I'm the Anti-Model, I really am. Throughout my years
in modeling I've noticed that most of the girls dream about the perfect pair of shoes or having an unlimited tab at Gucci.
Not me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but
I’m happier in my Dolphins cap and a t-shirt. When I did the first TV commercial for the newly branded Target,
I was happy for the job, but what I was REALLY happy about was that it was going to premiere on air during The Super Bowl
that year! Can you imagine?
Another thing about most of the girls I work with –
they don’t care about football. They want to meet rock stars or movie stars. I want to meet Dan Marino.
Forget about $10,000 dresses. I want to wear my cowboy boots and my jeans, I want to wear my teal t-shirt and my Dolphins
cap (which is another story, by the way) and I want to meet Dan “The Man” Marino.
Little Michelle. Miami Michelle. Or as the Irish
bartenders call her, Wee Michelle, told me she knew where the CBS NFL Pre-game Show “The NFL Today” was filmed.
She thought if we went up there we might be able to sit in the bleachers and watch a taping. Would we get to see Dan
Marino in person? If we got there early enough, Michelle said we might be able to charm our way in and get autographs.
Well, when I heard that I was sold!
We were going to leave the bar and find Dan Marino.
It was only a few weeks into the season and one Sunday morning
we got up at the crack of dawn, dressed in our Dolphins gear and met on the corner to get a cab. We were quiet as church
mice as we taxied uptown to see the show. When we got there we lined up with the other fans and waited patiently, desperately
hoping we’d be able to get in. How could we not? We’re The Michelles.
As the two of us were standing in line, this man walked by
and he stopped and looked at us. He came up, introduced himself as a producer on the show and commented on Wee Michelle’s
Vintage Dan Marino Jersey. He wondered if he could borrow the jersey for a segment on the show!
Michelle and I looked this producer right in the eye.
We would get to sit in the front row of the taping and we were going to get to meet Dan Marino after the show. Michelle surrendered
the jersey without a moment’s hesitation. We followed the producer and walked right past all the other fans in
line. We were The Michelles in all our football glory and they knew it!
We walked onto the set, sat in the front row center and watched
Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe, Greg Gumbel and Dan Marino (!!!) tape the show. As they gave voice to their insights
on the day’s games, it was music to our ears. When the show was done, the producer came over and took us up onto
the stage to shake hands with the commentators.
It was wonderful, but where was he? Where was Dan?
I turned around to look and there he was. Dan Marino
was walking toward us!
It was like slow motion in a romantic movie. I was
standing there and Dan Marino was walking towards me. I was going to melt into a puddle. But I didn’t.
I’m a tall girl at 5’10” – when Dan got up to me, Holy Crap! This guy made me look short!
Dan Marino is huge! As Dan happily signed Michelle’s
Vintage Jersey and my Special Cap, I just kept hoping she wouldn’t faint and let’s face it – I was speechless
(something many of my friends will highly doubt and never believe!). When the autograph session was over, Michelle miraculously
managed to mutter her congratulations to Dan on his being nominated into the Hall of Fame. Being left speechless myself,
I said nothing even though there were a million things I wanted to say. Before we knew it Dan was whisked away and we
were left standing weak-kneed on the set of the CBS NFL Pre-Game Show.
We got a cab downtown and smiled the whole way back to our
bar. We showed all our friends and the bartenders our autographs and we were stars! What a day!
Later I found out that Michelle keeps her autographed vintage
Dan Marino jersey hanging in her closet practically hermetically sealed. I wear my autographed special Dolphins cap
all the time – even in the rain. What can I tell you, I am the more free-spirited one. Michelle constantly
yells at me for abusing the cap and swears the autographs will wear off. Bless her heart.
So, I got to meet Dan Marino.
But I think Michelle is right. There’s more out
there for us. We officially turned our corner of the bar into the Dolphins Corner in a Jets/Giants/Patriots bar.
We met Dan Marino. We’re too young to retire and we’re too bossy to just sit at The Monk and watch football
on TV. We need a quest.