Jeff Gordon Visits New York City

NEW YORK, N.Y. - - Jeff Gordon is in New York City for a week of media interviews that will culminate with his acceptance of the 1998 Winston Cup championship at the NASCAR Awards Banquet on Friday evening at the Waldorf Astoria.

Friday, December 4

At 8:15, Jeff attended a breakfast function at the Waldorf. After that, he appeared in Times Square for the obligatory photo shoot. The warm, 70+ degree temperatures, reminded many of a different time of the year. This is the first week in December?? I'm wearing a t-shirt! The afternoon was spent in banquet rehearsal which consisted of going over his speech for a final time. And of course, the highlight of the day, and the week, was the NASCAR Awards Banquet at the Waldorf Astoria. When he took to the podium, he thanked the sponsors, the fans, his race team, and his family. In thanking the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Jeff said, "We've had great tires all year." Almost on cue, the television cameras cut to a shot of a seemingly disinterested Jack Roush. As for the champion's speech, he held it together enough to get through it, which I guess is an improvement over last year. Everything that Jeff did in 1998 was an improvement over last year.

Thursday, December 3

Dale Earnhardt was on Wall Street this morning to ring the opening bell at the stock market. How did the market do? The Dow was down 184; NASDAQ was down 40. Hardly the midas touch for Earnhardt today. As for the champion, Thursday consisted of more media stuff. Jeff participated in a 40 minute press conference at the Waldorf Astoria with Ray Evernham and Bill France. Following that, he participated in a half hour online chat session on the NASCAR Web site.

Wednesday, December 2

I'm still ecstatic over Tuesday night's Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. They were trailing Florida 4-3 late in the third period as some fans began leaving. With two seconds to go, Wayne Gretzky shoots and the puck deflects right onto the stick of Brian Leetch who scores with 0.3 on the clock to tie the game. In overtime, Adam Graves scores to give the Rangers a dramatic 5-4 win. Best game I've seen in a long time. As for Wednesday, in terms of JG appearances, this was a slow day. No live TV in front of a studio audience was on the champion's schedule. He pretty much spent the day at the Waldorf attending a few charity functions and going over his speech for Friday night. In the afternoon, he visited Esquire magazine to introduce the elitist magazine to the world of NASCAR. The evening was spent at a media reception on 57th St.

Tuesday, December 1

A relatively warm but somewhat windy day in NYC. First up was an appearance on the Today Show. Wake up at... 5 am in order to get to Rockefeller Center to go on the air at 7:40 am. Host Matt Lauer looked thoroughly out of place but tried to appear comfortable when talking with Jeff about the DuPont Chevrolet. After that, it was a quick few blocks ride over to the studios of 'Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.' In less formal attire than he wore on Today, Gordon answered questions about his career and sport.
On the corner of 42nd St and 6th Ave I looked up to see "the board." It had a large digital number that increased every second. (Kinda looked like Gordon's bank account). But, it was the U.S. National Debt and it stood at $5.6 trillion... and rising. Just something to think about.
The afternoon consisted of an interview with CNN/SI, followed by an ESPN Magazine interview. To close out the day, Gordon had an interview with "The Last Word" host Jim Rome on the Fox Sports Network.

Monday, November 30

An unseasonably warm late-November day in The Big Apple. There's an open table at Sardi's?? Boozing and schmoozing, that's what I do. The tree at Rockefeller Center is up and there's skating on the rink, but temperatures hover in the mid-50's. Unlike other areas of the country, when NASCAR comes to New York City, it rarely gets any local press. The local media virtually ignores the banquet event opting to stay with their continuing coverage of hockey, football, and off-season baseball. The front page of the Daily News reads, "N.Y. Opens Its Heart." It's a great story about two Dominican infants that were flown here for lifesaving heart surgery. The sports section screams about the recent NFL games and a triumph by the New York Rangers. Yeah, I like the trade for Petr Nedved. Now let's put together a winning streak. Of course, I digress. As expected, there's no NASCAR coverage to be found. Tomorrow, Jeff appears on 'Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.'
As for today's notes:
Jeff did a Sports Illustrated photo shoot for their upcoming special about the 12 Greatest Athletes of 1998 and had a 10:30 pm interview with MSNBC news host Brian Williams.

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