Meeting Jon Gruden and Roger Goodell…

April 02, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

PALM BEACH, Fla. – I’ll be flying outta here in about two hours, but it was an amazing three days here in South Florida hanging out with the entire NFL community of owners, general managers, coaches, media and families.

Believe it or not, I also did a lot of work here, all evidenced on wnsTV. I met a lot of new people and had some really entertaining and informative interaction with all of them.

Like I said, lots of really nice people in the NFL. Just a fact!

The interview from yesterday with John Harbaugh is our first “wnsTV exclusive.” So, Jamison Hensley of The Sun got the “exclusive” Q&A with Steve Bisciotti and I got the full-length version of the John Harbaugh sitdown over breakfast on video with the AFC coaches on Tuesday.

It kinda sucked because I never moved from Harbaugh’s table and I really would’ve loved to have gone to visit with Jack Del Rio, Marvin Lewis and some others.

But I did nab Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on the way out the door, and he was a super guy (won’t make me hate the black and gold less, I assure you). He said to me on Sunday night, “I don’t want you to like me!” as he smiled.

Next year: TWO cameras!

Today, the day began with the NFC coaches media breakfast at 7 a.m. in the same room as yesterday.

I spoke with every coach in the conference and got several to chat with us for wnsTV. Andy Reid chatted me up about John Harbaugh’s prospects in Baltimore. Mike Nolan summed up the two days of meetings with me. And, I figured out who Rod Marinelli is…LOL!

I put it together in a two-part video: Part 1 is here….Part 2 is here!

But the personal highlight of the day for me was meeting Jon Gruden (my long-time favorite coach) and chatting about my “Bono-like” intimidation regarding him. I’ve been in the same room with him 50 times (at least) and have never spoken to him. He was, as predicted by everyone (including Marvin Lewis last night), VERY cool to me.

I remember reading an interview in Playboy with him after he won the Super Bowl where he admitted to being a “ham and egger for life.” I thought that was an interesting way of expressing what you’re about. A ham and egger?

So, I asked him to expound upon that…and he did in Part 2.

Anyway, hope you check out the videos on wnsTV.

One last note:

I met Commissioner Roger Goodell for the first time today. Big handshake, sincere hello and when he found out I was from Baltimore, he flipped!

“Did you know I grew up a Colts and Orioles fan?” said Goodell, with excitement. “I was a batboy for the Orioles in the late 1960s.” He seemed like he wanted to talk some old-school Orioles baseball.

I have a feeling I’ll be asking more questions of the Commish in regard to these topics.

More to come from Roger Goodell, especially given the reputation his predecessor had as an esteemed “Baltimore hater.”

Back to Baltimore for the game tomorrow night.

I’ll be at the Wharf Rat around 5. I don’t expect a large turnout.

But there will be at least four of us there ready to drink beer, watch baseball and have fun.

“Ya Gotta Be Here”

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