Jun 5, 2006

Michael Irvin: The Playmaker Becomes The Matchmaker

Friends and coworkers, Nick Dolin and Lisa Bennett, were producers on HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.” The duo seemed like a great fit; they had similar interests (he had a love for the Mets while she was a diehard Phillies fan) and were close friends.

Romance seemed like the next reasonable step in their relationship but Bennett was reluctant. She’d been “involved” at work before and wasn’t keen on taking the plunge again, least of all with her closest platonic friend.

Enter The Playmaker.

In late 2001, much was made about Michael Irvin’s self-proclaimed new lease on life. With the help of friends and family, Irvin supposedly abandoned the world of drug abuse and sexual license for that of born-again Christianity, and the skeptical sports media was champing at the bit for the story.

Real Sports sent Dolin and Bennett to Dallas to get the exclusive, and they met Irvin at the home of the Good Reverend Deion Sanders. But soon after the interview began, Irvin turned the tables on the Dolin and Bennett, and asked why they weren’t a couple.

According to reports, their faces turned beet red in embarrassment, but we all know that The Playmaker left no time for the awkward silence often found in situations of this nature. He pressed them on their status, insisting that God put them together for a reason.

“I had to say something,” said Irvin. “In that other world, that spiritual world, that soul mate world, there was something going on soul to soul, not body to body.”

I wonder what his soulmate speech sounded like. Did he quote scripture? Did he get the gruff rumble in his voice that is often heard when he’s making inane comments during Monday Night Countdown?

Though these facts are probably only known to the Dolins and Irvin, I know one thing: if his talk was anything like his locker room speech with the Miami Hurricane football players before their game against Florida State last season, this union would could have been in the gutter before ever getting off the ground.

Michael Irvin – Miami Hurricane Pregame Speech

Fortunately, Irvin gives better trumpet calls for romance than he does rivalry football games (the Canes lost their season opener to FSU, 10-7). His words planted the seeds of possibility and last December, Nick Dolin proposed to Lisa Bennett.

The couple recently married at a TriBeCa restaurant and while reception guests dined on a do-it-yourself cheeseburger buffet, the newlyweds were greeted by a video message from Michael Irvin:

“Your love, even when you were not together, it was a beautiful thing to watch. You were like two little kids playing together.” ,em>Irvin continued to wax poetic, suggesting that the Dolins name their soon to be born baby after him. “Michael, or Michaela if it’s a girl.”

And that makes complete sense. Why wouldn’t new parents opt to name their child after a former drug addict who treats the English language like a two-dollar hooker?

Until now, I thought the only thing Michael Irvin could hook me up with was a fifth of Hennessey, a fur coat and the location of the nearest crack den. But look at the Playmaker, taking his skills to the next level. It’s almost too good to be true, isn’t it?

Michael Irvin… a modern day Yente.


  • The matchmaker thing is good but his lockerroom speech is priceless :) Can you send that to me?

  • Maybe they can do the middle name thing like Bob Costas did with Kirby Puckett. Irvin’s football skills notwithstanding, you don’t want the kid finding out 15 years down the road that the guy you named him after was also into crack and hookers.

  • The clip sent my office into hysterics. classic comedy!

  • haha nice. Is the Reverend Deion still in action or was that a temporary thing? I haven’t seen an infomercial featuring him and MC Hammer in quite a while :)

  • “All the running, all the hitting, all of THAT!” He’s tryin so damn hard to be serious that I almost feel bad for doubling over in laughter.

  • Haha one day Lil Pookie will appreciate being a namesake!

  • Shit ive gotta a feeling Lil Pookie’s life is doomed no matter what his first name ends up being. His parents listened to Michael Irvin….who knows who else they’re takin advise from!

  • What the hell is Yente?

  • Yente is the matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof.” If she mentions something you can’t define, you might want to assume it’s a Jewish reference.


I am a jaded, sarcastic girl prone to unreasonable fits of rage. This site is my outlet. I am not classy, nice, or fair. It's best you know that up front.


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