Jerry Jones' Hall of Fame party: Top shelf drinks and Justin Timberlake

CANTON, Ohio -- After a day of Pro Football Hall of Fame interviews on The Midday 180 that included quality chats with Steve Largent, Jim Kelly, Bruce Matthews, Terrell Davis and Jimmy Haslam, Jonathan Hutton and I took in the Gold Jacket Dinner and then headed to Glenmoor Country Club.

There, we were among roughly 1,000 guests at Jerry Jones' party, shortly after he put on his jacket and the night before his bust is unveiled and he's inducted into The Hall of Fame.

Friends who were at Eddie DeBartolo's shindig last year said Jones worked hard to trump what rated as an all-time bash, and succeeded.

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There was only one shelf of liquor, and it was a top shelf. Black wristbands like ours got you on the floor while white wristbands got people into tiered levels above where the host had a great perch to visit with friends, family and Hall of Famers and see it all unfold in front of him.

The cocktail napkins were made for the occassion. The cocktail stirrers were topped with "JJ." The glass table tops in our area covered pictures of Jones and friends and Jones' families from different eras.

He offered a short greeting and talked about the place being filled with people on whose shoulders he rode to such success as the Cowboys owner. The team's won three Super Bowls under his watch, and he helped the league move into a new television stratosphere.


The tribute video featured Al Michaels, Chris Paul, Jimmy Kimmel, Jamie Foxx, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Jason Witten and Dak Prescott. Many of them were reacting to clips of some of Jones' more ridiculous quotes. 

And then the curtain opened, and Justin Timberlake toasted Jones before kicking off an intimate show.

He's a talented guy and it was an electric performance, though others enjoyed it a lot more than I did based on their familiarity and fandom. He looked up at one of the chandeliers and said how impressed he was with it, but that the real show of Jones' wealth was that there were eight more of them.

Chad Withrow from our show drew the short straw -- for which I am eternally sorry. I got an invitation as a member of the Hall's selection committee and was allowed to bring one guest. Hutton got the nod as he works for Titans Radio and I figured the NFL connections were a bit more important to him. We'll make it up to Withrow as we hang in Cleveland on Saturday.

We talked with Bruce Allen from Washington's front office and, who I covered when he was with the 1995 Raiders. We saw Warren Buffet. I told Bruce Smith he'd tucked his jacket into his pants as he came out of the restroom. Hutton gave Jason Witten a VFL salute. We took a picture with former UT coach, and current Cowboys receivers coach, Derek Dooley. I visited with NFL writers John Clayton and Albert Breer. Chris Christie, New Jersey's Cowboy fan governor, posed for some pictures. Happy guy for how disliked he is.

IMG 0753And we connected with Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk and her nephew, Kenneth Adams. Strunk was in a great mood and happily posed for a picture -- we toasted as Hutton and I made the case for her to eventually visit with our show.

We had a blast, and after Timberlake mixed in a Michael Jackson song and a couple Elvis numbers and took his final bow, we decided to have mercy on Withrow and attempt to reconnect.

On the way out, trays of high-caliber hamburgers were offered up, each wrapped in gold foil. We were shuttled by golf carts back to the valet stand where we were given a bottle of water and a little gift -- a box of two small, tasty cupcakes. Hutton gave his to a valet. I was bitter because I would have happily eaten four.

Saturday evening we'll be at Yankees-Indians at Progressive Field, but we'll be curious to see tweets and highlights of all the induction speeches, particularly Jones'.

Late in Timberlake's set, he was thanking us for having him. That was pretty generous of him to include "us," when it was all Jones.

I'd hear it was a $1 million party. JT isn't cheap, and neither is adding a bit on to the building, as Jones did. Take the over on that price, I'd say. (And I thought Kuharsky/Edwards annual crawfish boil in Brentwood, Tenn. was expensive!)

JT offered a second big congratulatory message to Jones, which I thought you'd want to see.

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