Detroit Lions fans would like to forget the Matt Millen era but that doesn’t mean it is worth ignoring a good Millen story. The latest comes from Boomer Esiason, Millen’s former partner for Monday Night Football radio broadcasts.
According to Esiason, he and Millen were doing a game at the New England Patriot’s old Foxboro Stadium late in the 2000 season. In a game between sub-.500 teams in bad weather, one fan decided it was time to party with Mary Jane which sent second hand smoke into the broadcast booth.
From Esiason on CBS New York radio:
“Now here’s the deal. What you’re saying, for some listeners or some viewers now that are listening to us for the first time, what you’re saying is accurate. I did get high. I did. I didn’t realize I was getting high when I got high, but I got high — and I have to tell you that it was one of the best broadcasts I’ve ever had.
“… The radio booth is like a lean-to in the middle of the stands. And it’s a (December) game. It’s the Chiefs at the Patriots, both teams have major losing records, it’s raining outside, it’s cold, there might be about 40,000 people in the stadium, it is awful. And there’s this grim reaper outside of our booth, and he’s got a hoodie on and he’s got a big ol’ puffy jacket on, and he’s smoking weed. And he’s blowing it into the lean-to.
“I mean, we’re 3 minutes into the game and Matt Millen’s already looking for something to eat. And Howard David is trying to keep us focused on the game, and Matt Millen and I are talking about everything but the game.
“We have the second-hand smoke going on. Now, we obviously know what’s happening, but we don’t necessarily know that we’re reacting to what’s happening. … I was laughing my a– off for the entire first half!”
The game Esiason is talking about was played on December 4, 2000, which means that in a matter of five weeks, Millen went from stoned in a broadcast booth to president and CEO of the Detroit Lions. Was William Clay Ford in that booth with Esiason and Millen? That would explain a lot.