'Pantsless' Fort Mill mom hits Super Bowl
Football-loving blogger scores an invite to the festivities in Miami.
You may remember Julie Maloney from this time last year, when the Observer ran a story about the Fort Mill, S.C., mother of two going pantsless on Panther game days for good luck. (She watched the games from home and would cover up under a blanket or wear a skirt.)
Now, Maloney is back in the football news, in Miami as an invited guest of the Super Bowl festivities. On Tuesday, she'll join NFL greats Eli Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Maurice Jones-Drew and others in the Gatorade Science Lab to test their fitness levels.
Sunday night, she donned her Panthers shirt (and jeans) and enjoyed the Pro Bowl from a luxury box. Today she gets a media tour of the stadium. She's most pumped about getting into the "Madden Bowl," a video game competition among NFL players.
"I want to meet every single football player I can," Maloney said.
Maloney didn't just luck into these hot tickets. This 32-year-old mom is a seize-the-day type of woman. After her husband, Ryan, taught her the basics of football when they first married, Maloney fell hard for the sport. The couple named their first-born after Jake Delhomme, bought a 106-inch plasma television and figured out that when Maloney didn't have pants on, the Panthers won. (Disclaimer: A houseguest this past season prevented Maloney from shedding her pants on Sundays, thus the losing season).
Maloney launched an all-female fantasy league to help women strengthen their relationships with their spouses and began blogging about football on her saucy personal Web site, Momspective.com. The audience grew quickly, spiking to 200,000 page views the month she wrote about her hysterectomy.
She garnered an even bigger national following when she started blogging about her 60-pound weight loss using the video games on Wii Fit. She and two other moms a year ago launched the site WiiMommies.com, which garners 50,000 to 100,000 page views a month, Maloney said.
All of this blogging has led to plenty of opportunities - and a decent salary from ads on her sites, Maloney said. She works with Nintendo, EA SPORTS, Hoover, Subway and Frito Lay on various branding campaigns.
Just last week, she and other bloggers briefly appeared singing karaoke (another of her great loves) in an "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" ad that aired during the "American Idol" premiere week.
And then, the Super Bowl gig. It turns out that some women at a PR firm who joined Maloney's fantasy football league also represent Gatorade. Gatorade wanted to invite a female blogger who was into football to its Super Bowl science lab. The match was made.
Maloney dropped her 4-year-old and 22-month-old sons at her mother's, left the husband behind to work and flew out Saturday for South Beach.
On Tuesday morning, Maloney will be attached to various wires and an oxygen mask and run through various exercises, all while sampling the new G2 products due out this spring.
"I won't look pretty," Maloney said.
In between all her Miami commitments, Maloney hopes to catch the football players she adores. She won't ask for autographs - she used to work at the Martha's Vineyard airport and could tell how much celebrities hated giving their autographs - but hopes to capture them on her Flip Cam. She plans to update regularly on Twitter, (follow her @momspective).
"I want everybody I know to hate me," Maloney gloated. She's got tickets for the game, but thinks it might be more fun to watch it on TV.
It would seem that all this hubbub would lead to something even bigger for Maloney. But she doesn't know what, yet.
"I never plan anything," Maloney said. "I'm just lucky enough to have them offered to me. I'll say yes likely to whatever it is."
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