November 15th, 2012 by Patrick Sturgeon
I have been a Buffalo Bills fan all my life, so when the NFL PR department asked me if ESPN America wanted to interview three players at the NFL Fan Rally on the Saturday before the Rams/Patriots game at Wembley it was a very easy decision.
“Heck! I would do the interviews personally,” I said.
The players were in town to celebrate all things NFL as part of the International Series game between St Louis and New England. The Bills were enjoying a bye week, so they were more than happy to come over to jolly old England and promote their official cap sponsor New Era. The first thing I noticed about Marcell Dareus, Stevie Johnson and Kelvin Sheppard was they were completly decked out in Buffalo Bills gear. The second thing … they looked big and fit and full of fun.
The third thing I noticed was that they had a New Era film crew following their every move. I asked the cameraman what they had been up to that day and he said that they had stopped for lunch on their way to the event. I asked, “Did you take them somewhere fancy?” Contrary to the urban myth, London is full of great places to eat. The cameraman looked at me and laughed, “We went to KFC … that is where the players want to go!” They all shared a family bucket he went on to explain. I immediately thought, these are my kind of guys, blue collar, no nonsense, no egos: they are truly members of MY Buffalo Bills.
AND DOUBLE BONUS … CLICK HERE TO WIN FOUR NEW ERA CAPS !!
Marecell Dareus was the third overall pick in 2011 out of Alabama and well on his way to becoming an All-Pro defensive lineman.
Kelvin Sheppard is another up and coming linebacker who was drafted in the third round in 2011 from LSU. And wide reciever
Stevie Johnson is one of the most flamboyant players in the NFL and is not afraid to show his emotion on the field. Johnson has been in the league since 2008, but really came into his own last year and is now the Bills’ number one wideout.
Shortly, after I concluded the interviews with the current members of the Buffalo Bills, I was lucky enough to have an oppurtunity to interview Bruce Smith, one of the Bill’s (and NFL’s) greatest players of all time. Although not part of the official New Era entourage the Hall of Fame defensive end was my favorite NFL player and I didn’t even know he was going to be in town. He wasn’t mentioned in any of the press releases, but what a welcome surprise. Four Bills in one afternoon!!
I later told him that my nickname for him was “Time Bomb”, because you never knew when he was going to go off (on some one). He laughed and said that he had never heard that nickname before, but was going to add it to his list.
As you an see, the interviews went very well if I don’t mid saying myself. OK, I was like a kid in a candy store, but the players were so nice and accommodating. Special thanks to Erica Booze of the NFL and Braden Dahl of New Era for making the players avaliable to ESPN America. Hope you enjoy these videos as much as I did … !!
Video: Marcell Dareus in his very own New Era TV ad!
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