Brush with greatness …
I am a sports geek–mostly NBA and NFL–because I find it helps me balance out the web analytics stuff. Where web analytics is primarily mental, sports is wholly visceral (for me) and thusly I like to relax after a hard day of number crunching by cracking a beer and watching professional atheletes go to town.
Imagine my joy when I was buying my daughter the just re-released “Lady and the Tramp” DVD when I looked to my left and saw Joey Harrington, Oregon Duck legend and currently the starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions (ok, I mean, I think he’s still going to start after last season …)
Any normal person would have just thought to themselves, “Hey man, be cool. Leave the guy alone” but not me. Nope. I walked right over and said, “Are you Joey Harrington? My daughter would love to meet you …” Probably something wrong with me.
He said, “Nope, but I get that a lot.”
I just watched Nicholas Cage in “The Weatherman” last night so I immediately thought, “Hmmm. I wonder if this guy is just being a dick?”
Turns out he wasn’t. As I walked away, apologizing for bugging him, he followed me and copped to being himself, commenting that he was just trying to be funny. I supposed it would have been funny too, if I hadn’t watched Cage struggle with his own public persona less than 12 hours previously.
Either way, he was extremely cool to my daugher, asking her where she was from, what her name was, who her favorite football team was (oops, it’s not the Lions) and all that. My daughter is only 2 so he was very tolerant. To top it all off, she picked her nose and then looked up to him and said, “High five?”
Joey Harrington gave my daugher high-five despite the fact that she pretty obviously had a booger on her little hand. That, in my book, is pretty freaking cool.
All the way home my daughter kept saying “Joey Harrington is cool. Joey Harrington is cool.” I’m pretty sure she is not actually differentiating Joey the quarterback from any of the other players on the football field, except maybe Jerome Bettis but The Bus was huge for a running back. Still, given some of the personalities running amok in the NFL (did someone say Owens?) it was nice that we’ll be able to tell her that the first football player she ever met was a hard-working local kid who took the time to talk to her at Fred Meyers.
Hopefully Joey will still get the start in Detroit and turn his still-early career around. If not, he’ll make a great daycare teacher for two-year olds.