Wow, been a pretty hectic week here as you can imagine. Five straight home games have meant a lot of work not only for Suns.com, but everybody here at the US Airways Center – except maybe the players.
Come to think of it, playing at the arena for five straight contests must be pretty inviting as opposed to the alternative of flying from Boston to Golden State.
Nevertheless (or none-of-the-less as I’ve also heard it pronounced), you can’t really complain when the Suns are enjoying such great play. Three games against subpar teams like Miami, Golden State and Seattle could’ve easily led to a let down, but the Suns didn’t allow that to happen which is a mark of a Championship-caliber team.
The team has the makings of a champion in other ways as well. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger discussed a few of those characteristics with me on Tuesday after the team’s shootaround. He had stopped in for a surprise visit as you can read about through Head Athletic Trainer Aaron Nelson’s blog. I’m far from a Steelers fan (they’ve burned my Colts too many times this past decade), but talking to Ben was pretty cool. Since joining the Suns last season, I’ve also had the opportunity to interview Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart and Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, both of whom seemed cool. Being a Syracuse guy, talking to McNabb was probably the highlight of the three.
I think the funniest Suns-football story though involves current Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens (big surprise, right?). The thing to keep in mind is that these guys are celebrities and interact with the media a million different ways during any given week. They’ve got local guys to talk to, national guys to talk to, the list goes on and on. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to see Steve Nash leave straight after a practice as he will usually have a responsibility with anyone – from an exclusive with the Tribune, an interview for ESPN or TNT, a commercial for FSN AZ, a photo session with Wheaties, ect, ect. Anyway, during the playoffs last season last season, Owens spoke with fellow Suns.com coworker Josh Greene during a Lakers home game. The interview was brief, maybe a minute as we always respect the fact these guys aren’t out in public to do interviews. The following series, (if memory serves correctly it was Game 7), Owens made his way back to the Valley, and I figured I’d get a couple quotes from him about how the Suns had battled and all that good stuff. I’ll never forget standing a few feet away when hearing him tell his PR person, “Suns.com? I talked to Suns.com back in Los Angeles.” I just remember thinking to myself, “How the heck does he remember that?” Then again, I guess when you’re a NFL player, memorization is a key when dealing with all those plays.
I’m not usually a big celebrity person (unless it’s like a comic book writer or something really cool like that). Guess I’m just a bit caught up in the 7th Annual Jack in the Box Celebrity Shootout coming up this weekend. My desk is just outside the office of Public Relations Director and Nothin’ But Net host Jamie Morris, so I’ve been hearing first hand how much work has gone into coordinating this event. I used to be a big Warren G fan so seeing him on the list is pretty cool, and being a comic book nerd I’m also glad to see Superman himself (Brandon Routh) is stopping by.
As far as Suns talk, expect a battle when Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic come to town on Saturday. I’ve been telling people since day one that this guy would be a monster in the NBA and he’s proven me right on a regular basis. Against Golden State this week, the 21-year-old had 30 points and 25 rebounds. Are you kidding me? I’d play games of NBA Jam without lines that impressive and in that game you only had two people per team. Howard won’t be happy about his last outing against Phoenix which saw the center in early foul trouble, so expect a foul mood from the future All-Star. Amaré Stoudemire should also be up for this game, he always plays his best against the best (see 2005 Western Conference Finals please). The fact that I’m officially naming this the Marquee Matchup of the Month all but insures it will be one to watch. My last honor (Steve Nash versus Jason Kidd) did not disappoint so I’m fairly confident we’ll see good stuff from both STAT and Howard this weekend… In a Suns victory of course.