Joey Fatone can always say he played in a Super Bowl with a Boston icon — whose name wasn’t Tom Brady.
Nineteen years ago, Fatone and his N Sync bandmates, rulers of the ’90s pop charts, sprinted across Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium to kick off Super Bowl XXXIV’s halftime show, an event that also featured rock royalty Aerosmith along with Mary J Blige, Britney Spears, and Nelly.
Besides performing “Bye Bye Bye,” the Brooklyn-born Fatone watched his beloved Giants get crushed by the Baltimore Ravens, 34-7. “I watched them drown,” Fatone remembers. It would be the following year in 2002, however, when No. 12 and the Pats upset the St. Louis Rams, 20-17 and began what has become a nearly two-decade dynasty run which will continue Sunday in Super Bowl LIII when the Pats face the Rams once again.
Nearly two decades later, Brady is gunning for his sixth Super Bowl ring, while Fatone, now a graying 43, isn’t as confident he could replicate his Super Bowl stage dash. “I’d need an oxygen tank now,” he admits. These days Fatone only dashes are to wardrobe to change suits as host of Game Show Network’s “Common Knowledge.” Fatone says the show, in which contestants are asked everyday questions everyone should know, wrapped up filming 65 episodes in a grueling but fun three weeks.
“I now know how Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek feel,” Fatone laughs.
Denying rumors he’s the “the Rabbit” on Fox’s “The Masked Singer” (“It’s not me,” he swears), Fatone also keeps busy dispensing Super Bowl party tips as Helluva Good! pitch man. A foodie himself and owner of a start-up Orlando, Florida, hot dog cart franchise — named Fat One’s — Fatone says the doctors of chip dip’s newest party contraption, No Double Dip-Spinner, a motion-detector operated dip dispenser that partiers can choose from three preset dip amount of dip (Fatone’s a French onion dip fan, he says) to spread on all your gameday indulgences is this year’s big game party must-have.
“It’s actually a good thing, especially if you have kids,” Joey Fatone says. “I do, and you never know where their grubby little hands have been, and with the double-dippin and the drool, I don’t need that.”
Joey Fatone: Football and foodie, rock fan
While N Sync’s Super Bowl performance is conisidered iconic for a variety of reasons, to Joey Fatone, his encounter with Aerosmith guitarist and Boston native Joe Perry remains one of those remember-for-the-rest-of-your-life moments.
“I was an avid guitar collector. I had one at the time from [KISS guitarist] Gene Simmons,” Joey Fatone says. [Perry] was like, ‘Cool. That’s great. I’d love to get you one, but I don’t even think I have one.’ I even told him I’d even buy it. And that was the end of it.”
After a few days of rehearsal, Joey Fatone was called to Perry’s trailer where he was met by the guitarist and the ultimate rock gift. “Joe says, ‘Hey, I heard it was your birthday,’” Fatone says. “’I couldn’t get all the guys here, but I got you a guitar and got all the guys to sign it.’ So here I have this this Aerosmith guitar signed by all the band members, but especially Joe Perry cause it was one of his signature guitars. It was one of those surreal moments I will never forget.”