The Olsen Files notebook: Day 7
Day 7: March 9, 2012
I get to Wayne Hills around 9 for 10 a.m. appointment and head straight to coach’s office. The aroma of a hot breakfast wafts through the air. Someone is eating -- and it smells great. Turning the corner I step inside the office and the next thing I know, a bacon egg and cheese on a roll, plus a coffee, are thrust into my hands. Wow. Talk about hospitality!
Like everything about this documentary, there is a story behind the story. Why would a sandwich be any different? Here is the history of the Olsen sandwich.
Mike Quick says this sandwich is historic. Quick and coach would always have lunch in August, during fall camp practice. This tradition dates back some ten years ago when Greg Olsen -- now a tight end for the Carolina Panthers -- was a junior in high school.
And as Quick recalls, Greg ate the same thing every time: Roast beef, American cheese, black pepper, onion, and mayo on a roll.
Coach Olsen always has a sandwich for Quick. The most memorable sandwich, and remember all of these sandwiches are exactly the same, had to be the one that coach didn’t deliver. It was handed to Quick by Greg. Greg put it in his hands just before he had to take the field for the New Jersey State Championship Game -- in the tunnel of Giants Stadium no less.
I guess coach didn’t want Quick working without his pregame meal and must have wanted it sent by “special delivery.” Pretty cool.
Anyway, back to coach’s office. Pretty much everyone from MSG Varsity was there. Eric Baudo and Bryan Butler headed a lighting crew, which would have put Hollywood to shame. Leandra, Quick, Raz, some cameramen and a few production assistants. It was an elite eleven of sorts.
Kevin was the first interview. This is a school day. We can only interview Kevin during his lunch period because coach doesn’t like to take him at of class. Kevin scarfed down his lunch and was ready for his interview with Quick. I was there to watch the process and absorb the story and the tentacles of the back-stories.
Kevin talked about everything: high school, family, football, pressures, being named the No. 1 quarterback in the country, friends, controversy etc. You name it, and Quick brought it up.
Then coach was the next interview for Quick. He gave a more serious and heartfelt interview, speaking about all three of his football-playing sons. In addition to his wife and family, he was asked about his coaching legacy, the school and, obviously, this process with Kevin.
How different it is to go through this recruiting process with Kevin as opposed to his two older boys. How he feels more prepared this time around, how he knows exactly what they, as a family, are looking for Kevin.
He also got pretty emotional, talking about his wife Sue’s battle with breast cancer. He shared the crushing diagnosis in 2002 to the recognition that she is the rock that holds everything and everyone together. She wouldn't let the boys or coach adjust their life in any way due to her illness. She embodies the Olsen mantra, “we can get through anything.”