Waxing On The Car Wash: Vick

Editor’s Note: Each week, ESPN’s Talent Producers will share their thoughts about their jobs on Front Row. This week, Jason P. Romano shares details on Michael Vick’s recent visit.

I’ve been a Talent Producer for more than seven years. I love my job and have had the privilege playing host to many athletes, entertainers and celebrities for the ESPN Car Wash.

It’s always interesting to hear what these people think of Bristol. In March, I spent eight hours with Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick. He was here along with Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis promoting EA Sports Madden 12.

This was a Car Wash that came together very quickly. Usually, I get anywhere from a few weeks to more than a month’s advance notice on these, but we really didn’t finalize Vick’s visit until two days before his arrival.

Usually when superstar athletes come to ESPN, they can tend to bring a very large entourage with them. Boxer “Sugar” Shane Mosley holds the ESPN Car Wash record with 20 people in his entourage. By contrast, Vick’s entourage consisted of his agent, his manager, and 2 EA Sports reps. That’s rather tame for an athlete of his stature.

The highlight of his day happened to be his first interview of the day, an appearance on ESPN Radio and ESPN2’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. “It’s a show I watch on a regular basis, the whole set, the bobbleheads, and getting the opportunity to appear on the show was definitely a thrill,” said Vick.

Vick was also very impressed with our 3D technology display near the cafeteria, spending a few minutes watching our demo, wearing the cool 3D glasses and checking out this new technology.

Vick and Hillis picked a good day to be at ESPN. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament brackets were released the day before. Vick couldn’t stop raving about UCONN.  He predicted they would win the championship multiple times that day. The Huskies would prove Vick correct.

In walking around with him, the most talked about topic was NFL jerseys. He and Hillis couldn’t stop talking about their favorite NFL uniforms. Not surprisingly, tops on Vick’s list were the Eagles’ throwback green uniforms worn this past season, the Eagles’ black alternative uniform, the Atlanta Falcons’ red and Virginia Tech’s maroon jerseys.

Vick and Hillis were two of 32 NFL players representing their teams in the first-ever fan vote for the cover of EA Sports Madden12 game. Earlier this week, Vick and Hillis each advanced to the semifinals in the voting. These ESPN Car Wash guests potentially meet in the finals. The overall winner not only graces the Madden 12 cover, but he’s expected to return to Bristol for an appearance on SportsNation later this month.

Who’s going to win the voting? In the semis, Vick faces Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Hillis faces Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Three weeks ago, I predicted that Vick and Rodgers would meet in the finals, so I’ll stick with that.

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