Eric Butterman | July 31, 2020
It’s 2007 and I’m trying to catch a plane from Miami to Newark on Super Bowl Sunday, hoping to get home in time to see whether the Colts would handle their business or the Bears would hoist their second championship. As I boarded I saw, nestled there in first class among those flying for business or wanting just a little extra comfort, Regis Philbin.
I had heard frantic whispers as I got near the entrance, and now it became clear what it was about. Philbin, Notre Dame class of 1953, seemed relaxed and, if they were talking about him, somewhat unaware. This could be a down-to-earth peaceful style, it could be surliness, I had no idea. Shrugging, I took my seat and prayed to the airline gods that this clock-watching football fan didn’t miss the biggest game of the year.
When we landed, Philbin was too far ahead for me to know how he deplaned. Did everyone give him room, did he give dirty looks, couldn’t tell you. Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking about the guy. Again, the game. Get home, get food, get game. As I waited for my ride, I did happen on the talk show host yet again, and there, sure enough, was his abundant entourage, all making sure to crowd around him.
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