NEW YORK -- Sometime around my 30th birthday, I made a solemn vow to never again stand in line outside a bar.
I'd estimate I spent roughly 47 percent of my twenties waiting for some disagreeable behemoth to let me in the door of an overpriced hole. I did this for the right to put myself deeper into credit card debt -- that over a decade -- slowly morphed from "Hmm, he probably should be more fiscally responsible" to "Dear God, somebody needs to do something!"
I don't miss this time of my life.
And yet, there I was on Wednesday night, freezing to death outside a lounge on the east side of Manhattan. I had made an exception to my queueing vow for the sake of my craft. Fox's Jay Glazer was holding his annual Super Bowl party and Ian Rapoport -- more popularly known on this site as NFL MEDIA INSIDER IAN RAPOPORT -- got me on the guest list, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
So what's a Jay Glazer party like? People are everywhere. Athletes, agents, media folk, league executives, attractive women, you name it, they were there. Roger Goodell even made a cameo. Nick Foles breezed by at one point and an Eagles reporter on hand asked, "Did you see where my quarterback went?"
The music is loud and the drinks are flowing. Most guests would blow a Vodka Sam-like BAC if it came down to it. People are there to have fun, sure, but it's also important to be seen. At one point, a colleague noted, "You can cut the self-importance here with a knife."
Lording over it all was Glazer himself. The most-connected man in the NFL held court on a second-level lounge that looked down upon the riff-raff below. Occasionally, Jay would come halfway down the steps and signal to the bouncer for someone to join him upstairs. If you had a yellow wristband, you had access. If you didn't, well, there was a Ruben Studdard clone at each stairwell entry telling you to go away.
I wanted to be upstairs. I needed to be upstairs. The curiosity was eating away at my soul. I had to make a move. I relaxed my shoulders and surged directly toward a Studdard with casual confidence.
In front of me, one well-dressed guy and two attractive blondes headed up the steps without molestation. This was my chance. I followed right behind them and got to the third step before a massive arm dropped in front of me like a train-track crossing barrier.
Studdard: You got a wristband?
Me: Um, no.
Studdard: Nobody goes up without a wristband.
Me: I see. How do I get one?
Studdard: I don't know. (Looks away in disgust)