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updated: 9/25/2012 8:10 PM

A walk on the wild side with 'Feherty Live'

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  • Two sports legends, Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps, joined David Feherty at Golf Channel's "Feherty Live from the Ryder Cup" show, which was taped Monday at the Tivoli Theatre. It airs tonight at 8 p.m.

      Two sports legends, Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps, joined David Feherty at Golf Channel's "Feherty Live from the Ryder Cup" show, which was taped Monday at the Tivoli Theatre. It airs tonight at 8 p.m.
    Photo courtesy Ross Dettman/AP Images for Golf Cha

  • Basketball legend Michael Jordan and Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps share a laugh during The Golf Channel's "Feherty Live from the Ryder Cup" program, which was taped at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove. The special airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on The Golf Channel.

      Basketball legend Michael Jordan and Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps share a laugh during The Golf Channel's "Feherty Live from the Ryder Cup" program, which was taped at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove. The special airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday on The Golf Channel.
    Photo courtesy Ross Dettman/AP Images for Golf Cha

 
 

There is something inherently weird about walking down a deserted red carpet with klieg lights still blasting away and the only other people in the vicinity are a couple walking their dog and a young lady with the all-important credentials smiling at my awkwardness from way, way down at the other end of the carpet.

Man, I really, really wish I hadn't arrived so late.

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Welcome to the beginning of my VIP experience at Monday night's taping of "Feherty Live," at the Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove. The show will be aired Wednesday night.

Once inside the green room, aka the enclosed tent connected to a back door of the theater, there was schmoozing, mini crabcakes, an inspirational speech from a bigwig at the Golf Channel ("This is not golf this is David!") and a couple more mini crabcakes for good measure.

Then it was time.

"OK folks, we're going to begin the seating process," a stagehand bellowed, and out of the tent we poured. In front of the stage, up the center aisle and directly into open seats, which were silently pointed out by the "Feherty Live" production staff. Airlines could only dream of seating people this efficiently.

I grabbed my seat about 20 rows up, listened to the last half of Josh Kelley's amazing live rendition of "Amazing" and settled in for what I hoped would be a night of frivolity.

I wasn't disappointed.

Check that. After a rough start, I wasn't disappointed.

But c'mon, this is David Feherty, you know it's going to be good.

After a hilarious opening video that featured the newly christened American citizen showing off his Irish wit and quite a bit more, Feherty took the stage fully clothed, fortunately. He sported a suit that was a tribute to both the U.S. and European teams, but definitely not to fashion.

After another video or two and some more music from Kelley and Co. during a commercial break, it was time to bring on the guests.

The first of the night was Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who simply didn't make a splash Monday.

"How many days over the last 12 years were you dry?" Feherty asked.

Phelps' answer to that query -- and the rest of the conversation for that matter -- were a true test of Feherty's interviewing chops. But coming through in the clutch, as usual around here, was none other than Michael Jordan, who made a surprise appearance midway through the interview.

Thank you, MJ!

"Between the three of us we have 39 world records and 22 Olympic gold medals," Feherty quipped.

And from that point on, the show shifted gears and took off.

There was former Ryder Cupper Paul Azinger sharing an amazing story on his showdown with the late Seve Ballesteros during the 1989 Ryder Cup at The Belfry.

There were old friends Sam Torrance and Lanny Wadkins sitting around and shooting the breeze.

There was seriousness Monday night. There was touching. And there was plenty of funny.

But most of all there was Feherty ... the true VIP.

• Feherty Live can been seen at 8 p.m. Wednesday on The Golf Channel.

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