Dallas…nice to meet you.
I finally arrived in Dallas…after a terrible day of travel. My flight to Atlanta wasn’t too bad, but my layover was even longer than I thought in Atlanta because of the balmy weather in Dallas.
My layover wasn’t too bad actually. I grabbed a bite to eat, talked some smack to a Steelers fan, and eventually made my way to my gate. After walking what seemed like 3 miles through the terminal, I realized there was a minor situation arising by my gate. Nothing major, but it definitely caught my attention. I got a little closer and saw numerous Delta employees taking pictures with some dude. This guy was wearing the most hideous pink, purple, and white leather coat you’ve ever seen. The number of sequins on this coat would make any beauty queen jealous. This jacket read “Super Bowl XLII” across the front and I knew there was no way any self-respecting man would ever purchase this jacket. When I got a little closer I realized it was actually someone “famous”…Wylef Jean. My thought…”Holy crap…it’s Wyclef. How cool is that?” I was pretty fired up by seeing an actual “celebrity”. Now I’m from Green Bay. We don’t ever come across celebrities in Green Bay. So even the sight of someone like Wyclef was fairly cool.
That excitement of seeing Wyclef was easily squashed when I saw the next guy sitting by my gate. As I meandered around the terminal I saw some dude just hanging out and waiting for the next Delta announcement. I had to do a double take and make sure it was him. And sure enough, it was. Andre “Bad Moon” Rison was sitting at my gate waiting to board the flight to Dallas. Being the outgoing douche bag that I am, I had to chat him up. After I said “hi” and introduced myself I think he was sort of surprised that someone recognized him. I thanked him for his servicee to the Packers and specifically his Super Bowl XXXI touchdown. I basically got the feeling that no one has brought that up to him in some time. While I was talking to him I immediately thought of something. I’m not sure if I weirded him out or not, but I had to ask him. Urban legend in Green Bay has it that Rison threw his Super Bowl XXXI ring into the Fox River in Green Bay after Ron Wolf & Coach Holmgren didn’t re-sign him for the 1997 season. He had a good laugh at that and said “it’s in a safe place back home”. He did mention that he and Coach Holmgren didn’t see eye-to-eye, and that in my opinion that could have been the root of that whole situation. But that that point, I could do nothing but believe him.
After I talked to Andre I walked around a bit more, checked in on Wyclef (who loved all the attention by the way), and then took a walk. After roaming around for a bit I made my way back to Gate E09. I walked past Soujourners Cafe and saw someone else I recognized. Today was my lucky day. Not only did I see Andre Rison, but I saw one of his teammates from the 1996 Packers. Tyrone freaking Williams. Right as I saw Tyrone he was embracing Andre. I’ll be honest, it was pretty awesome to see the reunion of 2 former Packers that won rings together. Y0u could tell these guys haven’t seen each other in a number of years. Tyrone was also on his way to Dallas and was looking forward to the Super Bowl. T-Will and Andre ducked into the cafe and enjoyed a couple of beverages before they had to board the flight.
When we arrived in Dallas it was kind of a mess. Our flight was delayed about an hour and our luggage took forever to get to the baggage claim. I was surprised when Tyrone approached me to talk about the game. He asked if I had a ticket and what I thought about the game. Of course, being the homer I am, I said the Pack would win by at least 14. He agreed and said “The Pack needs this one”. We talked for quite some time and he informed me he hasn’t been to Lambeau since 2006, the 10-year anniversary of the Super Bowl XXXI team. I said he didn’t need to worry because he’d be up in September. He gave me a baffled look, and I came back with, “Of course..it’ll be the 15 year anniversary of you guys winning your rings, and these guys will be getting their rings”.
He had a huge smile after that. And so did I.
As a side note: Tyrone Williams is living in Pensacola, FL and is “living the good life” and is part owner of a restaurant chain. He spends his free time golfing, working out, and hanging out with his family.