There’s never enough quarters in your pocket for the office vending machine.
There would be, but you’re not the type of person who settles for the $1.00 pack of animal crackers when the Snickers bar is smiling back on his $1.50 pedestal of prestige at A5. Everyone has to stand for something and the moral slide to lawlessness starts with settling at snack time. Dig deeper; there has to be some straggler-quarters somewhere around here, right?
A couple months into his new job as a co-host at the CBS affiliate sports radio station, Cody Stoots found himself with this familiar feeling – digging deeper in his pockets trying to scrape together some extra change. But he wasn’t digging in his pockets for two vending machine quarters; he was digging for one thousand seven hundred and fifty quarters. And his unattainable Snickers bar was a shot to hang out with NFL and University of Texas legend Earl Campbell at his home in Austin.
After a morning of dicing, mixing, and sautéing a champion’s breakfast – in practice for his inevitable big break on The Food Network show Chopped – Cody headed into work for another day at the office. Some jobs are better than others and Cody’s got one of the good ones.
He sat down at the mic and in walks Earl Campbell.
“Yeah, that Earl Campbell – not some other Earl Campbell,” Cody chuckled on air as #34 took a seat just across the table from him. That Earl Campbell is known to be one of the most powerful and hard-hitting power running backs in the history of professional football. Now retired and gray, Earl still looks like he could make a few linebackers turn around and head the other way. As Tom Herman headed back to check Earl’s eligibility for another Heisman year at the University of Texas (speculation, maybe), Cody – still new on the job – watched in awe.
Cody later explained that “Earl doesn’t just show up. He’s hard to get a hold of and his media appearances are sporadic. I just sat back and listened – jaw dropped and taking it all in.”
Earl didn’t come without a purpose. Earlier in the fall, a local high school football player passed away just six hours after collapsing on the field and EC was there to host an impromptu auction of an autographed Houston Oilers jersey and give the proceeds to help the boy’s family. As the 1978 NFL MVP joked and jabbed about never lifting weights, playing for Bum Phillips, and life in the meat business, he made a strong point to emphasize the importance of football as a means of bringing community together for a bigger purpose.
The call-in bidding from listeners climbed from $1,000 to $2,000.
Cody dug in his pockets again, still a couple thousand quarters short of the $2,000 jersey.
As if the Snickers bar of a $2,000 personalized EC jersey wasn’t far enough out of the change in Cody’s pocket, in walks another NFL legend, Dan Pastorini. The bid jumped to $5,000 and Cody tried to cover up the star struck gaze he was sporting as a rookie.
Two NFL legends telling stories at your desk. Just another day in the office, right?
But it wasn’t quite over yet. Only forty minutes into the auction, Earl sweetened the pot by offering a weekend trip to his personal football-mecca-of-a-man cave in Austin to watch any college football game.
The phones started ringing off the hook.
“Everyone gets an interview with Kobe Bryant. Some people get an interview with Earl Campbell. Nobody else has raised an impromptu $7,000 live on the radio with two NFL legends.”
While Cody fell a couple quarters short of his weekend getaway with NFL legends, he couldn’t help but soak in the reality of the best work day of his life.
In between chasing Food Network reality star dreams, coaxing Kobe Bryant into provocative interview answers, and becoming king of the hill on the pickup basketball court, Cody can be found feeding his insatiable quest to find the best queso in the Lone Star State. Follow him on Twitter for an inside look at life as a major-market sports radio host or check out Sports Radio 610 for more information on charities supported by the guys on In The Loop.