A buddy of mine spent last weekend in Las Vegas celebrating his birthday. I’m not sure if he returned home a wealthier man, but he did share an unexpected dinner with a former Super Bowl champion.
This is the message I woke up to on Monday: “Dude. Sitting at the bar last night in Vegas. Only like two people in the place. I asked this guy about the plate he ordered for dinner. It was sea bass. Get to chatting with him. We talked to this guy for an hour. Such a nice guy. Find out he is Terrance Wilkins.”
I remembered Terrence Wilkins but did a web search to refresh my memory.
Wilkins, an undrafted rookie out of Virginia, spent six years in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams - yes, young ones, St. Louis was once home to the Rams. Wilkins was a returner and receiver and was with the Colts when they won Super Bowl XLI in 2007. The dude caught passes from Payton Manning, and there he was chatting it up with the commish from one of my fantasy football leagues. Way cool.
Wilkins is a foodie, and so is my buddy, who teases his friends by posting his food creations on his Facebook page. They talked football for a bit but mostly focused on food and wine. By the end of the conversation, my buddy had snagged Wilkins’ phone number and an invite to his personal Instagram account.
That got me thinking about the celebrities that I have brushed shoulders with. Let me tell you, it is a short list. I spent my college years in Hawaii, which used to be the spot for the Pro Bowl. The week leading up to the game was a gigantic party, with NFL players scattered across Oahu. I’ve seen Marcus Allen walk out of the Hilton Hawaiian Village with golf clubs and Jeff Garcia bowl on the beach. I didn’t talk to either stars.
One year, I was looking at NFL merchandise at the Hilton, and right beside me sorting through Pro Bowl shirts was Mike Alstott, a powerful fullback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We exchanged pleasantries, and both went on our ways. Pretty dull stuff, I know.
Another year, I sat next to Kordell Stewart’s mom, Florence, during the game at Aloha Stadium. That was a fun experience. I don’t remember anything she said about her son, but she got excited when Slash was in the game. She shared her bag of peanuts with me. I stashed one in my pocket as a souvenir. That peanut stayed in my luggage for years.
I’m positive I encountered more celebrities during my time in Hawaii, but those two are the only ones I remember.
I’m interested to hear from readers about their celebrity encounters. Feel free to email me your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s move to Week 11. I went 9-5 last week, which upped my season record to 94-52-1.
TENNESSEE (6-3) at BALTIMORE (6-3)
Both teams are coming off tough losses — the Titans to the Colts and the Ravens to the Patriots. Like most, I’m waiting for Baltimore to resemble last year’s team. This is a favorable matchup for the Ravens offense … Ravens 35, Titans 28.
NEW YORK JETS (0-9) at L.A. CHARGERS (2-7)
Tanking for Trevor is working for the Jets. New York is the only winless team in the league and hold a one-game advantage over Jacksonville for the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft. That pick should be Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The Chargers drafted their quarterback of the future - Justin Herbert - in the 2020 draft and has the Bolts to two wins. Make it three wins … Chargers 42, Jets 21.
GREEN BAY (7-2) at INDIANAPOLIS (6-3)
With Drew Brees injured in New Orleans and Seattle struggling, the Packers have risen to the top of the NFC. The Colts defense is no joke and could give Aaron Rodgers fits … Packers 24, Colts 17.
KANSAS CITY (8-1) at LAS VEGAS (6-3)
What team handed Kansas City its only loss of the season? The Raiders. In Week 6, Derek Carr passed for three touchdowns and 347 yards to upset the Chiefs, 40-32, in Arrowhead. That should set the stage for a competitive Sunday night game. The Chiefs can’t lose the season series to the Raiders, can they? … Chiefs 45, Raiders 20.
L.A. RAMS (6-3) at TAMPA BAY (7-3)
The NFC West is crowded at the top. The Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals all shared the division lead heading into Week 11. The Cardinals played the Seahawks Thursday, which means at least one of the three teams will fall off the pace. I’m hoping the Seahawks will stand alone heading into Week 12 … Buccaneers 27, Rams 21.
Saints 33, Falcons 28
Bengals 28, Football Team 21
Browns 20, Eagles 19
Lions 30, Panthers 21
Texans 27, Patriots 24
Steelers 35, Jaguars 14
Dolphins 24, Broncos 10
Vikings 37, Cowboys 28