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Pats Pulpit interviews Patriots Hall of Famers, sponsored by Van Heusen

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Like I've written about before, weird stuff comes my way every once in a while.  Van Heusen's Fan's Choice site is giving fans a chance to vote for their favorite Hall of Fame candidates.  As part of their campaign, many current Hall of Famers are helping Van Heusen with their campaign by "going on tour".  SB Nation is also working with Van Heusen to help sponsor the events and get the word out.

Well on Sunday, before the Titans game, the "tour" hit Gillette Stadium and guess who was there?  Marima and MaPatsFan.  This was very cool because I've been writing and interacting with our very own links guru for 2 years or so, never having spoken with or met her.  When I emailed Marima about meeting me at Gillette to do the interviews, I've since found out it was an interesting conversation in her household.  You see, she's the mom of 3 boys and a daughter.  Gameday in her house is like a military operation, feeding her husband and kids, plus a crowd of people who descend on her home.  When her kids found out, they said, "Mom!  You gotta do it!  Just make sure you cook."  Spoken like true teenagers.

Marima and I met up at Dunkin Donuts in Patriot Place and talked about the Patriots, a strategy for the interviews, family, and anniversaries (we married our spouses in the same year within weeks of each other - ain't telling you the year).  The PR firm handling the event told me it was in "Patriots Plaza"; I thought they meant Patriots Place which is where the Pro Shop is.  Well, it WAS in that general area, but outside!!  They really meant the Plaza which is outside Patriot Place and the North entrance to the stadium.  A stage had been erected where the Hall of Fame players would do their thing as well as a booth to cast your vote for a favorite candidate.  You do remember the weather at the game, right?  Well that would have been a blessing.  Instead of snow, we had to wait for an hour or so in the stuff that's just before snow, at about 34 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cold, wet, and miserable.  Oh, the glamor of it all...

After our fingers and toes had lost circulation, our "media handler" told us the players were ready and it was time to gather at the back of the stage where we would conduct interviews with the players.  Marima and I stood on the stage and we heard this polite voice behind us, "Excuse me."  John Hannah.  Yeah.

All three guys lined up towards the back of the stage and if you were looking at the stage, it was Marima, myself, Andre Tippet, John Hannah, and Mike Haynes.  Hall of Famers.  Wow...  Here's a bit of info about these giants, their names linked to biographies.

Player's Name

Position

Years

Pro Bowl

HoF Class

Pos in HoF

John Hannah

Guard

73-85, 12

8

1991

OL - 37

Mike Haynes

Cornerback

76-82, 7

6

1997

DB - 20

Andre Tippett

Linebacker

82-88, 90-93, 11

5

2008

LB - 19

A little discussion about strategy.  Marima and I talked at length about how to approach these legends and what to ask them.  In the end, we didn't want to appear like William Shatner's SNL Get a Life skit.  These guys get asked constantly about their careers and we can all look at their bio's to get a sense of their accomplishments.  Instead, we were more interested in what they're passionate about and what causes they support.  They were very affable and genuine in their answers which made for a great experience.  In the end, we thought chatting with them like they were regular guys (with Hall of Fame jackets on!) was the best approach.

I'll get to the audio portion of the interviews in a minute, but a quick note: my digital recorder managed to destroy Andre Tippett's interview.  I'm severely bummed because we had a nice conversation about how martial arts helped him with his position (he's a 4th degree black belt in Uechi Ryi, an Okinawan style).  He's extremely proud and honored by his induction into the Hall of Fame, a very kind and gentle man for a pro football linebacker!  That aside, the dude is absolutely jacked for a guy who will turn 50 this December!!  It was a little intimidating standing next to him.

A big THANK YOU to the SB Nation staff and Van Heusen for providing this opportunity.  It was a real treat to meet these Hall of Famers who have given us so many great moments over the years.

 

Download Van Heusen Hall of Fame Interview MP3