Cocktail Hour: Football Star Bryant McKinnie Opens Up About Super Bowl, Karaoke And Taking Tennis Lessons From Venus Williams


Writer Josh Cohen shares a cocktail with Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XLVII champion Bryant McKinnie.

WHO: Bryant McKinnie, 2001 University of Miami college football national champion, Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XLVII champion

WHAT: The Smoked Hudson Baby Bourbon Manhattan, paired with the seafood tower of Alaskan king crab, Maine lobster, colossal shrimp, ceviche and oysters, The NYY Signature Thick Cut Bacon; house-cured smoked Kurobuta pork belly and cornbread, the pan-seared scallops of bacon hash, maple vinaigrette, and cornbread croutons, and the steak tartare with traditional accompaniments and everything bagel chips.

WHERE: Legends Lounge at NYY Steak, The Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek / 954.977.6700 /

1) Being 6-foot-8-inches tall and 375 pounds means: I automatically draw a lot of attention wherever I go. People automatically assume I must do something in sports. They always ask me, “Did you ever think of playing football?”

2) People might be surprised to learn that I have a big soft spot in my heart for: underprivileged children. For the past five years I’ve had kids write me so that I could sponsor their prom night. The kids had to be doing well in school, working hard and getting good grades. I wanted them to know that good things do happen for people, and I knew that lesson would stay with these kids.

3) When I was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the seventh overall pick of the 2002 NFL draft, the first thing I thought was: What’s in Minnesota? I knew “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and Mr. Grant because my mom always watched it on Nick at Nite, but other than that, it was Prince, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and that’s it. I had no clue what Minnesota was about.

4) Venus Williams teaching me how to play tennis was: a very long, and hard process. Venus would make a great tennis coach or teacher after she retires from playing. It would be bright daylight when we started, and it would be nighttime when we stopped. It was a workout. Venus is very patient.

5) If it’s karaoke night I’m singing: John Legend’s “Ordinary People,” or Luther Vandross’ “A House Is Not a Home,” or with my boys, it’s going to be Jodeci every time.

6) Playing with Brett Favre was: one of the best experiences that I had in football. It was the best season record I had in the NFL. He really brought the team together. He’s a leader by his example. He’s a Libra. He’s a “watch me do it” type of guy.

7) Winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens following the 2012 season was: epic. When we were trailing late in that playoff game in Denver I actually caught myself starting to think about making end-of-season plans; packing up, moving, having to have my car transported, all of that. But when we won in Denver I knew we were going to win the Super Bowl. It felt like fate. That run was just crazy


Smoked Hudson Baby Bourbon Manhattan

2 ounces of Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey poured over an ice sphere; served in a wood-smoked glass; and garnished with an orange peel

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