I Interview Carmen Electra and Wolf
The first red carpet interview of my life was with a friendly man named Wolf from American Gladiator, whom NBC describes as "230 pounds of primal fury." His particular red carpet trick is to howl like, well, you know. He told me that he once had to howl before and after 20 radio interviews within a three-hour span. He lost his voice. I didn't ask him to howl, but I did compliment him for wearing heavy rings on all 10 of his fingers.
Next down the red carpet at last night's Carmen Electra Snow Queen Vodka Leather & Laces party in downtown Scottsdale it was....Why, it was a bunch of fairly obscure NFL offensive linemen! Including Cowboys guard Kyle Kosier, dressed for a mid-afternoon trip to Bass Pro Shops and displaying all the unbridled joy of Andy Rooney at an Akon show.
"This, this isn't my scene at all," he said, predicting he'd be home within two hours. I turned to red carpet trope and asked who Kosier was wearing; "this is Rochester Big and Tall," he said.
He was followed by Paul Zukauskas, who one-upped Kosier by being not just an obscure NFL offensive lineman, but a retired obscure NFL offensive lineman.
" I thought we were gonna go grab some beers," Zukauskas said. "I was latching on with these guys and all of the sudden I'm doing a red carpet appearance... That was my first one. How did I look? Did you think it went ok? I was nervous. I had a pit in my stomach."
Zukauskas and his fellow offensive linemen--who had been rounded up by the Cowboys' Marco Rivera, who was hoping to meet co-hostess Roselyn Sanchez--headed into the safety of the VIP area. Meanwhile, the real celebrities began posing for photos with the hostesses, who were dressed in Siberian-themed attire, assuming Siberia was located somewhere near the equator in a land with heavy tariffs on excess clothing.
There weren't too many sports reporters on the carpet--instead, think Extra and People--but there was one question I had been wondering all week that I figured I might as well explore. Like, why is it verboten to hold a pre-Super Bowl event without at least one person who's been in Playboy?
"Why not?" said Kim Wolfe, who was introduced as a Playboy model. "The beautiful people. It works."
"You have to ask why there's a million beautiful girls here?" said Mark McGrath, the Sugar Ray frontman who later provided the featured entertainment. "I always say, 'Thank God.' Just pray that they're here. Because usually, I ask why they're not here. And when they're here, you don't [rain] on it, you're like, 'They're here!' "
Catherine Bell from "Jag" began the parade of the co-hostesses. Right before she reached the sports section of the red carpet, she stopped to chat with People.
"Your look, it's so fantastic and so different from the "Jag" days, does it feel liberating?" People asked. "What made you decide to go for this look?"
That's actually not too far from the sort of question I often ask to athletes--"your Mohawk, it's so fantastic and so different from your faux hawk days, does it feel liberating?"--but still, I felt somewhat adrift. This was a tad different from your typical Joe Gibbs press conference.
"I mean, right, exactly," Marshall Faulk agreed, after registering an extremely hard fought eight-yard gain past the blaze of flashing lights. "Just standing in front of a board and having pictures taken of you, unless you're getting arrested, it's never cool."
Carmen Electra was coming up right behind Faulk, and--heart actually pounding a bit--I asked him what I should ask her.
"You know what you really want to ask her," Faulk said. "Just keep it clean," he advised. "Keep it clean and look up, chin up."
Showing all the quick-witted mental dexterity of Miss Teen South Carolina on Benadryl, I asked Electra what I should ask her. She advised I ask what she was wearing, which I did.
"I'm wearing Temperley," she said.
"I don't even know what that means," I said.
"See that's how I feel about sports," she said.
I asked her for her favorite college basketball team; she said Cincinnati, then changed her answer to Christian Louboutin, her favorite brand of shoes.
Then she went to conduct her next interview about the Super Bowl.
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