Franco Harris and Mondo Martinis

I was downtown last night at Tony’s Big Easy Bar & Bistro preparing for the ninth Annual Mondo Martini Contest (yours truly, UncleLar is a four time undefeated champions of the event – FYI, it’s a martini making not martini drinking contest – more on Mondo Martini tomorrow after I win my fifth title tonight) when in walked Franco Harris along with Gary Gray, whom I have mentioned on this blog before. Gary and Franco were teammates on Penn State’s teams from 69-71.

Gary and Franco joined me and helped taste some of my creative work. Franco won four Super Bowls while with the Steelers and ever since then the Steelers have used the rallying cry “One for the Thumb” during their annual chase for another ring. I jokingly told Franco I was planning on getting my own “one for the thumb” tonight.

After perfecting my cocktail, Gary, Franco and I went over to the Gingerbread Man (or G-Man as it’s affectionately called here). It’s amazing to watch how much recognition Franco gets. He hasn’t played ball in twenty years yet he is still adored by many fans. There were bunches of college kids coming up to us using their cell phones to get their picture taken (admittedly they just shoved me out of the way but still I was still part of scene).

I have had some minor celebrity incidents here in State College (I’ll explain some time) but I can’t imagine what it must be like to go through that everyday like Franco. I even asked him if it bothered him and he very graciously said no, that the fans had always been good to him and he was glad that he could make them happy by obliging them with a photo. I thought that was a huge contrast to what we see in many athletes today.

Have to leave now but more tomorrow on my Mondo Martini (hopefully) winning entry.