Baltimore - I was sitting at my desk watching the Academy Awards when I saw it. It was a commercial featuring Jacoby Jones. The spot announced the Ravens wide receiver would be one of the contestants on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. I screamed so loud my co-workers thought I was crazy. We all went straight to the web, looking for confirmation. Once we found it, we got it into the news after the Oscars.
I think it was the next day or so when my boss approached me about the assignment. I was heading to Los Angeles to cover DWTS. I've never been to L-A but I was so excited I couldn't contain myself. To add to my excitement, I learned I wouldn't just be covering one, but two local celebrities on DWTS. Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill who lives here was also picked to be on the show. While I've tried to incorporate Hamill in my stories, I have to admit she hasn't been available because she's out on the west coast. I've made arrangements to catch up with Hamill next week while I'm in L-A so to date I've focused only on Jones.
February 28 th I met Jacoby for the first time. I've dealt with other celebrities in the past so I wasn't sure what to expect. Boy was I surprised! Jones was so gracious and down to earth. I went to shake his hand and congratulate him on a great season, and he hugged me. He had a little jet lag, but didn't let it get in the way of our interview. Jones talked about his fall from grace with the Texans last year that changed his life. They were playing the Ravens as a matter of fact and it was a game changer. He dropped a punt. We moved on, and the Texans didn't. He said his jersey was burned all over town and he even had death threats! Jones told me he was the most hated player in the NFL last year. It was a humbling experience for the 28 year old. A year later, look at him, he's living the life. The New Orleans native held the Lombardi trophy in his hands while we talked. What a difference a year has made for Jacoby Jones.