So, you're one of the highest-paid defensive players in the National Football League. . .and you're coming off of a successful 2008 season. You've been clean and sober for a couple of years, and everything appears to be going well on pretty much every front for you. A couple of days before the draft, you want to head out for a night on the town with some friends. How do you celebrate?
Do you head to head to a super-exclusive swanky nightclub? Do you sit at a roped-off table as not to be bothered?
Hell no! You're Jared Allen! A man of the people! You strap on your trucker hat, fluff out your mullet and you mingle with the common folk!
Yes boys and girls, I was lucky enough to be the lucky recipient of a Jared Allen Sighting last night. I was out at the Stella's rooftop restaurant in Uptown Minneapolis treating my girlfriend to a birthday meal. The place was packed; since it was easily the nicest weather of 2009, it was no surprise to see hundreds and hundreds of Minnesotans flocking outdoors to enjoy it. As we were enjoying a couple of cocktails after our meal, a gigantic man sporting a trucker hat, handlebar mustache, a t-shirt/vest combo, and glorious mullet quickly passed through the busy bar. My girlfriend, in all of her sports wisdom, exclaimed: "Wow that guy is big...wait, isn't that the one guy you like?"
Indeed it was. Allen and a group of 6-8 friends got a table right in the thick of the crowd. So, yeah, that was neat. To answer some of the questions you may have:
- No, I didn't go up and talk to him, ask for a picture, or tell him that I blog about him. I've never wanted to bug celebrities the handful of times I've seen them out in public, because I imagine they get that enough. Besides, I didn't have my camera. :)
- No, he was not drinking. I never saw any alcohol at his table. I am not here to report that Mr. Allen is off the wagon. Or on the wagon. I always get confused which is which.
- No, I do not want to be an NFL quarterback and have a man of that size attack me 60-plus times in three hours. It still amazes me how large professional athletes are in person.
OK, enough of that--I'm starting to sound like People magazine. "Stars, they're just like us!"
In other news that's actually about the NFL:
- The Falcons
absolutely stoleacquired future Hall of Fame TE Tony Gonzalez from the Chiefs for a measly 2010 second round pick. I am absolutely shocked Atlanta gave up so little to get so much. That sound you hear is a combination of Matt Ryan screaming "YES!!" and other NFC South teams (and probably a lot of KC fans) screaming "NOOOO!!"
- Make sure you check out Gonzo's excellent seven-round Vikings mock draft, chock full of great analysis. I still remain firm on my love for North Carolina WR Hakeem Nicks at the 22nd pick, but Gonzo does make a solid case for Illinois CB Vontae Davis.
- Speaking of wide receivers I'd like to see in purple, Anquan Boldin is still available. Just throwing that out there.
- And oh yeah...THE DRAFT IS TOMORROW!! FINALLY!
We're going to try out some double-barreled draft coverage here at the DN tomorrow. First, Gonzo will be posting his Official Daily Norseman 2009 NFL Draft Threads for each of the first two rounds. Meanwhile, I'm going to be in Fargo watching the draft with a bunch of friends, so I'm going to try out a Draft Diary for the first round. I plan on posting all my observations throughout the draft, from the commercials to the analysts to the suits to the picks themselves to the overused phrases (upside anyone?) to the off-color jokes my friends and I make (especially after a beer or seven) to the dreaded Last Guy Left in the Green Room's Face. It might be funny, it might be terrible; we'll see. But make sure you check us out all day tomorrow as we pick apart All Things Draft, especially that #22 pick. See you tomorrow!