Charles Haley admitted that there is one similarity between playing pro football and driving a race car.
“You got to be a little nuts to do either,” said the former Dallas Cowboys star.
Truth is, Haley had as much chance fitting into an IndyCar as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man had “sliding the city” down the Paddock Viaduct on Saturday for Fort Worth’s birthday party.
Not that he wanted anything to do with the jets that flew around TMS at 220 mph on Saturday. A ride with NASCAR Sprint Cup’s Jeff Gordon years ago gave him all he wanted.
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“It scared me,” said Haley. “I asked him to pull over and let me walk back. You got to have [nerve] to drive that car around. My God.”
The soon-to-be Pro Football Hall of Famer and five-time Super Bowl winner with the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers participated in something more his speed on Saturday: He was the honorary starter for the IndyCar Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Haley, who played a menacing defensive end at 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, signaled the start of the race by waving the green flag.
“This has been a wonderful year of achievements and this is one of the highlights,” said Haley, who was selected for induction into the Hall of Fame in January. “I get to be down here on ground zero and see how these guys work.”
Hot diggity Hawg Dawg
Saginaw resident and North Side-raised Aurelio Muro confided before digging a fork into the bacon-infused Loaded Hawg Dawg: “My wife always asks me how my blood work came back, and I say fine, but she says I never show her the report.”
Eyebrows might be raised at the lab Monday after Muro, aka Big Earl, used every tool at the top of the digestive chain to down the oversized sandwich consisting of slow-cooked pulled pork, two mozzarella cheese sticks and two thick slices of bacon on a footlong bun, topped with cheddar bacon jalapeno queso and sliced jalapenos.
Lawd, have mercy.
The Hawg Dawg was the most recent of the creative offerings under TMS’ and Levy Restaurants’ Hawg Heaven brand of concessions, which has included Hawg Heaven Bacon Cotton Candy, Shake ’n Bacon Brew bacon-infused beer milkshake, the Hawg Heaven Bacon Nachos and Hawg Heaven Queso Wings.
“It’s good,” said Muro, 46. “It needs a beer to go with it, but it’s good.”
“It’s a special material.”
— Helio Castroneves to Juan Pablo Montoya, who was teasing the four-time winner at TMS about his “immovable hair.”
By the numbers
5 Starting position for both American Pharoah and Indy 500 champ Juan Pablo Montoya, who didn’t fare as well as the new Triple Crown winner, finishing fourth in the Firestone 600 on Saturday.