Standing at the 40-yard line, crouched in a wide receiver stance, Kyle Gargaro prepared to scratch another item off his bucket list: Run the 40-yard dash at Cowboy Stadium.

Dressed in an unbuttoned sports coat, slacks, and a pair of JC Penney’s finest penny loafers, he peered above his eyeglasses and asked in a determined voice, “Are you ready?”

Then, in the blink of an eye, he was off. Pumping his legs as if he was attempting to outrun a charging Pamplona bull, Gargaro mentally became Usain Bolt. Hurtling toward the end zone with a bounce reminiscent of a young John Goodman (circa “King Ralph”), the finish line drew nearer and nearer. And, a mere six seconds later (unofficially), Kyle “The Jet” Gargaro had scored his touchdown.

But he wasn’t done there. To celebrate his heroic sprint, he coasted through the end zone — shirttail flapping in the wind — and leapt toward the barrier that, on most fall Sundays, restrains tens of thousands of crazed Cowboy fans. Quickly reminded of gravity’s firm grasp, Gargaro’s fatigued legs lifted him mere inches into the sky. And, even if his Lambeau Leap fell a few (several) feet short, he certainly left it all out on the field. … Luckily, I was in the right place at the right time to capture this footage. See for yourself:

Welcome to the Show

Next week, much of the HVACR industry will be drenched in cutting-edge heating and cooling technologies at the AHR Expo in Chicago. And, while the show is a mecca for new equipment, it’s also an ample environment for contractors, distributors, manufacturers, educators, students, and anyone else with a sliver of interest in the industry to network.

This is your opportunity to share business cards with the who’s who of HVAC. Stephen Yurek, president and CEO, Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); Talbot Gee, CEO, Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI); and Paul Stalknecht, CEO, ACCA, are just a few of the industry’s most recognizable faces you’ll see in Chicago.

Regular NEWS contributors, Butch Welsch, Dan Holohan, John Tomczyk, and others will be in attendance, and this is NEWS refrigeration editor Peter Powell’s last rodeo, as he is retiring in February.

Be sure to keep your head on a swivel, as previous expos have attracted the likes of William “Fridge” Perry, Don Shula, Roger Staubach, Bart Starr, and many more.

Ain’t Going Down Till the Sun Comes Up

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down as many manufacturers entertain attendees through VIP evening activities. In fact, the aforementioned 40-yard dash occurred at an Emerson Climate Technologies party during the 2013 expo. Emerson’s distinguished guests tossed the pigskin around as if they were Tony Romo, toured the locker room, entered the field through ‘the tunnel,’ caught glimpses of themselves on Jerry World’s massive 160-foot-long scoreboard, danced with the world-renowned Cowboy cheerleaders, and much more. This year, Emerson will be hosting evening activities at Chicago’s famous Museum of Science and Industry.

Additionally this year, Chicago will welcome a Danfoss party at the House of Blues, hilmor will offer an arcade-inspired game night at Headquarters Beercade, and Taco Inc. is planning on filling the Regency Ballroom with shrimp. Taco’s shrimp spread in 2012 — the last time the show was in Chicago — was enough to satisfy even Bubba Gump’s desires. I kid you not.

The AHR Expo only comes once a year. So, while in Chicago, make sure you introduce yourself to as many people as you can, ask as many questions as humanly possible, and soak up the information like a sponge.

Oh, if you happen to catch The Jet on the show floor, shake his hand and rib him about his dynamite 40-yard dash. And, if you’re lucky enough to bump into him at an afterhours karaoke bar, hand him a microphone. He does a mean “Takin’ Care of Business.”

See you all next week.

Publication date: 1/19/2015

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