The final gun sounded after Super Bowl XXVII, and Troy Aikman's life changed forever. As he raced off the Rose Bowl field on a jet stream of emotion, he looked into a TV camera and began screaming at the top of his lungs, over and over, "I'm going to Disneyland!" and then, "I'm going to Disney World!" Having just learned that he had been named the game's Most Valuable Player for his near-perfect quarter-backing in the Dallas Cowboys' 52-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Aikman was going places, all right. He just didn't realize yet how many places—and how quickly. When you're 26, you're a bachelor with movie-star good looks and a name straight out of Hollywood, and you're the Super Bowl MVP, well, your world is going to start spinning.
First Aikman spoke to hundreds of reporters at a postgame press conference, and then he was off to shower and dress for several TV interviews on the Rose Bowl field. And as he scurried back from the shower toward his locker wrapped in a towel, Aikman had no clue that he was already the object of a heated tug-of-war among the three network morning shows.
"Troy's doing the Today show tomorrow morning," announced Dave Pelletier, the Cowboys' assistant p.r. director.
"Uh-oh. That's a problem," replied Leigh Steinberg, Aikman's agent. "Our office agreed a couple days ago that he'd do Good Morning America."
Moments later Rich Dalrymple, Dallas's p.r. director, appeared on the scene. "I've just told the CBS people that Troy would do CBS This Morning," Dalrymple proclaimed. "They want him exclusive or not at all."
So what was Aikman to do? The one thing he would not do was sleep. First he held a victory celebration with a few close friends in his hotel room—hamburgers and beer from room service. Then he stopped by the Cowboys' lavish party at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, but his presence caused such a commotion that he bolted soon after. At 3:30 a.m. he began taping interviews for CBS This Morning and Good Morning America. At 4:09 a.m. he went on Today, live.
"They keep talking about the game being last night, but it was just hours ago," Aikman said during a break in the action, looking puzzled. "This is so surreal."
After several more radio and TV interviews, with Dallas stations, Aikman finally, at about 6:30 a.m., squeezed in a 90-minute nap. Then it was off for Round 2 of the post-Super Bowl media blitz. Aikman attended the MVP press conference, at which he was awarded the keys to a 1993 Buick, which he said he would give to one of his sisters. ("How do I get it back to Dallas?" he whispered to Dalrymple. "Do I have to drive it home?")
Only moments after Aikman had stood at a podium promising reporters that he wouldn't let any off-season endorsement opportunities interfere with football, Steinberg began talking about using Aikman's MVP status as a launching pad to superstardom, predicting that Aikman would soon have an off-the-field income "in the seven-figure range, on up."
"In a country so focused on celebrity, Troy's winning the Super Bowl and being the MVP allows him to cross over from the narrow realm of football to become a household name," says Steinberg. "He's a marketing dream—a handsome, blue-eyed blond with a storybook name."