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Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash

Before you read the below, please let me preface by saying despite the below and this previous post that I am in ZERO way a Dallas Cowboys fan. Like most of you, I cannot stand them, in fact. 

With that out of the way, and the NFL Conference finals upon us this weekend, let’s talk about the biggest and best thing that happened during this past weekend’s NFL Division playoff games.

It certainly wasn’t Abbie’s Minnesota Vikings losing or Scott’s Green Bay Packers winning.

It was an authentic moment caught live on camera during the FOX broadcast.

For those who missed it, long-time (and beloved) FOX NFL Sunday co-anchor Jimmy Johnson – who, among other NFL contributions, coached the iconic Emmitt Smith/Michael Irvin/Troy Aikman Dallas Cowboy team from 1989 to 1993 – was surprised live during halftime in-studio by his cast mates that he had been chosen for the NFL Hall of Fame.

Now, at first blush this goes against anything we at HMA suggest happen while teaching our award-winning media training programs, since we focus on preparation and attempt to take as much “gotcha” out of any potential media opportunity or broadcast, be it good, bad or otherwise.

But, to me, this very real, very emotional and very well planned out moment by the marketing, public relations and production team – not to mention his cast mates and the nearby (and quick-to-tears!) Troy Aikman, who was serving as broadcaster of the very game that was in halftime – is the perfect example of a well-executed surprise handled with class, authenticity and professionalism on air by all.

While the Cowboys are well out of the playoffs, and FOX still has broadcasting the Super Bowl to look forward to in coming weeks, I think we already got our best moment of the playoffs with Johnson and company.

As an event producer, media trainer, writer, public relations practitioner and human being…Bravo!


Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

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