Return to Transcripts main page


Alabama Jeweler Loses on Super Bowl Safety; Winter Storm Hits Northeast, Stranding Super Bowl Travelers; Giuliani Defends Christie Against Latest Charges; Philip Seymour Hoffman's Legacy; Recovering Heroin Addict Discusses Her Addiction; Many Hoffman Film Projects Now in Limbo

Aired February 3, 2014 - 15:30   ET




BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Bottom of the hour, I'm Brooke Baldwin.

This is just a great story, I guess, depending on your perspective. The unlikely first score in Super Bowl XLVIII, a safety, gave the Seattle Seahawks this quick two-point advantage.

It also gave a lot of customers of an Alabama jewelry store a big payoff.

You see Jeff Dennis Jewelers in Gardendale, Alabama, ran a promotion offering cash refunds on purchases if either team scored a safety at any point during the Super Bowl.

Now, safeties aren't unheard of, but they certainly don't happen very often.

So, Jeff Dennis himself, joining me to talk about exactly how much this promotion is going to cost him.

Jeff, nice to meet you. Welcome to the show.

JEFF DENNIS, OWNER, JEFF DENNIS JEWELERS: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

BALDWIN: Where were you, sir, last night, when within like the first seven seconds of the game, a safety happened?

DENNIS: I had just sat down in my Lazy Boy recliner and just popped the top on a Diet Coke, waiting to watch the game, expected to be nervous for a while, but I don't think I got to take a drink.

BALDWIN: Before you saw the two points for the Seahawks.

What was your first thought?

DENNIS: It was absolutely crazy. First, I was absolutely nervous because I saw the flag. I didn't know who had fell on the ball, so I knew it was either going to be a touchdown or a safety.

Then once they said it was an offensive penalty, I knew it would be declined, and I knew we had the safety, and I kind of ran around like I had won the Super Bowl at that point.

BALDWIN: Why were you running around? Isn't this like $70,000 in refunds back into the pockets of your customers?

DENNIS: It is $70,000 to 461 customers, but I was insured.

It's much like the hole-in-one promotions or the half court shots, I had bought an insurance policy through HCC Underwriters and Lloyd's of London.

So, they might not have been jumping up and down, but I definitely was and a lot of people in Gardendale, Alabama, were.

BALDWIN: Smart man. So were you out any money. Did you have to pay this company, at least for the insurance?

DENNIS: Yeah, there is a premium for the policy. It's a percentage of what the sales were and we do have to pay that.

But I was going to have to pay that even if the promotion had not been successful.

BALDWIN: OK, so I guess these folks who bought jewelry from you are also doing the happy dance because they realize they don't have to pay for this jewelry.

Is there word of a refund party, pray tell?

DENNIS: Yeah, the refund party, we're going to do that on February 21st from 5:00 until 7:00.

We'll have all kinds of food and refreshments and entertainment security and plus jewelry. So we'll be selling some more stuff, but it will be a fun time.

Fortunately, this our third time to have one of these promotions be successful, so we have a little track record. So, we've got a system down.

BALDWIN: I hear you're the place to go and these bets work out for your customer, and it landed you here on CNN, so, Jeff Dennis, congratulations, I guess.

Thank you so much for joining me. Best of luck to you.

DENNIS: Thank you very much, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Heavy snow and ice are piling up again in much of the eastern United States today, and the situation is so bad in New Jersey, we have just gotten word that Chris Christie has just declared a state of emergency.

Some areas could see 10-plus inches of snow. A lot of it as you can see from this picture around the New York City area.

The storm has really turned into a nightmare as fans leave after the Super Bowl. This is incredible. You watch last night, decent weather.

My, what a difference a couple of hours makes. This is MetLife Stadium this morning.

Already, I can tell you hundreds of flights across the country are canceled because of the snow, and many of them, understandably so, New York, New Jersey airports.

Chad Myers is out in it in Manhattan, and this is a big deal from the governor of New Jersey, a state of emergency.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: There is enough snow on there to make a snow bowl out of the Super Bowl, had it just been 24 hours later.

Eight inches of snow at MetLife Stadium right now and it's still snowing. We have about six-and-a-half inches here at Central Park and it's still snowing, probably at least another hour or hour and a half at an inch an hour, Brooke.

And 641 of those flights were out of New York City that were canceled.


MYERS: Multiply that out, a hundred people per flight, plus or minus.

That's 65,000 or 70,000 seats that didn't fly out today that were hoping to go back home, whether it's Seattle or -- you talk about Denver, but a lot of fans were coming from many, many cities all over the country, not just from the two cities that had teams in the Super Bowl.

So that caused other flights to not be where they were supposed to be and it was all downhill from there. And I'm sure by the time it's all over, we'll have 2,000 flights that didn't leave wherever they were supposed to go.

And you multiply that, that's 200,000 people not where they thought they would be at this hour.

It is still snowing. My concern is that now, because it is still snowing and the sun is about to set, all of this slush is going to freeze up.

This is a little bit unlike what we had in Atlanta, seven days ago. It's not going to get down to 16 or 14 or 13, like it did in the suburbs. It's going to be down to 30.

So, there will be some freezing, but not the ice bowl that Atlanta had just one week ago.


BALDWIN: Let's hope it's not an Atlanta performance there in New York City.

Chad Myers, thank you.

Speaking of the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie he has a friend in high places who apparently is free to defend him on short notice.

Any idea who I'm talking about? You notice how this guy keeps popping up on TV?

No, not my friend, Wolf Blitzer. Talking about the guy on the right, Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City.

He was out there live on Friday within minutes after an accusation emerged that Chris Christie was aware of those murky lane closures and traffic jams long before he said he was.

So it was Rudy Giuliani on Friday. Now Rudy Giuliani today, on Monday, coming up shortly on CNN'S "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper.

And, Jake Tapper, is this a matter of Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani being "buds" or is Rudy Giuliani being dispatched by high-level Republicans to try to protect one of its stars?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE LEAD": It's probably a combination of the two.

In this business it's called a surrogate. When you run for president, you have a number of surrogates who do things that you don't do, especially when it comes to defending you. defending your character.

It's good for those surrogates to be as high profile as possible so that people listen to what they have to say so that, if they attest to their character, there is some credibility there.

Rudy Giuliani, whatever you think of him, is very well-known and regarded well by Republicans, so it makes sense for Christie to have high-profile surrogates defending him during this very difficult time when he is not doing a lot of speaking himself

BALDWIN: I talked about this last hour with Gloria Borger. Let me ask you.

You have this charge, late Friday, by David Wildstein that Christie was aware of those murky lane closures and traffic jams that happened last September, not later as we're hearing from Chris Christie, over and over.

But then you have this response from Chris Christie's office, Jake, that charges, among other things, that Wildstein once was accused of deception by a high school social studies teacher, then he supposedly sued someone at age 16 over a school board election, and one more, that he once published a blog under the pseudonym "Wally Edge."

There are those, you know, that sound like -- this sounds like desperation. What do you make of the email, Jake Tapper?

TAPPER: First of all, I think that you and I right now should talk about everything we did when we were 16-years-old because I think that's really important.

BALDWIN: That would be really fun, actually. I would love to dig into your high school life.

TAPPER: It was pretty boring.

So, I think that a lot of Republicans feel like that document, that "oppo-drop," as it's called, went too far by going back in time to Wildstein's time in high school.

I think that's been done, by the way, in other scenarios.

I recall when Hillary Clinton's people put out a document about Barack Obama, trying to challenge his credibility by noting that when he says he'd never thought about running for president, here's a story in which he said he was thinking about running for president when he was a child.

So, when you go to far into somebody's childhood, it almost always boomerangs. There's almost always a backlash from that.

The point that they were trying to make, the Christie people, was that David Wildstein's lawyer was impugning Christie's credibility, so they were trying to go after his, Wildstein's credibility.

BALDWIN: But then the boomerang could come back onto Christie. Is that what you're essentially saying?

TAPPER: I'm saying that I think probably there a lot of people in the media and even many Christie allies who thought going after what Wildstein allegedly did when he was 16-years-old probably was a bridge too far --


TAPPER: -- if you'll pardon the bridge analogy.

BALDWIN: Pardoned.

Jake Tapper, we will see you in 20 minutes on "THE LEAD," 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Thank you, sir.

Coming up here, nearly 50 packets of heroin, that's what we're told was found in Philip Seymour Hoffman's apartment when he was discovered dead, and that's not all.


We will talk about the actor's legacy, about the rise of heroin abuse across America, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BALDWIN: Let me quote a film critic's reaction to Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, the Oscar-winner's body found with a needle in his arm on Sunday. This is what she writes.

"What we have lost in Philip Seymour Hoffman is an actor of tremendous bravely, someone willing to look like a human being still in progress, or, as Lester Bangs would put in "Almost Famous," someone's uncool."

Alynda Wheat, movie critic from "People" magazine, joins me from Los Angeles, and, Alynda, you write about your encounter with, as he was known, Phil, Philip Seymour Hoffman, a couple years ago.

You write about how he was this giant onscreen. How do you mean?