If you've been following the ''Marriage Madness'' competition on ''Mike & Mike in the Morning,'' you know about Olivia and Adam, the top seeds in the competition for a wedding at ESPN HQ in Bristol, Conn. They were also my local connection to the competition, so I was watching the final announcement Thursday morning -- only to see that they did not win.
I e-mailed them some questions about the experience, and they answered back today. Here are my questions and their answers:
What was the best aspect of getting this far?
The overall experience was phenomenal. Sports is a true passion of ours, and when we got this far in the competition we lost sight of what the grand prize was and got caught up in the competitive nature of REALLY wanting to win. The best thing was that we got to experience something that very few get to experience and we made our family, friends, colleagues, and hopefully all Cleveland sports fans proud of us and proud to be Cleveland fans themselves. We gave it all we had, but the cards just didn't fall right this time. However, this is an experience that we would not trade for anything!
Did you win things for being second? If so, what?
Second place definitely doesn't go home empty handed. Although the prizes for second are significantly less than the grand prize, they are still extraordinary. For being selected as the runner-up couple you have won the following prizes.
It is not the ultimate sports wedding, but we are not unhappy with any of the prizes we do receive.
How was it to sit there, on national TV and radio, and find out that you didn't win? And gosh, how quickly were you ushered out after the winner was announced?
It was tough to sit LIVE on national TV and Radio and hear that we lost. It was a lot tougher than we thought it would be. Getting into it as much as we did made it feel like an actual sporting event or championship game, you know with the butterflies rumbling in your stomach, the adrenaline pumping, the palms are sweating, and you think you have got it, and then its gone... It is tough to finish in second place when you go in thinking you’ve got a good chance to walk away with it all. In our opinion, as broadcast yesterday, we said it would have been a lot easier to lose in the first or second round than in the championship, but then we would not have been able to have this experience, and this is something we will be talking about for the rest of our lives. Winning would have been nice, but we wouldn’t give up the experience for anything.
They announced the winner at 7:40am, so there were over 2 hours of show left when we found out the wedding wasn't ours. Everyone at ESPN and ESPNRadio, Larry Gifford, Freddy Rolon, Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, and their whole broadcasting crew are exceptional people who treated us with such respect and made this become one of the best trips and experience that I or Olivia has ever had. Not to mention they are funny as hell. They did not usher us out at all, we were welcome to stay there as long as we wished. Everyone was very professional and everything they had for us was beyond any of our wildest expectations. Similar to American Idol, they wanted to broadcast our reaction and let us have a chance to be in front of a national audience one last time (and as a side note, we had so much fun we hope it wasn’t our last!). It gave us a chance to say ‘thank you’ to all our supporters, the people who got us this far. It was hard, but well worth it.
What are the wedding plans now? Did you at least book that reception hall you mentioned before? Got a wedding date?
Well, since we put all the wedding plans on hold when we found out that we were part of the final 16 in the competition, I guess it's time to go back to the drawing board. We haven't set an absolutely official wedding date yet. My (Olivia's) brother, Alex Lupson, is a Marine and goes back for his second tour in Iraq this summer and will be stationed over there for nine months, so our wedding will most likely be sometime in the spring of 2007, we will keep you posted as our plans advance! Again, it may not be the ‘Ultimate Sports’ wedding, but we found the right match so it will be the perfect one.