Friday, May 23, 2014

NFL’s Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame Dinner

Finally…I’m posting this!

On Friday, May 16, Scott and I attended the Gridiron Great’sHall of Fame Dinner at Ford Field (the home of the Detroit Lions), and the event celebrated deserving players not only for their careers on the field but for their continued investment in the community. Proceeds of ticket sales benefitted the Gridiron Great’s Assistance Fund, a nonprofit which assists retired NFL players – the true pioneers of the game –with hardships they face after football.

I have so many things I want to share with you about that night that my mind is swirling right now. Let me jump right in and begin with a quote by former Canadian Football League Hall of Fame inductee Matt Dunigan, who arguably muttered the most powerful words of the evening: “This game…takes so much from us. It takes bones, it takes pints of blood…but we keep giving back to the game we love so much.”

Seriousness aside, the dinner was rather celebratory, and Scott and I had a fabulous time from beginning to end. Here is the evening in pictures…

The Arrival
As soon as Scott and I arrived, we were summoned to stop for pics on the step and repeat. A step and repeat is a wall that has an event sponsor's logos on it for the purpose of having guests "step" onto the red carpet, pose for the photographers and leave, while the next person follows and "repeats" the process. And I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Ann of Big Lyle’s Party and Event Services who provided this photo. My dress is a BCBG Max Azria number that dates back to 2008, and I wholeheartedly credit my undergarments for getting the job done that night. And, no, the shoes weren’t shown in this pic, but not to worry…


The Gold Standard
I am honored to take a picture with this gentleman: Former Detroit Lions Cornerback Lem Barney, who was the first of three Detroit Lions NFL Hall of Fame inductees to wear the famous #20 jersey. I had wanted his beautiful wife to join us for this photo, but, unbeknownst to me, she had already taken a seat at their table. “Lem,” I said, “Where’s Jacci? Is she here tonight?” Lem replied, “Of course. She’s like American Express: I don’t leave home without her.” Smart man, that Lem.


Draft Day Revisited
Here is Scott with Ron Hughes, the Detroit Lions’ former Director of Player Personnel, which makes him a pretty big deal: You are looking at the man who recommended that the Detroit Lions draft Scott. Ron is currently the College Scouting Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he has won two Super Bowl Rings. When a team wins the Super Bowl, every single member of that team’s staff – not just the players – get a ring…


Ice
…And this is Ron’s on my finger. If not for my four-inch glitter pumps, I may have tried to make a break for it while it was still on. Looking at the photo through the viewfinder, we thought it was clear. Well, turns out, it’s kind of blurry, and I contemplated not using it…but it’s a SUPER BOWL RING: I HAD to show it. (Please excuse the condition of my skin, which makes my hand look like the weathered claw of a wild bird.)


The Linemen
(From left) Former NFL defensive tackle and defensive end Marc Spindler, who was drafted to the Detroit Lions, then played for the New York Jets, and then returned to the Lions, where he retired, Marc’s son, and Scott.

The Linemen Part II
Here’s Scott with his former teammate, offensive tackle Ken Dallafior, who played eight seasons in the NFL, half with the Lions, and half with the San Diego Chargers.


The Voice of Michigan Football
Few people bleed maize and blue (the colors of my college alma mater, the University of Michigan) and Honolulu blue and silver (the colors of the Detroit Lions) like Jim Brandstatter, the gentleman in this photo, who is pictured here with his lovely wife, former ABC WXYZ-TV news anchor Robbie Temmons, whom I grew up watching. Jim is the radio color commentator for the Detroit Lions and does play-by-play for Michigan football. (He also played college football at Michigan.)


The Honoree
Here I am with this year’s recipient of the Ron Kramer Unsung Hero of the Detroit Lions Award, Dominic Raiola, the current center for the Detroit Lions (#51). Like Scott, Dominic has played his entire career with the Detroit Lions.


Don’t Step on Our Blue Suede (and Glittered) Shoes
…Dominic apparently got the memo that Honolulu blue shoes are always in style.


The Hero
In the Video Diary I recorded in preparation of tonight’s event, I briefly spoke of Scott's former teammate, former Detroit Lion offensive lineman Mike Utley, who became paralyzed from the chest down during a 1991 Detroit Lions contest against the LA Rams. To say that his life changed in an instant would be a gross understatement, but his unyielding zest for life has remained a constant. Mike is this year’s recipient of the Tim Pendell Community Service Award. (In 2011 Tim retired as the Detroit Lions’ Senior Director of Affairs after 26 seasons.) Tim was on hand to present Mike with the award, and when introducing Mike, said the following: “I remember how Mike used to arrive at the Silverdome everyday on his motorcycle, with heavy metal blaring so loudly it was deafening. I didn’t know if we’d drafted an offensive lineman or a member of Guns N’ Roses.” This photo of Scott, Mike, and me was taken by Mike’s awesome wife Dani, a nurse whom Mike met while lifting weights as part of his rehabilitation. (How beautiful is that story?)


Silence
I love this picture: It is the football field at Ford Field, completely dark and empty, with nary a person in sight – the polar opposite of game day. This is what we passed by at night’s end.

Guess what? Scott and I went out again days later to the Detroit Lions’ Taste of the Lions. Yeah, you could say that we've been making up for lost time...


Thank you, as always, for reading.

xo,


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22 comments:

  1. You look stunning. The shoes are such a statement accessory. Looks like it was a great evening and that love story - Mike and Dani - sounds like a special one!!! Beautiful.

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    1. Aww, thanks so much! The Hubs and I did have a BLAST!!!

      But as I mentioned at the end of this post, we went our AGAIN -- yes, we're on a roll! lol -- a few nights ago to another Lions event, and let me tell you, that event was like this one on steroids! lol I'm still sorting out the photos and writing my story to get it ready to post...

      I actually wanted to post the most recent event first, but knew that I absolutely could not because I've kept everyone waiting so long for this one as it is...

      Thank you for the kind words, really, I appreciate it. I loved (and still do!) my blue glittery shoes! <3

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  2. Wow! What a night, Courtney! I looooooove those shoes!! And of course you look gorgeous as usual!

    I bet it was the kind of night that was kind of magical and thought provoking. The kind of night where you feel warm and fuzzy. The kind of night where you feel blessed and count your blessings.

    You and the mister got to have another date night?! How great is that! Can't wait to here the details!

    Have a beautiful weekend, my friend! xxo

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    1. Oh, Susie, you are SPOT ON! While I was undoubtedly counting my blessings -- I must admit that the overwhelming emotion I felt was one of utter disbelief. Disbelief that The Hubs and I made a date and stuck to it...that we made it out of the house on time and intact...and that when we came back home, everything was fine.

      I am seriously chomping at the bit to share our latest Mommy and Daddy Night Out, which was even more action-packed than this one! Just wait until you see the pics!
      We've got family over this weekend, so I need to try to sort through all the photos and put a post together, which will take some time -- you'll know what I mean when you see the post. I'm going to try to post it this coming week...

      You have a beautiful weekend as well, and thank you for commenting! <3

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  3. You look fantastic. The dress, hair, shoes, all of it. Love the stadium pic. Also super excited you got another date night also. Lucky girl!!

    Hope you have wonderful weekend!!

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    1. Yes, Ida, luck has got to have something to do with it! lol

      And that night was even grander than this one, believe it or not!

      What with all the Mommy/Daddy Date Night fun The Hubs and I have had, we will be hermits for the next several months! lol Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted!

      Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, Ida!

      xo

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  4. Look at you hot momma! You were looking so stunning at the event! And those shoes are some showstoppers!

    Don't ya just love date nights away from the kids? I hope Mr. M and I can have one soon since we're overdue for one.

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    1. LOL Thanks, Louida! I did feel kind of fly in my dress and heels...

      I sure do hope you and Mr. M can manage to sneak away for some alone time! And to answer your question: Yes, I LOVE date nights. :-)

      Have a wonderful holiday weekend...

      xo

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  5. You look absolutely fabulous! Yay for the miracle of undergarments that can do such amazing things! Love your shoes too, and your hubby and his teammates are tops! :)

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    1. Oh, Lexa, YOU are tops! Your words are TOO kind! (I'm actually replying to your comment in the dead of night right now -- I just got done giving K her second (and hopefully last) middle of the night feeding, but as soon as Scott gets up, I'm sharing your comment with him!

      Tell me, what do you and The Hubs have planned this weekend? I know you are miles and miles away, but do you still do anything for Memorial Day weekend?

      xo

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  6. LOVE this: "She’s like American Express: I don’t leave home without her.” Lem sounds like a very smart man!

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    1. Hi, Yvonne! I know, right? I'm telling you, when Lem said that to me, I couldn't wait to include his quote in my post and share it with you all!

      Thank you so much for commenting, and I wish you and your family a happy Memorial Day weekend!

      (p.s. Look out for my Taste of the Lions post, which I'm hoping to have ready for next week!)

      xo

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  7. Wow, what an exciting time you must have had! Lovely dress too.

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    1. Thanks, Stacie! I don't know if you saw the video I posted last Friday in preparation of this night out, but, girl, that dress is from 2008! (A little BCBG Max Azria number I've only worn once. The Hubs and I go out so sparingly that I couldn't justify NOT wearing a near-brand new dress again!

      Thank you for commenting -- and for joining the site via Google Friends Connect; I really appreciate it.<3

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  8. You look absolutely amazing and those shoes are popping.

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    1. Thanks, Angela!

      I hope you and your family are enjoying the Memorial Day holiday!

      xo

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  9. I don't know what's more fab - your shoes or your hair! Looks like a fun event!

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    1. Thank you SO much, Kristen! God knows I babied my hair to the hilt in order to preserve my blowout leading up to this event!

      Thank you for commenting, Happy Memorial Day, and Let's Go, Heat! <3

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  10. The dress and shoes did not disappoint! You and Scott look great and I loved all the play by play of the night. You lead a glamorous life girly!

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    1. Hi, Susan! Thanks for your kind words. But, nah, I wouldn't say glamorous in the slightest. We're actually rather boring. We do, however, tend to turn things up a notch and make up for lost time when we get a chance to escape the house. ;-)

      And while this was a fun night, wait until I post the Taste of the Lions event!

      Hope you're enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. :-)

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  11. Best thing about this post? "weathered claw of a wild bird" pppppffffffff!!!!!! Amazing. Your skin STILL looks better than mine ever will, but DANG, that ring!
    -Sandra

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    1. Hey, Sandra!! I know, right? Super Bowl ice is the BEST! lol

      But, no seriously, constantly changing diapers, washing my hands, and failing to immediately apply moisturizer is beginning to take its toll. :-(

      Thank you for commenting!

      xo

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