by Kimberly “Cookie” Pagan

TINSELTOWN, USA – The idea for this post was hatched several days back, after the Management requested I throw some celebrity talk in the mix to get our thoughts off the east coast weather whatever ails us about our beloved NY teams. However, as of this post’s final edit (Thursday evening), I’d be remiss in not touching upon current events.

This week, Ed McMahon kicked it (Hi Yo!)

Farrah Fawcett became a real Angel (I know… not original and pass the cheese),

… And Michael Jackson Beat It, rounding out our Hollywood Death Trifecta.

All three have family and friends who mourn them. May you all rest in peace.

While I haven’t had encounters with Ed, Farrah or Michael, I have had plenty of other celebrity encounters. So, in an effort to cheer you up if you’re bummed about the aforementioned passings, I give for your consideration, Cookie’s Close Encounters of the Sports Celebrity Kind:

  • SOCCER: The Favorite MTM Sport: Many years ago, after attending a NY Cosmos game, my Aunt, brother and I were nearly hit by a stretch limo coming out of the stadium’s underbelly. My Aunt proceeded to curse a stuttering, Puerto Rican-accented blue streak at the car and driver. The passenger power window then descended and there was Pele!!! This gentleman and legend apologized to my Aunt, brother and me. After Aunt Cookie accepted the apology, Pele smiled and pulled away. Before the window rolled back up, I yelled: “Soccer SUCKS!” Hey, what can I say? We sat there for hours and the thing ends in a tie??? Pfft!!
  • GIANTS FOOTBALL: I once attended a big shindig for a movie opening in the Hamptons. The after-party was at advertising big wig (pun intended – the dude is balder than any Matt) Jerry DellaFamina’s house. Specifically, it was at his pool house, which made most single-family homes look like dog houses. Anyway, the celeb fruit salad mix included Heather Graham, Dick Cavett, and Chuck Scarborough; and a one Tiki Barber. I saw him out by the pool, and then again inside as I walked down a narrow corridor to use the restroom. As he passed by, he smiled and said “Excuse me.” I grabbed the nearest Nerf football, gave him a nod and when he got to the end of the hallway, he caught my Nerf pass! What a guy! Too bad his career then went to the dogs. I am pretty sure that was the last pass Tiki caught before becoming the throw away news item flunkie for NBC.
  • JETS FOOTBALL: On a flight to Vegas, Herm Edwards was sucking it up with the rest of us suckers in Coach Class. In Vegas, I was standing not too far from lemon-faced Herm at the baggage carousel, I (loudly) said to my beau, “Pffft. That dude better pack all his bags for another city when he gets back to NY.” Ahhh… Prophetic, I tell ya.
  • JERRY MCGUIRE FOOTBALL: Also in Vegas, Cuba Gooding Jr. sidled up to my table at Nobu. He told me, “I’d ‘walk a mile on my lips to get to the junk in your trunk.” (OK, that wasn’t my story. But it is a true story of a friend of mine.)
  • MEN’S TENNIS: I once saw tennis hottie Patrick Rafter (during his heyday) practicing on a court in Bermuda. He asked me if I wanted to help him pick up his balls.
  • WOMEN’S TENNIS: While registering for my wedding at Bloomies, I saw Monica Seles browsing kitchen cutlery.
  • CYCLING: As previously detailed here on, that one-ball Lance Armstrong has is a BIG one. He hit me up for money at a deli for his AM breakfast, and folks, it wasn’t Wheaties.
  • BASEBALL: Years ago in a Chicago bar, unbeknownst to me, I stood back to back with Derek Lowe. A Lilliputian video manager for the Red Sox was trying to pick me up and alerted me to Lowe’s proximity. I looked over my shoulder and loudly said,
  • “Eh… not impressed. I’m a YANKEE fan.”

  • MORE BASEBALL: In one of NYC’s finer restaurants, Carlos Beltran bellied up to the bar beside me. Ironically, Mr. Clean pointed out a small spot on my white shirt.
  • AND SPEAKING OF BARS: I once had sushi and drinks with Jim Leyritz. Nice guy. Didn’t seem like he had a drinking problem.
  • HOCKEY: Eric Lindros once bumped into me at a nightclub. I kinda played it off like he crosschecked me, but he didn’t think it was funny.
  • BASKETBALL: Several years back while on a snowboarding vacation, I saw Charles Barkley. Sir Charles asked me for some snowboarding tips. I tell ya, those basketball guys are uncoordinated.
  • HORIZONTAL MAMBO CHAMPION: Matt Dillon tried to pick me up when I was seventeen and in a NYC Nightclub (the days when IDing wasn’t so rampant). I was standing outside the Ladies Room, waiting for my turn when he looks at me and says, “So.. you waiting for the bathroom?” “Yeeeeah…” I replied. Phew. If that’s what his opening line was, I was glad not to go any further with him.
  • I’ve got plenty more celeb sightings but will leave it sports-related for now and hope the rest of you will have some great encounters to add. Bonus points go to anyone who’s seen Billy Crystal. Extra credit will be given to anyone who (in the future) says something witty to Billy about his flip-flopping allegiance to NY baseball teams. If you should happen to get video of it, I’m pretty sure it will be a feature video here on In fact, I feel so confident about that I’m not even checking with Management. No insult, Matts – I just feel pretty confident you’d value this as video genius.

    Happy Friday kids! Keep your eyes peeled for stars, they work for the weekend just like the rest of us!

    P.s… I’ve been asked to let you know that The Matts will be posting from Cooperstown tomorrow, as they are playing hardball at Doubleday Field at 1pm… They will also be doing something on the Main Street and are soliciting ideas for a bit.

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    About Cookie 101 Articles
    Cookie, like 7 fifths of the MTM staff, was brought in by The Franchise (Angry Ward). They met sitting near each other at a NY Rangers game. She's our Angelina Jolie in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" - by day the fetching wife and young mother of two little boys; by night the hot, sports fanatic that mixes in triathlons and X-Treme sports with her love for the Yankees, Brooklyn Nets, NY Rangers and... Denver Broncos. She is, like most of the rotation, more than a bit sassy, bakes like nobody's business and is one smart... Cookie. She too, needs to be in a bikini as often as possible.