After 32 years, saying goodbye to The Baltimore Sun

During a break in filming, we went outside and were talking near his Mercedes when a young woman happened by pushing a baby carriage.

As soon as she spotted us, her eyes widened.

"Oh, my God!" she cried. "It's Kevin Cowherd!"

It turned out to be a friend from my old neighborhood, but I didn't tell a bemused Palmer that, not right away.

Instead I just nudged him and said: "Now that's star-power, baby."

Before I go, here's a shout-out to all my wonderful colleagues in the sports department who made me look good the past four years, especially Dan Connolly, Ed Encina, Jeff Zrebiec, Aaron Wilson, Ed Lee, Matt Vensel, Peter Schmuck, Mike Preston, Jeff "Chief" Barker, Don Markus, Kevin Richardson and a deputy sports editor who sits atop everyone's Mr. Nice Guy list, Matt Bracken.

Thanks, too, to all of you who read me over the years, even the ones who ripped me. I could take it. With nearly 40 years in this business, you develop a hide like a rhinoceros.

People always ask me to list my all-time favorite assignment, and here's where the story comes full circle.

In the mid-90s, I was asked to do a "Catching Up With ..." feature with John Unitas. I was no longer star-struck in his presence — we'd chatted a number of times by then. But it still felt like I was catching up with Zeus.

We met at a restaurant in Mount Washington. Unitas couldn't have been more charming. He had a couple of cocktails and we spent three hours talking about football and life, mostly life.

As we stood to leave, I told him about spotting him on my first night in Baltimore, him having dinner with his family and tending patiently to his kids.

Unitas furrowed his brow, trying to recall that long-ago meal.

At last he smiled and said: "I was probably just trying to shut 'em up."

Those are the moments I'm going to miss.

So long, everyone.

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