Greg Lewis had no inkling the last-second pass he caught from Brett Favre in Week 3 of last season might win the ESPY for "Best Play" of the year. Lewis, however, wasn't about to say no to his first opportunity to visit Los Angeles when ESPN invited him to attend its award show on Wednesday night.
"I was kind of nervous about the guy that did the flip," Lewis said when asked about the competition for the "Best Play" nominees. "I would have voted for him because I thought it was pretty exciting for somebody to do a flip and score a run. It was some stiff competition but fortunately we prevailed and it was exciting for both of us I believe.”
Lewis was referring to the flip that Fordham baseball player Brian Kownacki did over Iona catcher James Beck in order to score a run in a game last April. Fans, however, did not agree with Lewis and instead voted for the play on which Favre connected with the veteran wide receiver for a 32-yard touchdown with two seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Favre praised Lewis for making the catch in the back of the end zone as the two appeared on stage together and the quarterback later gave Lewis the ESPY to keep. “It was actually like a dream come true," Lewis said. "I’ve been watching the ESPYs since I was younger and I always said I wanted to be a part of that. To actually get a chance to go on stage and win something and to get an opportunity to do it with a Hall of Fame quarterback such as Brett. I won’t ever forget what happened this evening.”
Talking to Lewis late Wednesday night as he attended an ESPYs after-party, you got the feeling he was would have enjoyed himself regardless. Lewis said he got the opportunity to meet actor Samuel L. Jackson, new Miami Heat player Chris Bosh and had received congratulations from many.
Lewis also enjoyed simly being at the ESPYs and getting a firsthand look at how things worked inside the Nokia Theatre. Lewis recalled how he and his wife, Tamika, saw a film a few years back called "The Seat Filler." The film was about a law student who makes money by filling empty seats at award shows when they are vacated. The reason being that executives don't want empty seats visable when television cameras show the audience.
"They actually did that at the show," Lewis said. "We both were sitting there just talking about it laughing, [saying], ‘They actually do this.’ It’s hilarious. When people go to the bathroom they have somebody come and sit in their seat. It was just surreal for us to see that and just to be around all the stars and athletes and everybody that you watch on TV. Just to be a part of that and be one of them.”
Favre said on ESPN3 following the ESPYs that he hasn't decided whether he will play in 2010 and Lewis admitted that while he talked to the quarterback before the show and for about five minutes backstage, he doesn't know what Favre will do.