Super Bowl Champion Drew Brees will be in Atlantic City on Friday, March 5, as the 73rd annual Maxwell Football Club Awards dinner returns to Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City.
Brees, who quarterbacked the New Orleans Saints to winning the Super Bowl last month in Miami, Fla., will be the featured athlete at the formal dinner, but he will hardly be the only major athlete in town. Brees will accept the annual Bert Bell Award at the banquet, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Maxwell Award is presented annually to a collegiate football player judged by a panel of sportscasters, sportswriters, and National Collegiate Athletic Association head coaches and the membership of the Maxwell Football Club to be the best football player in the United States.
"It's an absolute honor to again host the Maxwell Football Club Awards at Harrah's," says Jay Snowden, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah's and Showboat Casino-Hotel. "Unique events such as the Maxwell Awards Dinner continue to support that Atlantic City is truly home to all things entertainment."
Aside from Brees, other notable award-winners in attendance will be: Colt McCoy, University of Texas quarterback and 2008 Heisman Trophy runner-up, will receive the Maxwell Award; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will receive the "Greasy" Neale Award; Nebraska defensive tackle and 2009 AP Player of the Year Ndamukong Suh will receive the Chuck Bednaril Award; Temple University head coach Al Golden will receive the Tri-State Coach Award; Villanova University wide receiver Matt Szczur will receive the Tr-State Player Award; Villanova head coach Andy Talley will receive the President's Award; and ESPN/ABC broadcaster Brent Musburger will receive the Harrah's Broadcast Award.
Presenters include former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil, former Tampa Bay and Oakland head coach and ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, ESPN analysts Sal Paolantonio and Suzy Kolber, and former Philadelphia Eagle Vince Papale. Maxwell president and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski will also be in attendance.
A press conference, which will be open and free to the public, will be held noon Friday in Harrah's Concert Venue.
Tickets for the awards banquet are priced from $300 per person to $3,500 for a table of 12. Call 215-643-3833.
WSOP Circuit Event
High-stakes poker action began Wednesday and continues through March 14 at Caesars Atlantic City as it hosts the World Series of Poker Circuit Event.
The 12-event tournament features buy-ins ranging from a $200 Turbo No-Limit game to the $5,000 No Limit Hold 'Em finale. Last year's circuit even championship purse was more than $1 million.
Satellite games will also be available from noon to midnight every day of the Circuit Event, and some of the best poker players in the country are expected to attend.
The winner of the main event will not just walk away with a big stack of chips, but will also qualify for a $10,000 seat in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event, which will be held at The Rio in Las Vegas, this summer. Winners of all Circuit Events will win a WSOP ring, or in the case of the Ladies Only No Limit Hold 'Em final, a pendant.
Joel Madden of Good Charlotte performed a special DJ set at Dusk at Caesars Atlantic City last Saturday night. The rocker mentioned that he is really pumped about his band's anticipated album, "Cardiology," which is expected to be released in April.
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort helped basketball legend and former Philadelphia 76ers forward Julius "Dr. J" Erving celebrate his 60th birthday. An elaborate party was thrown for Erving, who was joined by his family as well as tennis pro Alexandra Stevenson, former NBA players Bill Russell, George Tinsley, Charles Oakley, John Starks and Charles Smith. The NFL was represented by Reggie Howard, Ricky Watters and Richard Dent.
The second Atlantic City Restaurant Week continues to Saturday, March 6. Early reports are that this year's edition, thanks to some cooperative weather, is even more successful than the first.
If you're looking for some quick suggestions, check out Il Mulino at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Max's and Roberto's inside Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Dock's Oyster House and the Knife & Fork Inn in Atlantic City, and Sage in Ventnor.
Diners receive multi-course lunch and dinners for $15.10 and $33.10, respectively. For more information and a complete list of restaurants, go to acrestaurantweek.com.
I had the honor of hosting the Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey's annual scholarship gala. This year's event was held at Seaview, A Dolce Resort, in Galloway Township.
Seaview Executive Chef Graham Weber and his staff wowed more than 250 attendees with a lavish cocktail hour that included action stations that offered everything from sushi to crab cake sliders to homemade ravioli. Dinner was equally enticing with a main entr�e that included filet mignon and Chilean sea bass. Desserts were made by Seaview, as well as various casino hotels. And the Cheers band had the attendees dancing right to the end of the event.
The event raises money for scholarships for students pursuing degrees in the culinary arts, and awards are also distributed.
Honors were presented to: Beverly E Di Meglio for purveyor of the year; John Cerquitella for member of the year; Guy Dunagan for professionalism; Joseph Sheridan for educator of the year; Terry Wargo of the Tropicana Casino and Resort for pastry chef of the year; and consultant and PCASJ President Willie Lewis for chef of the year. Scholarships were presented to Joshua Winokur and Andrew P. Huggard.
'Alice' in IMAX
Tim Burton's reimagining of "Alice in Wonderland" hits screens across the nation on Friday, March 5. But if you want to see it in all its 3-D glory, check it out at the IMAX Theatre at the Tropicana.
Advance ticket purchases, priced at $15, are recommended. Call 609-340-4045.
- Scott Cronick