A Violent Femme’s View – Small Town
I was trying to finish this post for some time now. Honest. Wally “Chief” Pingel has probably given my virtual desk to some new kid by now. Who would blame him?
Unfortunately, life got in the way. Again. But I can also focus on something “pawsitive.”
In the span of 8 days, I met two Packers. This is old hat to some of you, but it’s a new thing for me.
Daryn Colledge and Korey Hall were in Boise doing autograph signings. Thanks to John Rehor, I had heard about Daryn being in town. Thanks to @CaptElaino, also known as Elaine, a fellow Idaho cheesehead, I REMEMBERED Daryn was in town.
Once I received that timely reminder, 30 minutes before it started, I was on the phone to my husband immediately, “Get my jersey! Meet you at the mall! Stat!”
The line wasn’t horrendous – thankfully. Daryn was very nice. He was signing, chatting and smiling his way as the line moved along. When I got there for my turn, he joked that he was “devaluing” my Double D jersey by signing it. He was fun, and I half forgave him for all of those penalties he’s gotten over the years. Only half.
The next weekend, for any of you that know anything about me at all, was the biggie.
Homeboy. Korey. Hall.
It’s pretty stupid to be nervous about meeting a kid who is *cough* almost young enough to be my son, but I was. Everything I’d heard indicated that Korey’s a regular Idaho kid, nice, unassuming, real. He’s also a member of my favorite team and perhaps my favorite player.
There’s a reason for that. I went to high school in a little town in southern Idaho, Filer. Korey went to Glenns Ferry High School, about an hour away; well after I did, of course. The schools are in the same conference, so I am very familiar with the town and that made him especially appealing to me. Daryn went to college in Idaho. Korey IS Idaho. From a town of 1,300 to the Super Bowl. Get. Out.
You can bet I didn’t have to be reminded for this event. I was up and ready to go. The line was much longer. Because it was a weekend, not a weeknight? Maybe. I prefer to think that Idahoans take some special pride in this particular player.
There were as many (IMO, Elaine was in line too and may have a different take) Packer items as there were Boise State items, which was not the case with Daryn….and of course there was the requisite asshat with a purple “you know what number” jersey on. Korey caught sight of him well before he made it to the front of the line. You could see him smirk, shake his head and look down (“What the hell is that dude thinking?”) Even more funny, said dude insisted on taking a picture with Korey. The set up wasn’t photo op friendly, so the guy was leaning back on a table halfway to get into the shot with him. Awk. Ward. Thanks Ted.
While we were still a ways back, we heard a Packer fan say he sure hoped Korey would be back next year. Korey’s face got very earnest. He looked up at the fan. “I hope so, too.”
Then I finally got to the front of the line. I nervously unstacked my items. Korey grinned at me – he saw how many there were. “They’re not all mine, I swear,” I mumbled nervously. And they weren’t. In addition to my few things, I had @getacoop’s Dad’s things, since he couldn’t make it, and my Dad’s birthday present, the Super Bowl XLV Champ hat. My stepmother smuggled it out of the house so I could have it signed as a surprise. I had been at Dad’s right after Daryn’s signing and mentioned that I was going back to meet Korey. He loved it (Jerry Kramer fan, remember).
As Korey was signing my small mountain of items, he was chatting with all of us about him on a variety of topics. The kid has a very dry sense of humor and does not seem to have much of an edit button. Sounds familiar. (You shush, BigSnakeMan.)
On Johnny Jolly – “Oh, Johnny, wow. Yeah, he’s a convict now.” (Obviously before the charges were dismissed.) Managed to look sympathetic and sly at the same time. “He’ll be playing on the convict team like Adam Sandler in The Longest Yard.” Man I’m old. That’s still Burt Reynolds to me.
On BJ Raji – “He’s a great guy. Most defensive linemen aren’t very nice, they’re crazy, but he’s really different.” Giggled.
I asked Korey to sign his picture in Sports Illustrated – front line as the team took the field at the Super Bowl. I had to point where he was out to him (seriously?) He looked at the picture for a few moments and cocked his head. “Hey! Where’s Colledge in this picture? Oh yeah, he’s not out front. Probably still in the locker room doing his hair or something.” *more laughter*
Since there was not a real photo op setup, my dream of getting a picture with him didn’t happen. But the reality definitely lived up to expectations. I could sit at a campfire, have a beer with this kid and feel totally relaxed.
The event was capped by getting to meet Elaine and her husband Mike, who like me are not from Wisconsin, but Idaho; and yet are wise enough to love the best football team in the NFL.
I’ve met my first two Packers. They will not be my last.
A final note. My Dad got to see his signed hat, and liked it, but he lived only a little over a week after that. I would like to take this space to once more thank my father for giving me a love of the Green Bay Packers, among other things, and thank my PocketDoppler colleagues for the beautiful flowers they sent. Even as I type this the flowers are gracing my living room as a reminder that people take care of each other. Good People. Packer People. People like those in a small town.