Dinner with John Harbaugh in Florida…

April 01, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

Actually, it just took most of the day to get our wnsTV videos up, but they’re now a click away.

The NFL Owners Meetings are really a lot of fun for me, seeing and connecting with so many of the coaches and owners and front office personnel on so many of the teams.

Between the Super Bowl and Combine and Owners Meetings, you really get a feel for the quality people the NFL has working for them. The success of the league leaves many clues, and the first is the plethora of good, smart people.

And the families?

It’s amazing to see so many of the coaches with their wives, children and in good spirits as they convene, chat, interact and inevitably smile. They ALL realize they have a good thing going with this “No. 1 sports league in America” thing.

Business is good in the NFL, but as Roger Goodell said yesterday in his press conference,  the league is not immune from the economic hardships and the sluggish economy in general.

Last night my wife and I went for a sunset stroll and saw Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin playing football with his two school-aged boys on a clearing. He was calling huddles, running plays, and rolling on the grass with his kids playing the game that has made him a wealthy man.

We’ve seen a lot of “reality” interaction between the key members of the league with relatives, friends and foes. And it’s really one big extended fraternity, especially amongst the coaches who all come from humble, blue-collar backgrounds and find some of the “upscale” (to say the least) trappings of The Breakers to be a little over the top by any standard.

But it’s been nice. The people of the NFL are really good, interesting, fun people who appreciate what the league represents and their good fortune.

And they LOVE to talk football. It’s just one giant storytelling extravaganza! And I’m eating it up!

This morning every AFC coach (even Bill Belichick!) held court at a breakfast table. All of the John Harbaugh videos are here!

And there’s even a bonus video of Mike Tomlin on the way out the door.

Tomorrow, we’ll give you a tour of the NFL coaches breakfast, and we’ll sit with various coaches and have some fun.

I’ve been avoiding Jon Gruden for a dozen years. He’s my favorite coach. I’m honestly “starstruck” when I see Gruden. It’s really, really weird (and my wife is just astounded by my reluctance to chat with him!)

I will have the chance to interview him tomorrow.

To tell you the truth, I STILL might chicken out!

 

 

 

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