Last week the NFL season was kicked off in New Orleans which is just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I am at in Mobile. Because of my close proximity in nature to the area, I was invited out to check out some of the happenings in the area and get a chance to meet with Olivia Manning (also know as Mama Manning), Peyton and Elis mom.
Why not, right?
Febreze was hosting it (I hardly need to explain who Febreze is, right?) and they sent a car from New Orleans to my house.
Lets start there.
Originally I was gonna drive. Its an hour and a half, not too far, and I thought I would stop at the outlets on the way back and take my time getting home. Because the city was so busy preparing for the opening season which would premiere with the Saints in their home arena, there was some concern there wouldn’t be parking so they insisted on sending a car. Ok, no problem. I suppose that saves me on gas and its a very nice gesture. I didn’t exactly think they would send a car from New Orleans to mobile, but rather a mobile to New Orleans and then back.
So this guy starts calling me at 6am and cant find my house..he drove FROM New Orleans. The whole thing was cracking me up. We get in the car and drive about 20 minutes up the road and he is making me MAJORLY nervous. I ask him if he is ok. He asks me if I have a Tylenol cause he has a bad headache. I’m like…no…but if you want to stop and pick something up by all means go ahead. Then he said he has no money on him.
What? no money? No credit cards? Nothing? Who drives from another city with NO money on them at all?
In the mean time he is looking everywhere but the road. The ceiling, the side, he is whipping around trucks, i am 100% convinced I am going to die on my way to meet with Febreze. I am jesting every blog person I know on my phone “I’m going to die right now!!”.
He ran off the interstate, going 80 miles an hour, no less than 9 TIMES. At one point I was on the phone with Nicole and he scared me so badly that I YELLED “YOUR SCARING ME EVERY TIME YOU RUN OFF THE ROAD”. She later said she thought I was yelling at my husband.
He told me that his eyelashes were so long they were getting in his eyes. CUT THEM then. Omg. I was going to go ballistic.
After I lost my cool and yelled he pulled over to a rest area in Mississippi and goes to do something…I am sitting in the back of this car just waiting..waiting. Then I see him smoking. Really? You pulled over to smoke? He gets in the car smelling like smoke. Ugg, the whole thing was an utter disaster, but at least I got to New Orleans alive, even if 15 minutes late.
The event starts and I was pleased to find out that it included my friend Bridgette and my other friend Maggie. It was really intimate and just us and another reporter from another website. We all posed for a few pictures and then Febreze took us on a tour of their bus, which is traveling around the United States and showcasing its new products as the official sponsor of NFL locker room stink.
Its a perfect partnership if you think about it. Funk and the spray you need to get rid of the funk. What was funny was just about every product they showed me, I buy already. I didn’t even realize how many Febreze products I have in my home till they started showcasing them.
I love those Febreze wall plugins but all the flavors I like to smell are seasonal. I am stocking up this year as I find them. I like the apple cinnamon christmasy flavors.
Products aside, the real delight was actually Mama Manning. I expected her to be “nice” and to share the product we were ultimately there to see, but what I didn’t expect was how real and humble and kind she was. How much she wasn’t in a hurry and she answered our mom questions with ease. How much I felt I could pull up a bowl of gumbo with her and watch TV.
There was no question why she has raised such successful and respectful men as sons and had glowing things to say about her grandchildren and family. You could tell she was just a proud mom. We asked her what it was like to watch her sons play each other and she said that its hard. Its hard because when one wins, the other one doesnt and its hurtful and that some members of her family dont even watch the games where they play each other.
Watch Olivia’s response when she was was asked how it feels watching her sons play each other, watching them getting hurt on the field, and how they protect themselves:
Mama Manning addresses the importance of education and how Peyton started playing football, and Maggie asks about the boys being pushed into football or not :
I asked Mama Manning if she had any Stay at Home Mom advice:
[flashvideo filename="videos/advice.flv" width="448" height="361" /]
The event was only about 45 minutes and after it was over we walked around and checked out other booths that had some fun football challenges and meet and greets with players.
Bridgette and Maggie were 10 minutes gone before my car picked me up and someone must have heard about my crazy driver because I had a new driver. He got me home safely, but he drove 90 miles an hour almost the entire way.
But he looked like he was in the mafia, so I nixed the yelling outbursts on the way back.
After all of that I was so grateful to be out of a car I almost kissed the ground. Then I realized that I forgot to grab a house key. Since I wasn’t driving myself, I didn’t grab my car keys with me out the door…therefore I didn’t have a house key. My DH was in Mississippi for the day so I had to curl up on my doorstep for over an hour (I called Shasta and talked her ear off the whole time) waiting for him to drive home.
Overall it was really fun. I hope throughout the year I get invited to more media activities in New Orleans. The Saints is as “home team” as it gets for Alabama and it was a real pleasure going out there and getting involved even on a small level.
Plus, Brees is my Quarterback for my Fantasy Football league and I have to keep him in line.
And God Bless all the mamas like Olivia the lead by example. There may be hope for Charlotte turning out OK yet.
Disclosure: While Febreze was kind enough to send a car, there was no compensation involved in this article, blah, blah, etc etc. I did get a bottle of Febreeze and a 50cent off coupon though!