Everybody Loves Vai -- Including Ryan Howard - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Everybody Loves Vai -- Including Ryan Howard



    Everybody Loves Vai -- Including Ryan Howard
    NBCPhiladelphia's-own Vai Sikahema received a special shoutout during Game 5.

    Looks like our viewers aren’t the only ones crazy about NBCPhiladelphia’s very own Vai Sikahema.

    During the World Series Game 5 broadcast Fox's Joe Buck revealed that Vai was Phillie Ryan Howard’s favorite player growing up.

    The revelation was nothing new to the former Eagles great who started his career in the Howard's hometown of St. Louis.

    “He told me several years ago when we first met and just before I did a sit down interview with him,” said Sikahema. “He is a HUGE football fan. He knew all of my teammates on the Cardinals and asked all kinds of questions about them.”

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    Sikahema was a two-time Pro-Bowl kickoff returner and running back for the then St. Louis Cardinals after being drafted in the tenth round of the 1986 NFL Draft.

    He remembered Buck fondly from those St. Louis days when both the future announcer and the future sportscaster were sharing the Cardinals' locker room.

    "Buck was a teenage ball boy at training camp when I was a Cardinal. We made that connection at last year's World Series when Joe reminded me that he used to put my clean laundry in my locker and also cleaned our cleats," said Vai.

    But the then elementary-school age Howard didn't know any of that back then. He just liked Vai.

    Unfortunately for Howard he didn't get much time to enjoy Sikahema and the Cardinals in his hometown. The Cards moved to Phoenix after the 1987 season. Howard, though, remained a dedicated fan of Sikahema's after the move.

    Sikahema later had stints with the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles before retiring in 1993. Oh yeah, he also made himself into a local legend after he punched the goalpost after scoring a touchdown at Giants Stadium in 1992.

    Vai has since transformed from athlete to sportscaster. Channel 10 hired Vai back in 1994. He currently works as our Sports Director and hosts "Wednesday's Child" segments.

    Despite all he has achieved Vai still likes a good shout out.

    "I was pleasantly surprised that Buck mentioned it given the many great athletes who were in St Louis in the years I was there -- especially baseball greats like Ozzie Smith and Vince Coleman," Sikahema mused.

    It meant a lot that the fact came from Buck.

    "Now, Joe is big as life. His dad Jack was an icon and legend and a friend," Vai said.