This has nothing to do with football, but it is somewhat sports-related, so I figured I should share the story here.
As a few of you know, I usually go out swing dancing on Sunday nights in Raleigh, and afterwards, a group of us heads out to Fat Daddy’s on Glenwood Ave., and we all act a fool at their weekly karaoke party. Last night, as happens once every year, the Jimmy V Classic held its afterparty at Fat Daddy’s, so our usual tables were blocked off for the VIPs. On this night, that included Charles Barkley, Stuart Scott, Trey Wingo, Vinny Del Negro, Dennis Haskins (a/k/a Principal Belding from “Saved by the Bell”) and a whole slew of volunteers and ESPN groupies.
My friends and I decided to make the most of it, though, as Steve the DJ was going to keep letting the regulars sing. After one regular sang a particularly painful rendition of “Let Her Cry,” though, Sir Charles came in and laid down the law.
“That was the worst karaoke singer I’ve ever heard!”, he bellowed into the mic. “Don’t you let him near that microphone again.” He then announced that he was paying for everyone’s drinks for the next 30 minutes. Someone forgot to tell him that he’s going to run for governor of Alabama, not North Carolina.
Of course, I was the idiot who didn’t take any pictures of myself with anyone famous. Instead, I tried to use my Treo 650 to capture video of various moments throughout the night — Michael Jordan’s son rapping, Trey Wingo singing a country song, Principal Belding doing a drunken rendition of “Piano Man,” etc. The horrible audio quality rendered those clips pretty much useless, and the Trey Wingo clip somehow got deleted — a damn shame, because it was a side of the Mobile ESPN pitchman that deserves to be seen.
Besides, I actually got nervous after Sir Charles dissed another singer. The last thing I wanted to do was get on his bad side and have him keep my friends from getting a shot, right? I wasn’t even thinking straight enough to get off a “You’re With Me, Leather” blast. So I just told Steve to hook me up with a song by The Commodores…
Long story short, the crowd loved it, Trey Wingo gave me a thumbs up, Principal Belding patted me on the back, and while Sir Charles didn’t say anything to me directly, he immediately announced that he was buying drinks for another half hour. As far as I’m concerned, that was the Sir Charles Seal of Approval.
I got to stay in the VIP section for a little while longer and stood right behind Stuart Scott when he started freestyling — another video wrecked by the Treo’s wretched audio — but I ended up rejoining my friends and leaving a little after midnight. A few people complimented me as I walked out the door, and that was enough for me. For whatever reason, I wasn’t quite so eager to rub elbows. Maybe I just didn’t want all those ESPN people to know I was working for AOL Sports now. They have issues with the bloggers.
But hey, at least I can tell people now that I hung out with Charles Barkley, and I have crappy video clips on my phone to prove it. That’s a pretty good night. Next year, though, I’m bringing a real camera.