The Falcons weren't the only ones embarrassed
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.