By Rachel Nichols
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EDITOR'S NOTE: On occasion, we all need help. But where to turn? Fortunately, Rachel Nichols is here to bring us the special kind of advice that only the world's greatest athletes can dole out. Whether to take it or not ... well, that's up to you. Today's Ill-Advised expert: former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown, three times a member of a Super Bowl championship team, the MVP of Super Bowl XXX and now a college football radio analyst.

RACHEL: It's Super Bowl week, which can only mean one thing: We're reaching into the record books for some been-there, done-all-of-that big-game advice.

Larry Brown
Larry Brown certainly enjoyed himself during Super Bowl XXX -- he won the MVP.

Larry, somewhere back there you've got three rings, one MVP trophy and, I believe, Neil O'Donnell's pride. So what kind of advice can you give the Patriots and Eagles before they trot onto the field Sunday?

LARRY: Have as much fun as you can while you're there, because you may not ever get a chance to get back there. Don't be so tied up in the game; be sure to take a moment to take it all in.

RACHEL: Bill Belichick and Andy Reid have just put out a hit on you, you realize. You're basically encouraging these guys to bust their curfews.

LARRY: Hey, you want your family to have fun; you want to enjoy the city and the atmosphere. A couple of years ago was the first time I went to a Super Bowl without playing in it. I had no idea how exciting and how fun it was, because we were always so removed from everything.

Those guys can still make curfew. They should just party as hard as they can before that.

RACHEL: The exotic dancers of Jacksonville express their gratitude. All right, let's move on to your expectant public.

Our first question comes from Ian Platz of Wilmington, Del. He writes, "I'm a Seahawks fan and a Packers fan. But I'm surrounded by Eagles fans. What can I say to get them to be more civil?"

LARRY: He wants Eagles fans more civil. Ha! Tell him it's never going to happen; forget about it. Those folks are insane. I think they're all psychopathic. If you're a season ticket holder, counseling should be mandatory before the season starts.

RACHEL: And that's the sound of my mailbox getting bombarded with angry e-mails. Thank you very much.

LARRY: Hey, I'm just speaking the truth. I've been cursed, screamed at. I've seen Troy Aikman dolls hanging from ropes. We've had batteries thrown at us, ice balls. And the worst thing I've seen is that when Michael Irvin got hurt, they cheered.

RACHEL: Why do I get the feeling that you and the Philadelphia fans have had some interesting conversations about your mother?

LARRY: Actually, my mother's from Philly. And all my family on her side are diehard Eagles fans.

Larry Brown
Larry Brown won three Super Bowl rings -- so people should listen up.

RACHEL: You're in the family and they were still rooting for the Birds? Harsh. Good thing you weren't playing for the Giants; you'd have been up for adoption. Maybe we should go to an e-mail that's a little less touchy.

Mike in Buffalo writes, "I hate my boss, but one day I saved his life by performing the Heimlich maneuver while he was choking. How can I use this situation to my advantage?"

LARRY: I think you ask your boss how he's feeling, and then give him the look and ask for a raise. Or you say, "I'm dying right now, trying to pay my bills." He'll know what you mean. Unless he's Jerry Jones. Then you don't have a chance. Jerry would probably cut you right in the middle of you saving him from choking if it was good for the payroll.

RACHEL: Maybe that's the way Tom Landry went. I always imagined that by the time Jerry was done with him, the only thing left in the room was the hat. So sad. OK, next up is Jack Spranch in Scottsdale, Ariz. He writes, "The guys on my office softball team don't take our games seriously. We lose nearly every game, and they're normally drunk by the fourth inning. I can't really switch teams, and I want to keep playing. Any idea how I can get them to be more committed?"

LARRY: Get rid of the alcohol. Do one of those switches like on the commercial, where they think they're drinking beer but you've put Gatorade in their cans instead. Then again, it sounds like those guys are having a really good time, and maybe that's kind of the point of office softball.

RACHEL: Yeah, I'm not sure you want to take it so seriously there, Jack. Don't go Ronnie Lott on us and cut off your finger or anything.

Did you ever have to sit a teammate down and tell him to shape up for the sake of the team?

LARRY: Oh yeah. We'd call "steamroom" if someone needed to go sweat out the night before. And we'd pull guys aside and say, "You can't hang out until 4 a.m. Can you try getting in at 1 a.m. instead?"

RACHEL: Wow -- aiming high there, huh? 1 a.m. That's almost like the Marines or something.

LARRY: Hey, guys gotta do what they do. Especially Michael Irvin. He's the only one I've ever seen who can stay out all night and show up at practice the next day like it never happened.

RACHEL: I'm getting the feeling Irvin is a whole other column. In Playboy.

Michael Irvin
Michael Irvin's always displayed some flashy duds, on and off the field.

LARRY: You are not wrong.

RACHEL: Yeah, let's go instead to Tim in New York. He writes, "I just moved from Ohio to New York City for work. I work in insurance. I don't carry pens in my pocket or wear dorky glasses, but I could use some serious help to keep up with the latest trends. How can a guy be stylish?"

LARRY: New York, you have it easy. Just walk into one of those hip clothing shops in Greenwich Village. Or even easier, just put on all black. All black and a trench coat and you'll fit right in.

RACHEL: Hey, that's not fair. I'm in New York right now, and I believe part of my outfit may be gray.

Who's the most stylish guy you ever played with?

LARRY: Good stylish or bad stylish? Bad stylish, you gotta go back to Irvin. Him or Deion Sanders, and Emmitt Smith at times, too. Emmitt thinks just because it's Armani, polka dots are good. Michael had the furs. Deion had vertical stripes with polka dots in it, I think. And a matching vest. Scary.

RACHEL: Deion had furs, too. At one postgame press conference, I was reasonably sure he had mugged a ferret on the way to the podium.

Now usually we finish each week by asking what your best advice is for the people out there. But this week, let's do it Super Bowl-style: What's your best advice for the fans watching the game?

LARRY: Drink as much beer as you can. Order as much pizza. Go to every party. Do not go to sleep for 60 hours. Just go at it.

And remember: What happens in Jacksonville, stays in Jacksonville. That's all I'm gonna say.

Got an issue or a question, or otherwise need to be 'Ill-Advised' in the future? Send it to Rachel Nichols right here.




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