steelers in Hawaii this year. Another influential gentleman made his first Hawaiian appearance this year as Commissioner Roger Goodell arrived in town. He met with the media and mentioned the possibility of this year’s Pro Bowl potentially not being the last one in Hawaii. After my two short days here, I can see exactly why Commissioner Goodell and the league would want to come back. It’s paradise, here.
After practice, I accompanied Brandon and some of his guests to the Pearl Harbor museum. We toured the USS Missouri. We learned about it being the site of where the Japanese surrendered and signed a treaty, ending World War II.
From there, it was off to dinner with Brandon’s family and friends. In the middle of our entrees, Brandon stands up and goes one-by-one around the table discussing why each person is important to him. When he gets to his girlfriend, he talks about her being a positive influence on him and gets down on a knee and reveals an absolutely stunning ring. She accepts his offer and the happy couple didn’t stop smiling the rest of the night.
What a weekend and it’s not even Friday, yet. Who knows what else is in store for us?