The quarterback attempted 25 passes and only completed one. On TV, that makes you a winner.
New York Giants backup quarterback Jesse Palmer emerged from weeks of taping ABC’s reality show “The Bachelor” having chosen one of the 25 contestants. He refers to her as “the missus” and says he calls her each day on the phone, although he won’t say if they’re engaged.
“The experience was great, and she made it so much better,” Palmer said of his mystery woman. “I miss her. I can’t wait to see her now.”
Not your typical talk from your typical NFL player.
Palmer’s brother Billy, a tight end at Notre Dame, warned him never to use the words “chemistry” or “connection” during the show. Giants teammate Amani Toomer told him he would catch a lot of grief if he cried on camera.
The 25-year-old quarterback is the center of attention for the fifth season of the popular show, which will premiere April 7. During taping, he got to know 25 women on a series of exotic, romantic dates, introduced some to his family and met some of their own relatives before settling on “the missus.”
In a new twist for the show, one of the 25 contestants was actually a spy, one of Palmer’s closest friends who lived in the house with the contestants and fed him information on who was in it for love and who was just looking for face time on TV.
He narrows the field from 25 to 15 on the first episode, presenting each of his choices with a single red rose, which he is sure to hear about in the huddle.
“I’ll probably get tied to a goal post sometime in the next two months,” he said.
Palmer said he was looking for an honest, self-assured woman who is comfortable with herself. Although the contestants didn’t know who he was or what he did for a living when the show started, they all soon found out.
Trying to determine who was genuinely interested in him, and who might have seen dollar signs (Palmer made $389,000 in 2003 in his backup role) was one of the hard parts, he said.
“I think I’m more confused about women in general after doing this show than I was before I got on,” he said.
The contestants included Debbie, a 27-year-old massage therapist from Dublin, Ohio; Holly, a 26-year-old banker from Edmund, Oklahoma; Jean Marie, a 26-year-old hair stylist from Virginia Beach; Jenny M., a 24-year-old inline skater from Canton, Mich.; Jessica H., a 25-year-old lawyer from San Antonio; Julie, a 24-year-old NFL cheerleader (team unspecified) from Sacramento, and Suzie, a 23-year-old prosthetic technician from Warren, Mich.
Palmer said he’s still not sure why he was chosen for the show. The network called his agent, who passed along the offer.
“I think (it was) the fact that I was young, dumb and Canadian,” Palmer joked.
In six games last year, Palmer completed 60 of 116 passes for 532 yards and three touchdowns with four interceptions.
During a conference call with reporters, Palmer was asked if it would bother him 15 years from now to be better known as “The Bachelor” than as an NFL quarterback.
“I guess it depends how the ratings go,” he said.