Meeting Curtis Conway

I have met very few celebrities in my lifetime. You could probably say that I don’t get out much, but I like to think that I just don’t have the financial resources to go to big time events or pay to stand in autograph lines. I have met a few music artists over the years, but they have never amounted to more than a handshake, an exchange of a few polite comments, and possibly receiving an autographed photo or CD case. Even going to Penn State, the closest I ever got to meeting big time names was passing Paul Posluszny or Deon Butler (just to name two) on the sidewalk or in the dining commons and just happening to exchange a quick glance. I also saw Joe Paterno drive by in his silver BMW a few times, but that doesn’t really count as “meeting” either.

I point this out so that you can fully appreciate that I experienced a first on Friday night.

My wife and I were driving up to visit some close friends in the greater State College area. During our miserable drive (PSU football traffic sucks on a Friday afternoon), we were informed our dinner plans had slightly changed and that we would be dining out with my friend’s sister-in-law (sorta) and her “talent,” whatever the hell that meant. Fine. We were hungry. We met up with our friends and then met up with said sister-in-law at the Penn Stater Conference Center (hotel, fancy restaurant, etc.). It turns out said sister-in-law is a producer for a national radio station that broadcasts several NCAA and NFL football games each week. She was in town to cover the Penn State/Syracuse game the following afternoon. Her “talent” included a few engineers (who were quite funny and good story-tellers), a Penn State media relations employee, and her play-by-play and color announcers. Just before we took our seats, I was told the color announcer is Curtis Conway.

Curtis Conway? I have some of his football cards!

Curtis Conway
Click image for full sized scans

Sure enough, Mr. Curtis Conway joined us for dinner. Unlike many NFL veterns/retirees, Curtis was not a self-absorbed jerk or a pompous ass hole. He was very friendly and down to earth and insisted we call him Curtis. He rarely even brought up his respectible 12-year playing career, other than when we were discussing best/worst NFL fans and he told us that when he was playing with the Chargers later in his career, they were playing the Raiders and someone was stabbed in the stands. Surprisingly enough, we decided that Raiders fans were some of the best in the NFL because they are so passionate despite having an absolutely awful team. He also told us some amusing stories related to being married to Laila Ali, boxing champion and daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The only time I saw Curtis try to flaunt his celebrity status was when he asked the waiters to bring out a second mint chocolate cake to the dessert buffet. They gladly obliged, but he did say later that if they refused, he would have asked if they knew who his wife and father-in-law were. He also felt the need to bring up that he was on the USC roster when they beat Penn State in 1991, but also admitted he didn’t play a single down in the game. He claimed he helped to prepare the starters, and therefore, he helped beat Penn State. So my friend threw in a comment about the University of Spoiled Children, and he had a good laugh about it.

When I got home from the weekend, I checked my work-in-progess football card Access database. I currently have 6 Curtis Conway cards entered, all of which will eventually be partially featured right here on First and Goal as they were pulled from boxes I bought to write Product Review articles. As I work through the rest of my collection, I am hoping to find a few more, possibly even one of his 1993 rookie cards.

Curtis proved that athletes can still be class acts and worthy members of society — a refreshing thought in today’s world. Even my wife, who is by no means a football fan, was impressed with his demeanor and humbleness. I would definitely consider myself a Curtis Conway fan after meeting him on Friday. Will I become the next Curtis Conway super collector? Probably not. But I do feel privileged to have sat and ate with the former NFL receiver and will definitely be looking for his cards in any older products I bust in the future.

If you’d like to see some stats from Curtis Conway’s career, go here

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9 Responses to Meeting Curtis Conway

  1. jswaykos says:

    That’s cool! Our family has a few connections to athletes via friends of friends, but I’ve never met any in person. I did have a run in with an ex-NFLer, once…

    I was working at a golf course in northern Virginia, fresh out of college. Every few days, whenever new shipments would come in via UPS, they were brought by the biggest freakin’ delivery guy I’d ever seen. The guy was massive, and dwarfed everyone in the pro shop.

    After a few deliveries, I commented to the head pro that the guy was ridiculously big, and he goes, “Oh, you didn’t know? That’s Chris Warren.”

    Ha! Apparently he was working to pay down a law suit or bankruptcy or something, but it was still kinda cool. He was a pretty chill guy, and never even mentioned who he was. Probably because he was a little bit embarassed, no doubt, but still nice not to have to deal with a huge ego every time I had to sign for a package.

  2. CPAdave says:

    Oh man, that is sweet! You should have handed the clipboard or digital signing thingy back to him with a card and sharpie on top. Too bad we can’t step back in time. I definitely have some Chris Warren cards I could have sent your way. If I had known ahead of time that I was going to meet Curtis, I definitely would have taken one of his cards along.

    I’m sure they’re used to nerds like us, and might get a kick out it.

  3. Catch22 says:

    I got to meet Brian Urlacher in Lovington NM. He was opening a car lot for his dad I took pictures with him and had some cards autographed by him.
    I went to school with Cedric Benson at Lee High his senior year. We havent seen him since he got drafted. LOL. I also live about 15 minutes away from Roy williams (WR) hes a Permian guy.
    I would love to meet Emmitt Smith I have only gone to one COWBOYS game and that was this year in Denver but next year hopefully we can go to COWBOYS stadium I heard Emmitt still goes to the games so maybe Ill get to at least take a picture or something.

  4. CPAdave says:

    Wow. That is really cool. I certainly did not go to high school with any NFL talent (some of fellow PSU alums are doing alright for themselves though).

    I never got to see Emmitt play, which is disappointing. I am about equi-distant from Philadelphia and Baltimore. The Cowboys never play the Ravens, and I don’t know if I would feel safe wearing a blue star in Philly. Maybe now I would, but not when I was 8 years younger. The closest I’ve been to meeting Emmitt was when I went to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was right after the season he broke Payton’s rushing record and they had his jersey, game ball, and helmet in a special display just before you got to the bronze busts.

  5. Catch22 says:

    I was born in 10/27/83 He broke the rushing record on my 19th birth day, that was pretty cool. I also never got to see him play live and that sucks because I have freinds that dont even like him and they got to see him.
    Just wondering am I talking to David Witmer? If so I love the site man. When I go through my collection I like to come to youre site and look at youre site. Can you believe I have over 800 Emmitt’s and only have one of his rookie cards.

  6. CPAdave says:

    Yessir…I am the only one who posts to this blog and am the only one who has access to the firstandgoal@dejazzd.com email address.

    Thank you for the kind words. I really need to update my Emmitt site. The list on here is fairly accurate (I recently got another small stack from a very kind fellow blogger that I have yet to sit down and sort through), but the Emmitt Smith Collection site is lagging. I just don’t seem to find the time to scan in every single card and create new pages for each card. Hopefully a rainy day soon will help me get caught up!

  7. CPAdave says:

    Is the 1990 Pro Set card the one RC you have? I have two or three copies of it and every time I look at a lot on eBay, that is always included. I guess that is the story of Pro Set…WAY overproducing everything. I don’t know if the others are more rare or if people just hang on to them more. If I pick up any extra copies of the other 4, I will gladly pass them along to you.

  8. Catch22 says:

    Yeah the Pro Set is the one I have. I started my own site at the beginning of the year I have scanned 1990-1994 but I stopped, Im glad I found a fello Emmitt collector as soon as I finish I will send an invite to check out my collection.

  9. Catch22 says:

    I wish these sites would attract more Emmitt collectors to talk trade and show off new finds.

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