Saturday, November 11, 2006

My brush with fame...

In honor of 80's week over at IYROOBTY I'm posting my New Kids on the Block story.

The Place: Tampa Florida
The Time: January 1991 (disclaimer: Yeah, I realize that this didn't happen in the 80's. But the band is from the 80's and that's where the them comes in.)

The Event: Super Bowl XXV Halftime show.

The halftime show was titled "A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl". It was produced by Disney and featured over 2,000 children from different ethnic backgrounds and a performance by boy band New Kids on the Block, who were quite popular at the time.

You probably don't remember seeing this halftime show....

ABC did not broadcast the halftime show live. Instead, they televised a special ABC News report anchored by Peter Jennings on the progress of the war. That didn't have anything new to report about the war as the soldiers were mostly sitting around taking the day off to watch the game! The halftime show was later shown on tape delay after the game.

Okay, let me go back to the real beginning of the story...

Back in December my youngest brother comes home from high school and asks me if I can drive him to a meeting at the school about participating in the halftime show. Hoping that I might possibly get a chance to be in the show too, I agreed to take him. (I had been in the 1884 halftime show as a stage hand because I chickened out on the dancing!)

So we go to the meeting and find out what they want us to do and I asked if they were taking older which they said yes. YIPPEE!

So in January we begin our practices. I was to help push a really big blow up of Pluto out onto the field. (think those airblown Christmas & Halloween displays...only over 20 feet tall!) There were 5 other character balloons, so there were a lot of crews.
After we got the balloons on the field and turned on the fans, we were to go to the infield closest to us and pretend to cheer for the New Kids.

Durring every practice they played the pre-recorded tape of the entire show with the New Kids part in it. So it would announce "Ladies & Gentelmen, (insert all the sponsors here) proudly present THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK!" at which we would all yell BOO! as loudly as we could during the practice, because they were old hat by then.

For the practices Disney dancers played the parts of the New Kids because they of course were too busy to actually come to practice. And on the night of the dress rehersal only 3 of the 5 were present as the other two were drunk in their tour bus. I'll leave you to figure out which two were drunk. Oh and I forgot the car searches every time we went to the stadium...they were worried that we might try to be terrorists.

So the night of the Super Bowl. We're all much so that Alice in Wonderland gave me lip for not listening to the National Anthem. She says "Can't you hear that?" Me: "No what is it?" LOL! Then there was the fly over of jets and then we were ushered to our balloons to get ready.

Soon enough it was time to push our balloons out. We were the second balloon on the "right" to go out. I say the "right" because the poor folks on the other side of the stadium got to see practically nothing as the entire show was set up toward the press boxes...they got to see just the back of the stage and no shots of the New Kids!

We ran over to the infield and one of the guys on our crew lifted me so I could sit on the wall that keeps the people off the field. When the New Kids came out (all of them) we all cheered, even though we really wanted to boo.

And the show went off without a hitch...we were all perfect.

Then we pushed our balloons off the field and went to celebrate. It wasn't until we got back to the high school where we were parked that they announced to us that they hadn't even aired the show. We were so disappointed!

But a few weeks later we all got a "Thank You" letter from Disney along with two one day passes and a video of our performance. I still have the video if you would like to see it. You won't see me in it at all though.

As I've mentioned before I also was in the 1884 half time show and Disney also asked me to participate in "The Red, White and Blue Troop Celebration" that was a welcome home for the soliders returning home from the Gulf War. In that show I actually was "on stage" and you can see me in it. I don't know that it was ever taped though...but DH (who was then just DB) took lots of pictures of me...I'll have to post those some day.


  1. So, did they lip sync or not? :)

    My New Kids: Where Are They Now? post is up.

  2. Too bad they didn't air your part. It must have been fun though to be a part of it!

    The Pink Diary

  3. I think you really need to upload that to YouTube so we can all appreciate the full story.

    That must have been pretty cool! (Although I wasn't a New Kid fan, I would have been living under a rock not to appreciate their popularity at the time)

  4. What a great memory. Booo New Kids!

  5. you are famous by association!

    What a thrill to be a part of something like that, aired or not!