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 die-hard 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.
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.
The producers met Irvin at the home of the Good Reverend Deion Sanders. Whether Sanders was clad in some crazy zoot suit and fedora typical of his preacher years is unknown and, well, irrelevant, but soon after the interview began, Irvin turned the tables on 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?