On Monday night, Week 12 of the National Football League (NFL) will conclude with the 7-3 New England Patriots visiting Louisiana to take on the undefeated New Orleans Saints. Featured during the game will be 2009 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event runner-up Darvin Moon.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30pm ET and the contest will air on cable station ESPN in the United States. It was believed that Moon would be present for the on-field coin toss, when teams choose whether to kick or receive and which goal to defend. However, the rumor ultimately proved to be false. Instead, Moon will be present in the Saints locker room during pre-game festivities and will be recognized on both ESPN as well as the Superdome’s massive screen. The stadium holds 70,000 rabid fans and is completely sold out for the primetime contest.
The game marks one of two Monday night tilts for the Saints this season. The club defeated the division rival Atlanta Falcons earlier this month 35-27 in front of a national viewing audience. Greg Bensel, Saints Vice President of Communications for the NFL team, told Poker News Daily, “Darvin is a guy that we have followed while he made his miraculous run in the Main Event. He first came to our attention as the lone guy in the tournament that refused money so he could keep his Saints hat on. He is a typical Saints fan – passionate and in love with his team – and we are proud to call him a friend of our team and a true Saints fan.”
In the early morning hours of November 10th, Moon fell to Michigan pro Joe Cada heads-up in the finale of the $10,000 buy-in tournament. In the process, Cada became the youngest WSOP Main Event champion ever at the tender age of 21, eclipsing Peter Eastgate’s standing record, set in 2008, by one year. Moon banked $5.2 million in the process and outlasted all but one player in the field of 6,494. He elected not to sign any logo deals for the final table or throughout the tournament, instead wearing a Saints hat and a Wheeling Island Hotel Casino shirt. Moon purportedly requested a one-off logo deal for $350,000, but could not reach an agreement with any company.
Moon will be seated in Bensel’s box during the game. The Maryland logger has been discussing the event with the media for some time now and also claimed that the Saints granted him season tickets. The Saints have been a juggernaut on offense this year, reminiscent of Moon’s run down the stretch in the Main Event. The club has scored 30 points in all but three games this season and bested the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week by 31 points. Quarterback Drew Brees, a Purdue product, is sixth in the NFL in passing yards with 2,746 and first in touchdowns with 22. He was the first quarterback taken in many fantasy football leagues this season coming off a career best 34 touchdown performance in 2008; he’s on pace for 35 this year.
Monday Night Football airs on ESPN, the same station that owns the broadcast rights to the WSOP. The longtime football staple formerly aired on ABC before making the move to its sister station, ESPN; Disney owns both. ESPN formerly carried Sunday Night Football, which now makes its home on NBC.
We look forward to seeing Moon on Monday night. Are you ready for some football?