On Sunday, September 20, Mike Saperstein and Eric Lowrey decided to attend the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. They had not pre-purchased game tickets.
Upon arriving at the Dome, they stumbled upon a "Fan Fest" event with music, games, food, etc. After hanging out for a little while at a tent with a DJ that played old school hip-hop music, they left to try to find some low-priced game tickets.
While walking toward the stadium, they heard the MC mention the word "tickets". Stopping momentarily, they then heard him say "Whoever wants free tickets to the game, come on over to our tent -- we're going to give some away in a contest!"
They immediately went back to the tent, thinking it'd likely be a trivia contest or something similar. The MC gathered 10 contestants, including Saperstein and Lowrey. He then announced "OK I have our 10 victims, er, contestants and we're going to have a Dance Contest!"
Knowing that Lowrey had a reputation as a good dancer, they figured they had a chance to win the tickets. Needless to say they did not have any idea what was about to happen!
The MC announced that all 10 contestants would dance simultaneously to an old-school funk song. During the song each contestant would get a 10-second solo. And when it was over, the audience would decide the winner via their cheering and applause.
The contest began. There were contestants of various sizes, shapes, sexes, races, and ages. Most of them were dressed in Falcons garb, which figured to win fan approval; neither Saperstein nor Lowrey wore Falcons attire. Saperstein was 8th to solo, and went primarily with "The Sprinkler", learned earlier this year for a company video. Lowrey was 9th, and went with his trademark "Crazy Legs Dance".
The MC then gave each contestant a nickname and called for applause. The earlier leader was "The Soul Train Dancer". Saperstein, dubbed "The Dentist" by the MC, surprisingly got a lot of applause, it seemed the second-most of any contestant. Lowrey, dubbed "Napolean Dynamite's Lost Uncle", did not top it. It appeared that they had lost.
The MC then announced that the two top contestants would move on to a dance-off for the final round of the competition -- and Saperstein was in it!
The finals would be a FULL SONG dance-off, where both contestants would share the otherwise-empty stage in front of a crowd which by now was roughly 100 people. Further, each dancer had to do a 25-second solo. Saperstein had no idea how he would come up with 25 seconds of moves, but he had no choice.
(Though eliminated from the contest, Lowrey smartly remembered to take pictures and is responsible for the images seen here -- he took many more, but unfortunately due to the tremendous speed and agility of the dancers, most were very blurry)
Saperstein's opponent was "The Soul Train Dancer", Maybell, from Decatur, Georgia. It clearly would be an uphill battle.
Saperstein gave it all he had during the song, and especially during the solo. He channeled everything he could think of and pulled out all the stops -- "Pop and Lock" from his daughter's "Hannah Montana: Dance Like a Rockstar" video, "Elbow Combo Turn" and "Grapevine" from his weekly "Kickboxing with the Moms" aerobics class, "Raise the Roof" and a few other crowd-pleasers from the pro wrestling world, and of course his now trademark "Sprinkler". Amazingly enough, the women in the crowd went wild. Though Maybell had many fans, Saperstein had won over much of the crowd.
Finally, the MC congratulated both contestants and called for audience applause. Though Maybell had a number of vocal fans, the majority of the audience favored Saperstein -- he won the contest and the two tickets!!
Even hours later, Saperstein and Lowrey could not believe what had transpired. The entire game they continually broke into spontaneous laughter over the ridiculous victory.
Even more amazingly, during the game, while walking in the stadium, a woman stopped Saperstein and said in strong southern drawl "Y'all were just TOO cute out there!"
And even later, after the game had finished, while walking through an Atlanta park, two fans stopped Saperstein and Lowrey to comment on their tremendous performance in the contest.
It had clearly been one for the ages.