Feb 052011
 

In Texas, Friday night lights can mean one thing, and one thing only: Football, baby.

Last night, the NFL Players Association gave new meaning to the term with their NFL Players party, held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas, beneath the bright lights of the iconic Reunion Tower.

Outside, the roads were ice-covered and the temperature was a bone-chilling 19 degrees. Inside, the NFLPA was throwing the biggest bash of Super Bowl week for its players, former players and guests. This private, invitation-only party was designed to be the highlight of the week and it did not disappoint.

It was a star-studded affair and, despite the looming lockout, spirits were high and the mood was jovial.

Players and guests were stoked about the evening’s featured entertainment, provided by Grammy-nominated Trey Songz, whose name does not seem at all contrived to me.

Bosworth Sandwich: Kyle and Korey Bosworth with Kara Keough

Kyle and Korey Bosworth, twin nephews of “the Boz,” Brian Bosworth of Oklahoma Sooners fame, were joined on the red carpet by Kara Keough, daughter of Jeana Keough, the Housewives of Orange County star.

Keough joked that she was very happy to be in a “Bosworth sandwich.” Decipher that for yourselves.

Kyle and Korey are the NFL’s only set of twins. Kyle plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Korey for the Detroit Lions.

The Bosworth twins are natives of Plano, Texas and big ol’ boys. I am guessing they owe a great deal to their momma, who must have felt like she was carrying a rampaging buffalo in her womb.

David Spade All Decked Out For The NFL Players Party

David Spade is roughly the size of a linebacker—if that linebacker is in fifth grade and playing Pop Warner.

He does look intimidating in that winter hat, kind of like a throwback helmet or something.

Any way you cut it, he’s cool…and he kept me from being the most under-dressed attendee.

DJ Khaled in Da House at the NFL Players Party in Dallas

OK. I admit it. I had to google DJ Khaled, as I am not familiar with his work.

This is the  Wikipedia scoop:

Khaled Bin Abdul Khaled (born November 26, 1975), better known by his stage name DJ Khaled, is an American record producer, radio personality, DJ, and record label executive. He is a radio host for the Miami-based urban music radio station WEDR and the DJ for the hip hop group Terror Squad. In 2006, Khaled released his debut album Listennn… the Album. Following were We the Best (2007), We Global(2008), and Victory (2010). In 2009, Khaled became the president of record label Def Jam South.

If any of that is wrong and you know it to be wrong, go fix it. Wikipedia is an open-source information site.

Khaled has such notable singles as Go Hard and All I Do Is Win.

Be warned: He enjoys cussing and stuff.

Miss Teen USA Kamie Craword on the Red Carpet at the NFL Players Party 2011

No. Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford was not singing the national anthem. Nor was she praying.

I think she was answering another challenging question for a television crew.

You know, like, “Who are you picking to win the Super Bowl?”

Or, “How excited are you to be here?”

Something like that.

Evelyn Lozada Hides Behind Fiancee Chad Ochocinco

Chad Ochocinco was in fine form on the Red Carpet, patiently speaking with one media outlet after another. His fiancee, Evelyn Lozada of VH1’s Basketball Wives, was camera shy.

Ochocinco, proprietor of OCNN—theOchocinco News Network—is fresh off of  confronting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the timetable for getting a new CBA signed between the NFL and the NFLPA.

“What is the real timetable?” asked Ochocinco.

Goodell answered, “The commitment of the ownership is to get an agreement…this is the window of opportunity to get it done right.”

Right? Right!

Lockout still looms.

Nick Lowery, Kansas City Chiefs Great, Talks Players Union

Nick Lowery, the NFL’s all-time most-accurate kicker, is a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame. He is the Chiefs’ all-time leading scorer with 1466 points.

Lowery talked candidly about the debt current players owe to those who have gone before. He talked about the advances the NFLPA has made in securing protections and rights for its players, while lamenting the forgotten generation of players, many of whom suffer with various football-related ailments and disabilities, but have no insurance to help with their often enormous medical bills.

Lowery reminded us that, while football is fun, it is a business and players have to take care of their business.

Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays Likes NFL Football

Evan Longoria, All-Star third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays, was on the Red Carpet at the 2011 NFL Players Party in Dallas.

He shared a few laughs with Gillette’s crew of crazies.

The Texas Rangers defeated Longoria’s Rays in the 2010 MLB playoffs, but it was a close shave.

When I asked if he liked football, he answered, “Who doesn’t?”

Good answer, Evan. Good answer.

Jean Fugett Talks NFLPA and Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame Candidates

One of the most forthcoming guests of the night was Jean Fugett, the former tight end of the Dallas Cowboys. Fugett played for the Cowboys in Super Bowl X against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fugett says the Dallas Cowboys have been a little slow about putting players into the Ring of Honor. Drew Pearson, his contemporary and wide receiver great, has been touted by none of than Roger Staubach as the prime candidate for Jerry Jones to induct into the Ring of Honor.

Fugett went Staubach one better: He says, “Drew Pearson is a Hall of Fame candidate and in the NFL, to get to the Hall of Fame, usually you have to go through the Ring of Honor. The recognition will come, because there is no doubt Drew is one of the greatest of all time.”

Fugett, an attorney, is the past president of the Retired Players Steering Committee.

Fugett said, “I totally support the active players. It is unfortunate that it looks like the league is going to lock us out, but we’re going to stay strong.”

I asked if he was optimistic that the dispute would be settled soon.

“No!” was his emphatic answer.

I asked if he thought we would miss an entire season over it.

“We could. The players told the owners that, if they cancel the agreement, we are not going back to a salary cap. We are not going back to NFL draft. So, they have to make us a real deal to get us to agree, because they can’t play without us.”

It was a sober reminder that the NFL is a business and sometimes, it is a dirty business.

But the party must go on.

Right?

(Hear my interview with Jean Fugett here.)

Emmitt Smith, Cowboys Legend, Avoided the Carpet, but Not My Camera

Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher and Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer, sneaked quietly into the NFL Players Party. I happened to turn in time to see him coming through security and snapped this photo of his smiling face.

To hear my recent interview with Smith, just go to this article.

NFL Players Party: Redemption for Big D

Dallas has taken it on the chin from visiting media this week. Tweets and articles abound, saying the whole thing is a disaster because of the ice storm of historic proportions that has crippled the Metroplex for much of the week.

Peter King of ESPN tweeted, I’m telling you: I-30 between Dallas- Fort Worth is a plow-less, snow-windswept moonscape. This is officially a debacle.

His was just one voice among many decrying the city’s preparedness for the weather. Then, to make matters worse, ice fell off of Cowboys Stadium and injured seven people.

Who Is This Guy?

Saturday, the sun is out and the temperature rising.

Maybe the red-hot Players party was just what the doctor ordered to thaw things out.

(Not sure who these guys in the last photo are. But they liked me.)

Gene Strother (375 Posts)

Gene has been an avid Dallas Cowboys fan for nearly five decades, which amounts to just about his entire life. The only time he was not a Cowboys fan was that brief period at the beginning of his life, when he didn't have all his baby teeth and could not yet say "Cowboys." As soon as quit slobbering, he started hollering, "Go Cowboys!"


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