Life of Silver
Sisters in arms: Brenda Warner and Janet Elway
Posted: Friday January 28, 2000 09:15 PM
Sports Illustrated senior writer Michael Silver -- along with his partner in crime, SI reporter Josh Elliott -- is attempting to do the impossible during Super Bowl week. Silver will try to be where all the action is, while still getting at least two hours of sleep every night. Here's today's report:
Josh may have mentioned I was headed out to dinner with the Warners Thursday night. Well, that's an interesting situation. Kurt invited me, but as a married guy away from my own wife, I figured Brenda Warner might prefer having dinner with Kurt Warner as opposed to dinner with Kurt Warner and Michael Silver. So I took one for the team and sent them on their way (but not before assuring Kurt I was doing him a favor).
But I should backtrack; Thursday afternoon on hiatus, I ran into Janet Elway in GapKids. Janet and Brenda are both on my elite all-wife team -- a short, short list. In GapKids I told Janet the Warners were going through a pretty tough time. "You had a pretty good idea about what was going to happen," I told her, "but they didn't ... Bam! They're Elvis and Priscilla. Like you and John, they don't want handlers, they want to do everything themselves." I don't want it to sound like it's hardship, but they are a bit overwhelmed by all the sudden demands on their time.
So just before Kurt and Brenda went off to dinner, at a reception for the Rams' family members, I told Brenda about my conversation with Janet. "I should call her," Brenda said. I hope they do get a chance to talk, because I don't think I've seen a hugely famous couple handle things any better than John and Janet Elway, who remain as close to cool and normal as imaginable. ...
Anyway, Josh and I stuck around to bond with a lot of people at the reception. Rams area scout Dave Rizzano, a 49ers scout back when I covered that team in the early '90s, was there, along with area scout Pete Russell and his beautiful wife, CNNSI anchor Laura Okmin.
We had a cool conversation with backup tight end Jeff Robinson, who plans to leave immediately after the season for a five-week, loosely planned trip to Australia with his wife.
Then I went to bed.
Ha! Of couse I didn't.
Parties? Oh yes, there were parties. A sushi meal at Nickie Moto's, where Paul the sushi master was firing us up and showing us love -- thanks largely to the cool blue and white SI cap we had given him the night before.
Dan Pedone, my best friend since 1969, and a huge Rams fan from back in the Coliseum days, rolled in from Denver to do some damage. Then it was the EA Sports/Madden Bowl party at Celebrity Rock. The there was a quick stop at Liquid, before settling into a fine early-morning rhythm at ... you guessed it, Tongue and Groove.
It's hard not to go there. "Hey," SI photographer Matt Ginella yelled, "I saw Derrick Mayes on CNN/SI today. He's here. You guys are supposed to be bros. Where is he?"
So I punched up No. 87 on my cell.
"Yo Silver where are you at," he says. I tell him I'm at Tongue and Groove, in the back. "We'll be right there," he says, and two minutes later I'm swept up in Derrick Mayes's birthday party entourage. It includes former Packers teammates Brian Williams and Santana Dotson, current Seahawks teammate Chris Canty and several shots of a sweet red concoction.
We spent some time toasting to Derrick's birthday.
Then there was a strange exchange. John Holecek, the Bills inside linebacker, told me I was a shameless kiss-ass. "I spend five hours with you chillin' in Buffalo," he says, "and you write a story saying Jeff Fisher is the second coming of Ben & Jerry's. What's up with that?" Well a few words later and soon Holecek and I were hugging.
Then I told him about the hot rumor of the night; that his former teammate Jim Kelly had been booted from the club for being extremely belligerent. This caused an elated Josh Elliott to exclaim, "Another Jim Kelly Super Bowl disappointment!" Holecek said the rumor was bull.
Finally got in at 5 a.m., too tired for ping-pong. Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged the comb across my hair and hit radio row. In the middle of my patented Peter King impression, I look up and notice someone is fitting Peter with a mic and a headset.
Then it was off to a power SI lunch, from which I picked up a sweet Peter King story. At Azio, a downtown pasta haunt, I get a call from Peter. We're with Dr. Z, senior editor Mark Godich, The Flem File's Dave Fleming and Josh talking strategy. Peter screamed into the phone, "Mikey! This is what I need you to do. Order a bruschetta and a Perrier. No lime. I'll be there 15 minutes, but I can only stay for 10 because I'm chatting with CNNSI.com at 3 p.m."
Peter arrives and for nine of those minutes he's talking on his cell phone to Ted Cottrell, the Bills defensive coordinator. The waiter brings Flem's cheese, chicken and cilantro pizza, which Peter notices. Peter asks a question, drops his pen, grabs a slice off Flem's plate, jams a big bite in his mouth and writes down Cotrell's response. Great stuff.
Tonight, at the SI party, we will try and answer the gripping question: Who will be a bigger attraction? The B-52's or Rick Reilly.
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