"Leading the League in Love"

If there's one thing I've learned from this experience, it's that you never know who's watching. And with Brittany being a private person, I did my best to keep everything as a brief summary. Beyond that, I may have gotten a little carried away, but it was good to get nearly everything down! The first bit I just copied from my blog, then starting at NY, it's all for you folks. Enjoy!

I’ve kept exactly 42 fortunes from my favorite Chinese restaurant and none of them could have told me this... Last Tuesday (one week ago?!) I took a first date to the old ballpark. Unfortunately for the D’Backs, it was something of a blowout. This gave Mr. Grace and Sutton the opportunity to roam the crowd for entertainment. Luckily for them, I was with my first date with a big ol’ sign proclaiming the fact that we were on our first date. I thought we’d get on the jumbotron and have a nice little story. Nope.

From the seventh inning to the ninth, my date and I were watched like Katniss and Peta in the Hunger Games. No idea when a camera was focused on us, but we were told by friends that we were being watched. What do you do then? Naturally, we made wild hand gestures and enjoyed ourselves, while being more than a little self conscious. Come the final frame of the game, Mark McClune came up to take an interview. I told the small audience that my car broke down, so she had to come to my rescue and pick me up–on the first date. No biggie. At the end, they offer us two tickets to come back for the game on Saturday. Free tickets! Score!

After the game we talked about how crazy that was and were even recognized at the team shop! Celebrity status! We drove back, and by we I mean she, to my friends house to watch the game on his DVR. We were on more than the 6-1 game and were even the focus of a text poll. "Will there be a second date?" Wow. I was just excited that Mark Grace said our names in a sentence, let alone the fact that we were practically famous on a D’backs game!

At this point, what could we do but laugh and just giggle that everyone we know could have seen us on a first date. Enter the next morning.

Like a normal summer day, I woke up and took my wonderful mother to school. I drove home and plopped in bed ready to read a new book. For some reason, I decided to watch the local news, something I haven’t done in years. There’s this and that, a little chit chat between hosts and some stories. An unfortunate fire takes out a well known stretch of stores up north and then… There’s me. And there’s my date. Oh dear.

Throughout the rest of the day the video and story both grow. It makes the usual cute video rounds from the local news to local websites. The attention was fun and we assume it’ll blow over soon in today’s.. Squirrel! I mean, it’s not every day a first date becomes this memorable so we soak it up. In the afternoon I get a call from a friend that I’m on "Intentional Talk" on MLB Network. Nope nope nope nope nope. Then I’m told from someone else they saw a clip of our date on ESPN. Nope. Then.. The front page of Yahoo news. We were a trending subject! What’s happening?!

During this insanity, my amazing first date and I were watching it evolve. Texting back and forth about silly comments we read about us, or people telling us how they found out. And oh-now the country knows she drove on our first date. Perfect. But with the overall attention? How were we suppose to react to that? It was really a mixed bag of emotion, but we knew it couldn’t get any bigger so we just waited it out and planned to attend Saturday’s game hoping for the best.

Thursday morning I received an email, and then another. Rumblings of interviews and satellites and New York. It got bigger. Now, here I wait. Completely unsure what to do with myself, so I wrote up this little tale. Maybe one day I can look back and laugh like we were just on the jumbotron, but right now.. Right now it’s all I can do to hold on to sanity. Sorry for the attention, Brittany!

- - - - - - -

Now, later that day, we got an email from FOX saying they couldn't fly us out to New York and instead we'd be doing an interview over satellite. It was a bummer, but we couldn't really complain. So we go about our day, just soaking in the whole experience, when we're invited to appear on channel 3's Good Morning Arizona. I hadn't regularly watched the station in years, back when they hosted Diamondbacks games with the theme "Smack, Whack. I love my Diamondbacks." you know, that ball ain't comin' back. Still, that was an amazing experience as well. Everyone we met at the studio was wonderful and after the interview we were invited to stay and watch the show! We may have met some interesting people. In the form of Ben Bailey and Kevin Nealon.

Anywho, just before that interview (at 6 am, mind you) FOX emails us again saying the New York trip is back on! I had never been so excited before 8 o'clock as I was then.

New York City. The very next day.

On Tuesday we were on our first date. On Saturday we were in New York City. I had never been there, so my first sight of the city from the car was like the first shot of the city in a movie. From JFK to our hotel was roughly a 45 minute drive. So we'd arrive at the hotel at about 6:45 pm and were told we had reservations at 7:30. For those of you who have been on a 5 hour flight, you know that wasn't going to happen. We took our time (and I successfully tied a tie!) and eventually managed to snag a cab and get to Donatella at 8. Oh, now's a good time to mention that our hotel was a stone's throw away from Times Square. And not the figurative stone's throw away either, I could toss my shoe underhand and be there. Yeah.

We took my first cab ride in NYC to the restaurant-that could be a two-thousand word post by itself-and were comped a meal that included pizza, steak, chicken, chardonnay (I had to look up how to even spell that) and white wine. We even met the owner of the place! Thank you FOX.

Following dinner, we walked around the City at night. I mean, this is a second date, people, and here we were surrounded by sky scrapers and drunk people! I'm not sure it gets any better than that. It did. After a quick trip to White Castle (I had never had one) I looked to my right and kinda tilted my head at a building with blue lights at the top. Yup, the Empire State Building.

We accidentally found ourselves in Times Square, at night, with all the light tower power you can imagine around us. We had ourselves a cute little unforgettable moment (a few moments after, here) and moved on to Rockefeller Center to meet her brother who drove in from Pennsylvania.

What we had were 21 hours to spend in New York, so having a guide as great as him and his wife was more than anything we could have asked for. Let's see.. from there we swung by NBC studios and tried to get in line for Saturday Night Live, but it was packed and we had no chance. I think by this time it was either 10 or 11 New York time with having to be at FOX the next morning at 6:50. So we did what any responsible couple would do. We snagged a cab and headed to the Village.

I had never been offered coke, cocaine, crack, smack, tak or any variation of any drug ever as much as that night. My previous record sat at a comfortable zero offers. So that was pretty awesome. We wandered the streets, visiting a few bars with bands playing, and eventually settle on a Comedy Club. Every comedian performing either had their own TV show (Dave Attell) or were on TV shows (various other people with names I don't know). Either way, we watched until roughly 2 or 3:30 am. My time awareness was a bit skewed at this point. In my new dress shoes with feet possibly hemorrhaging blood at every possible point, we called it a night. What was that, night? You had a club in the downstairs lobby of our hotel, night? Just kidding, we went to our rooms and fell asleep (around 4 am?).

Come 6 am we're up and at 6:50, after taking off her heels and running barefoot to FOX down the block, we're there. I'll say this about Fox & Friends, I don't think either of us have anything but nice and wonderful things about the people working there. We even had a talk with Rick Reichmuth, the chief meteorologist for FOX and found we had more than a little in common. Anywho, the interview itself. (Quick note, right now we're told FOX is working on getting the video posted online, so when that happens I'll jump to it). Brittany and I are ushered outside after being mic'd up and properly patted down with makeup to a small table. With a table cloth. And flowers. And candles. And spaghetti. And what's that, an accordion player? Surrounded by sky scrapers. This is happening. The interview itself goes smoothly, despite putting two Arizonans in the cold of a New York morning, but I didn't once shout unnatural things in the voice of Treebeard, so I would call that a success. Apparently, though, we were supposed to eat the spaghetti, which I thought was just a prop. Oh well.

A quick one-two of the rest of the day. Her brother got us tickets to the World Trade memorial, which itself is another huge post, though perspective is the word I would use for a brief description. Then we hunted down an opened restaurant, that apparently doesn't exist before noon in NY, making us settle on a street hot dog. We meandered to Central Park, took a stroll in Strawberry Fields and made our way to the Hayden Planetarium. I geeked out with the best of them, lemme tell you.

All told, we spent 21 hours in New York City and slept for 2 of them. I don't think there's any other way to put this. Fairy Tales do exist.

We cannot begin to thank the Diamondbacks enough. It was an incredible ride that's headed into the station right now. I know Daron Sutton occasionally occasions the 'pit, so if you made it this far, good sir, thank you.

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