Deadspin "correspondent" AJ Daulerio is filing dispatches from the Super Bowl all week. Last night, he hit the motherlode. This is the first of his three tales from a crazed night in which, as this picture clearly shows, he sneaked into the right media party.
No, I did not ask him to take a picture of his junk on his cellphone. No, I did not ask him about "Jew." I was just in awe. Stunned, really, at how many women Salisbury attracts. From dumpy chicks with glasses, to 6-foot model-y types: they all swarmed him. Salisbury was not without female accompaniment for less than 10 seconds at a private party at the Clevelander. Most of the time, they would hug him. "He's soooo tall!" they'd say to each other. Most of the women have probably never watched "NFL Live" before. Or even known about his less than spectacular quarterbacking career. They just knew he was something.
He shook plenty of people's hands. He stirred his vodka tonic — with three limes on a napkin — and he made small talk when necessary. And when he agreed to take a picture with a smiling couple, adoring busboys, giraffe beav, he just requested one thing, as he sternly called over my lawyer Lt. Winslow after he snapped a quick photo of Salisbury getting his picture taken:
"I don't want it ending up on the internet."
The Clevelander is a cheesy Margitavilleish type club downstairs, and its upstairs, "VIP" section is about the size of a modest New York City apartment, wall-to-wall white, and held a "private" party last night with, oh, 35 people. Michael Irvin huddled in the corner with a bodyguard who was a Big Black doppelganger. Stuart Scott, dressed in his best fratty tan and white stripey, chatted up the few people who would come up to him and "Boo-yaaaa" and then awkwardly shook their hand. Bears defensive end Alex Brown drank Cranberry and vodka and even did the kamikaze shots that were bought for him by some very excited Bears fans.
But Salisbury held court. Salisbury is the mayor. Salisbury is the real balls.
He is a tall guy, and he's got that swagger. It's not a young guy swagger. It's that former athlete, gym teacher, asshole-type machismo. He makes wry smiles at the women who approach him and will let the ESPN fanboys come up to him, but he looks them in the eye and he makes sure that they're legit and not trying to do anything crazy, or gay, or just out and out annoy him. He gives a two second Eastwood wince to every single guy that comes up to him in that way because, tonight, guys, it's for the ladies — but he'll shake your hand, accept the accolades about how "great a job" he does at ESPN.
But if you don't have boobs, it's gonna be a brief chat.
But he was paranoid about pictures (why???) and made sure every person that wanted their photo taken with him seemed to have good intentions. I was a little paranoid about approaching him with Winslow since Salisbury had already scolded him — and the bouncers were already doing us a favor, so it wouldn't be wise to cause any annoyance and risk getting tossed. So we took the Deadspin camera and handed off to another person who agreed to get the photo with Salisbury. I walked up behind him and politely asked for a picture with him. He gave me the Eastwood, but I had the perfect trump card.
"It's for my fiancee. She would kill me if I didn't get a photo with you."
He couldn't turn that down.
He gave me the smile. He put his arm around me and waited for the photo. I jutted out the mustache has much as far as I could and waited for the flash.
"No internet," he repeated again after it was over, and we pounded fists and I walked away and he went back to the bar, to the next woman in line, and spent the rest of the night just being Salisbury and constantly checking his phone to see where he'd end up next.
Oh, there is more to this evening, which shall be shared later — Irvin's suit, Alex Brown's explanation of his Miami fistfight, and, most stunning, Stuart Scott's text message booty call.
Come back. It'll be great.