The Fal­cons weren't the only ones em­bar­rassed

The Covington News - - Sports - GabeKhouli Se­niorWriter

Satur­day night’s NFL play­off game be­tween At­lanta and Green Bay was full of em­bar­rass­ing per­for­mances. Yes, the Fal­cons were pum­meled 48-21, but more im­por­tantly, maybe only to me, I mis­took for­mer Red­skins coach Joe Gibbs for for­mer Fal­cons coach Dan Reeves. A clas­sic rookie play­off mis­take.

As a press pass holder, I was privy to travel through the Ge­or­gia Dome’s bow­els, where the team buses ar­rive and var­i­ous celebri­ties take a se­cure el­e­va­tor to their pri­vate suites.

Se­cu­rity was still wait­ing for some of the Pack­ers coaches to ar­rive, who would be head­ing up to take their po­si­tions in the coach­ing box, so the small group of me­dia and celebri­ties were ca­su­ally chat­ting.

I saw an older, for­mer foot­ball coach at­tend­ing a Fal­cons game and my mind im­me­di­ately went to Dan Reeves. I mean, it makes sense. No, in ret­ro­spect, Gibbs and Reeves don’t par­tic­u­larly look alike. No, I’m not a real Fal­cons fan. No, I don’t think all old men look alike. At least give me the fact they both wear glasses.

I had been pon­der­ing whether to say hi and of­fer a friendly hand­shake and oblig­a­tory “big fan” com­pli-

ment, when I was saved by a photo request from a Red­skins fan. The man who took the pic­ture for this fan, turned out to be Judd Apa­tow, pro­ducer of such mod­ern com­edy clas­sics as “An­chor­man”, “Tal­ladega Nights” and “The 40 Year Old Vir­gin.”

My me­mory fail­ure struck once again, be­cause even though the man had been re­ferred to as Apa­tow, I couldn’t be sure I had heard cor­rectly, plus pro­duc­ers are not quite as rec­og­niz­able as their on-cam­era brethren.

I didn’t want to make a sec­ond mis­take, es­pe­cially af­ter I had just been saved by the spe­cial teams play of Apa­tow’s friend.

The pres­ence of ac­tress Leslie Mann, who I was later told was Apa­tow’s wife, should have been a clue. I don’t have cable or In­ter­net at home, peo­ple.

As the Fal­cons were just be­gin­ning to lose mo­men­tum for the first time, I texted my movie buddy who’s try­ing to make it big in Hollywood. He told me I should have got­ten him a job. Next time I go to a Fal­cons game, I’ll have to re­mem­ber to bring a few of his re­sumes along with me.

Luck­ily, I was served up an easy gimme to save my day. Long af­ter the Ge­or­gia Dome had been emp­tied of Fal­cons fans, around the third quar­ter, I once again waited to take the el­e­va­tor down to the press en­trance.

Who should walk up, but Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, the Fox sports broad­cast team. Joe spent most of the time on the phone, while Troy talked about how the pro­duc­ers had asked him to try and keep the com­men­tary for the blowout game more in­ter­est­ing.

As we rode in the el­e­va­tor, I stood be­hind Aikman, whose 6-foot-4-inch frame blocked view.

I had basked in the shadow of great­ness. Then I go ahead and use the term bask when re­fer­ring to shadow. Em­bar­rass­ing.



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