29 May 2010
I spent today with one of my closest friends and one of my oldest friends as my 13-year old daughter and I hung out with my old college roommate.
I have known him for, gasp, 26 years now, following our initial encounter at freshman orientation.
We have shared many of life's greatest moments together from sporting events to Bruce Springsteen concerts to just watching TV.
When it comes to the friends department, I have been truly blessed.
And in this time of unemployment, I have certainly found out who my true friends really are.
We both ended up going into the TV business -- I chose sports, he chose entertainment.
I worked as a staff employee for 25 years, while he has been a huge success in the freelance world.
In our business, staff usually means you come to work, do your job, come back tomorrow, rinse and repeat.
As a freelancer, it usually means treat every day like it is your last (because it might be), work your rear end off, project ends, time to find another job.
The good news for my friend is that he has made quite the name for himself in the biz.
Combine his reputation with a great work ethic and that means he doesn´t get a whole lot of free time.
I had a pretty good idea of how plugged in he is from just being around him, but I got a real reminder today when we found out that Gary Coleman had passed away.
Within seconds, my friend was exchanging text messages with Todd Bridges.
What are you talkin bout Willis?
I realize that Todd isn't exactly an A-lister these days, but lets face it, we are all starstruck and that was pretty cool.
When I tell people I worked at ESPN -- 10 years ago -- I usually get the same question, "Do you know Chris Berman?"
When it comes to being a "star", it really doesn't take much to qualify.
I was recently in Los Angeles when I saw the "rock star" Pink at a restaurant.
I don't own any of her CD's, but so what, she's still a rock star.
A couple of days later, I saw the "movie star" Benjamin Bratt.
I have no idea what movies he has been in, but didn't he used to be married to what's her name?
Yes, I realize "they" put their pants on one leg at a time, like we do.
And yes, I realize that "they" go to the bathroom just like we do.
But for whatever reason, we are all addicted to celebrity.
Even a third-hand brush with Arnold Drummond's big brother.
RIP Gary Coleman.