The fourth annual DirecTV Beach Bowl brings together celebrities and former NFL players for a no-holds-barred flag-football contest on the sands of South Beach.
The event features some heavy hitters in the entertainment world including, Taylor Lautner (Twilight), Jennifer Lopez, Kellan Lutz, Marisa Miller, Brian McKnight, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Jessica Szohr. The Giants’ Eli Manning and Jets’ Mark Sanchez will coach the Red and White teams, respectively. Ex-NFL stars Warren Moon and Merril Hoge will each captain a team and other former players participating include Troy Aikman, Eddie George, Mark Schlererth and Daryl Johnston.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew will be one of the referees for the game and he spoke with Miami.com about what fans can expect on Saturday and what he likes to do while he’s in Miami.
Tell me a little about the Beach Bowl?
It’s the second time I’m doing it and the crowd has gotten bigger and bigger each year. It’s a free event and I’m going to be one of the referees. I’m going to flag everyone. The coaches are Mark Sanchez and Eli Manning. Some former NFL players are going to be there like Troy Aikman and Warren Moon, plus some actors and models. But the only person you need to mention is me because I’m going to ref.
What do you like most about the Beach Bowl?
The atmosphere is real laid back but some people really get into it. Last year I got yelled at by Warren Moon for all the flags I was throwing. This year I’m going to give Aikman all the calls since he went to UCLA. It’s one of those events I like to do year after year.
What celebrity you think will provide the best competition on Saturday?
Last year Brody (Jenner) from the Hills was the MVP. He came out of nowhere. I think Troy Aikman versus Warren Moon is going to be great. It’s an old rivalry. Those bones don’t go anywhere.
Warren Moon and Eddie George are going to be taking part in Saturday’s games. Are those two guys you looked up two growing up?
Eddie George is one for sure. Warren Moon broke the color barrier and he went through a lot of things in his career. It’s something special seeing him; he gave a lot of young African-Americans an opportunity. It’s because of the older players that the league is the way it is now. It’s a good time to talk to them and get to understand them a bit.
What do you like about Miami?
What don’t I like about Miami. First of all Miami is just a great place. You have the beach and there are great restaurants. I love it! This is where I train in the springtime. It has that exotic Caribbean feel to it.
Where do you like to go out and party while you’re down here?
I don’t party. I just go to the bars and lounges at the hotel I’m staying at. If I do go somewhere I go to Club Play (1045 5th Street, Miami Beach). It’s pretty cool.
What are some of the things you’re doing this week leading up to the Super Bowl?
A lot of appearances on radio row. This is where you can meet a lot of different people and make relationships. I’m going to meet with the CEO of Reebok later this week.
Do you think the Super Bowl should come back to South Florida?
I definitely like it to move around but this is definitely one of my favorite places. It should come back.