A reprint from an original piece by Coach GP from November 2008
Honor and Privilege……
It is hard to know where to begin so I guess I will start at the beginning ☺
Taking the train into Manhattan and sporting my brand new Team Boomer Under Armour wardrobe so graciously sent to me by the Boomer Esiason Foundation earlier last week, I was looking forward to spending the day at the Team Boomer booth at the New York Marathon expo.
Arriving around 11am at the booth, I was met there by Michaela, Boomer Esiason’s Executive assistant and her colleague and my new friend, Sean Sultanik ….We were soon joined by my friend and very first contact with BEF, Jerry Cahill. I was extra happy as our neighbors were the ING Miami marathon on one side and the Rock and Roll marathon on the other side hosted by my British friend and terrific New York Emcee, Ian Brooks who is the voice of running in NY including the Emcee of the Millrose Games.
It was great to be next to Miami as I will be there in 2009 for my 7th consecutive year doing TV commentary work and guest speaking. The energy between the three booths was terrific and it was great to see Susie, Kelly and Evelyn who were hosting the Miami booth. It was also great to see Ted Metellus the new ING Miami marathon Race Director.Ted was racing the race the next day and I said Ted, “ Man, you gotta go get some rest” He said ‘I know” and finally bailed out of there !
Team Boomer was raising awareness for the fight against Cystic Fibrosis and recruiting runners for future races. We were handing out so many Team Boomer wrist bands especially to the kids which was awesome….
I was selling autographed copies of Run Tall, Run Easy and RunningBuzz.com donated 100% of the proceeds to Team Boomer and BEF. It was so much fun to be able to help in this way. I saw many friends up there at the expo and made many new friends. It was particularly nice to see my old friend Ron Wayne at the expo. Ron was my first ever contact all those years ago when he was a rep. and would come all the way from Alameda county to the highly competitive summer track meets at Los Gatos California in his Mizuno van. He would sponsor races with Mizuno apparel and shoes and I was fortunate enough to earn a great deal of product through race victories and he finally said “ why don’t you just run for us?” and that is how I came to be associated with Mizuno and still am to the present day. Ron is now way up in the upper echelons of the Mizuno Corporation as the executive in charge of all Expo Operations in the USA.
So as the hours passed by the goodwill was spread by the Team Boomer Team. Some of the local NY Jets fans and Boomer fans would come by the booth and see the posters of Boomer and Gunnar Esiason and would ask in their NY venacular, “ Hey is Boomer coming by the booth?” perhaps hoping for a picture or an autograph. Team Boomer were also inviting folks down to a block party at Mr Dennehy’s in Greenwich Village on marathon day which was to extend into the evening inside the restaurant. One of the owner’s of the restaurant was running for the team. Most importantly at the expo the word about Team Boomer was spreading as this is the first year for this division of the Boomer Esiason Foundation. It is a team that with the great people behind it is guaranteed to grow !
(At this point I must say that Boomer was not on his radio show on Thursday or Friday and he was not able to attend the Refi Rock Halloween party at BB King’s on Thursday night, the proceeds of which will also directly benefit the BEF. He recorded a video that was played at the party and explained that he was sorry not be there but he was in Arizona to spend time with a family member who was ill).
….. so now the clock was about 4.15 on Saturday afternoon, the expo was still hopping but I had to make my way from 10th Avenue down on the lower west side at the Jacob K Javits Center up to where the private Team Boomer pasta dinner was at La Giconda, a small very intimate wonderful restaurant on 53rd street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. I left the JJC and intended to go over to Penn and take the subway up to the east side but I had time, it was a beautiful late afternoon in the fall in the City and the City was vibrant and alive so I decided to walk instead listening to U2 all the way across town on my IPOD traversing Broadway, passing close to Times Square and across Park Avenue. I made my way up 3rd to 53rd street and turned right toward 2nd avenue and located the restaurant. I walked in right on time and there were a few runners along with the Team Boomer/BEF employees and there was Boomer. I knew as a former NFL quarterback he was not going to be small but I was at the same time, taken aback to his stature. He is a solid individual and very tall. He was soon introduced to me and I said “Great to meet you Mr.Esiason at which point he said, “Please call me Boomer.We had a nice chat and he thanked me for our contr