WASHINGTON – Maybe it was her raucous rendition of “Who Let the Dogs Out” after the Baltimore Ravens won last year’s Super Bowl. Maybe it was the story about how she spent her first paycheck on Baltimore Colts season tickets.
Whatever the reason, Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s passion for football landed her a slot as one of seven women, and the only politician, on “Her Life and the NFL,” which airs tonight on Lifetime Television.
The Maryland Democrat will talk about the impact on Baltimore of the Ravens Super Bowl win and will reminisce about the Colts team of her childhood.
Mikulski’s segment takes up about 10 minutes of the hour-long program. Her office said the senator really enjoyed doing the show.
Filming actually took place last summer. The final sequence was filmed Sept. 10, at an appearance by the senator in support of firefighters.
The segment includes Mikulski singing “Who Let the Dogs Out.” She taunted New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, flapping her “wings” and singing the song after the Ravens beat the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. As part of a bet on the game, the losing New Yorkers had to read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” in the Capitol.
Michele Valkov, an NFL producer, said Mikulski first caught her attention during a “Larry King Show” appearance and again upon the Maryland senators’ high-profile bet with the New Yorkers.
The more they talked, Valkov said, the more impressed she became with Mikulski’s love for the game.
“There’s not a lot of women who could talk about Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas,” Valkov said.
Harriet Saltzman, sports programming vice president at Lifetime Television, said Mikulski is the biggest fan featured on the program. The show also includes segments with Cindy Gruden, wife of Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden; a group of teen-age girls who are Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans; and NASA scientist Anna McGowan, among others.
Baltimore Ravens executives could not be reached Thursday to comment on Mikulski’s football fanaticism. Team officials were all on a flight to New Orleans for this year’s Super Bowl.
Mikulski last year appeared with the Ravens and state and local elected officials after the team won the Super Bowl last year, and she and Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., had a Senate resolution passed congratulating the team on its win.
The NFL said 43 percent of its fan base is women, and that more women will watch the Super Bowl this weekend than will watch this year’s Academy Awards. Lifetime Television said 54 million American women follow pro football.
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