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TDBH:Boomer offers snapshot of future as media descends on Bengals in Super week
January 19, 2018 05:00 AM | Geoff Hobson

MIAMI _ Tim Sullivan, The Cincinnati Enquirer's workmanlike wordsmith, visits Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason's media availability this morning with Super Bowl XXIII against the 49ers three days away at Joe Robbie Stadum. America can't get enough of the 27-year-old Esiason this week. He's blond, brash, and brilliant as the caretaker of Sam Wyche's 21st century contraption known as the no huddle offense and the lethal lefty has the NFL MVP trophy to prove it. But today Esiason's humility and honesty impress Sullivan when he shows up with a camera at the podium and asks the media types to smile. Esiason says he needs evidence because in 25 years no one is going to believe he could command such an audience.

"It was the perfect blend of innocence, exuberance and audacity," Sullivan writes. "It said to the nation's news people: 'Here's one guy who is honestly excited about being here.' We like to see that. We want a Super Bowl quarterback who behaves as if he actually appreciates attention."

The irony, of course, is that more than 25 years later Esiason routinely commands huge radio and TV audiences with one of the most recognizable faces and voices in American media of the early 21st century. Esiason's appearance at the podium comes nine years to the week he'll be named the analyst for ABC's Monday Night Football and while that gig lasts just two years it jump-starts a remarkable run that is still going. During 18 seasons he's analyzed the Monday night games on Westwood One radio, he's called more Super Bowls than anyone else. His morning show on WFAN that owns New York is in its second decade. He's in his 16tth season in the CBS Sunday studio. "You never know when you're going to get a break or in what form it will show up," Esiason says last season on the occasion of his Monday night appearance as a member of the Bengals' First 50 players. "The best thing that ever happened to me is I got bounced out of that booth and it got me doing what I've been doing for the last 15 years, which is unbelievable."

Now the fans take pictures of him on their phones.

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