Shaking hands with Schilling and other delights

INDIANAPOLIS — I never figured I’d shake the hand of Curt Schilling. I really never figured I’d end up liking the guy, but it happened when the famed Red Sox hurler stopped by the “NFL.com Live” set, along with my cohorts, Dave Dameshek, Elliot Harrison and Jason Smith.

Schilling was just a few of the many astonishing guests who joined the show Thursday. We had Larry Fitzgerald, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Will Forte, Kurt Warner and Demaryius Thomas, to name a few.

Thomas, in particular, wasn’t thrilled to hear I beat his score on the eye-hand coordinator test at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Thomas had 51, but your hero had 63 (if you all remember).

But hey, if you spend your time playing football instead of video games, you’re going to lose to a gamer. #fact

All of the guests couldn’t have been bigger delights, each and every one of them. But again, the bigger surprise was Schilling. I hesitated when he stuck out his right hand adorned with his 2004 World Series championship ring.

“It still hurts me to see that ring,” I said to him.

“I’ve heard that before,” Schilling shot back.

But he said it was one of the first times he’s heard it from an Angels fan. The Red Sox eliminated the Angels in both 2004 and 2007 on the way to the World Series. The Red Sox-Angels rivalry (which he called underrated) also goes back to 1986. I even told him I was one of the few people actually pulling for the Yankees as they were squandering a 3-0 series lead in 2004.

Schilling said he understood, and after a lengthy conversation, which included speculation about Rob Gronkowski extending the Boston tradition of the bloody sock, we parted as friends. Or at least guys who understood each other. And isn’t that what the Super Bowl is all about?

Well, that and deciding the NFL champion, I guess.

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