Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Name Dropper / Everyone Knows One

Come on... everyone knows one. The name dropper is as common as a cold. I get a kick out of name droppers and you see/hear it all the time.

"My friends, friends neighbour is Joe Sakic's cousin."

Then it's, "I know Joe Sakic's cousin".

After awhile the person really starts to believe it. It's now, "I know Sakic. He's cool. We go way back."

I don't mind the people that actually know someone (for real). I know (knew) people, but I never bust it out like I need the attention (except for right now. lol).

Well I did once before when I lived  in Cranbrook, B.C. when I was 12 and it was a complete lie.

Every winter we played hockey at the fire hall -- the guys at the fire hall always made sure it was flooded for us kids. -- and there was this guy named Marvin who came there often. He was a little slow and was the local arena rink rat, so he was always around anywhere hockey was being played. Well this one day Marvin started kicking snow on the ice during a shinny game. We started yelling at him to bugger off and he starts piping off that you can't beat him up because his brother was Andre the Giant. So we laughed and I told him he better leave because my brother was Hulk Hogan and the last time I checked he could beat the crap out of Andre. A couple of the other kids vouched for me and Marvin went on his way all pissed off that Hogan was my brother. We laughed some more. I learned that day that name dropping could pay off. True or false. It works when you have a believer to believe.

As the years went on, I soon learned that everyone "knows" someone who is in the NHL. I say 80% are BS. So that leaves 20% that actually do know someone. Sure you might have stood behind him in the line at the movies or a famous NHL player came into the car dealership that you work at. But that doesn't mean you know him. Or for that fact, he doesn't know you.

My personal favorite is when someone busts out a name that no one knows, like a name like Jim Hiller and then they wait for a reaction but instead they get a who?

It always makes me laugh especially when the crickets come out.

Saying you know someone and actually knowing someone is totally different. Just because you met a guy in the autograph lineup doesn't mean that you know them. I talk to Georges Laraque quite often by email. A few years back someone posted it on the Oilers message board. I wrote it down before the mods could delete it. And you know what? He writes me back every time. Usually within an hour. Super classy guy. I wish he was still an Oiler (sort of). But does this mean that I know him? No. But he sent me a signed picture that says "All the best." I must know him right? Nope. This one of those example that make people believe that they actually know someone.

*true story

*When I was 13 (back in 1990) one of the local doctors opened up a hockey card shop across from the Kingsmen arena in Cranbrook. It was a cool little place. He had his two young sons work there during the summer when they came home from their respected hockey teams. The older boy was quiet and nice while the younger one was really quiet and didn't say much at all. I actually thought that he was a jerk until I realized he's just a shy guy.

I spent a lot of time in there looking at all the cards and reading the Beckett magazines and wishing I didn't poke holes in the Gretzky rookie card I had once had years before. The older boy would talk to me about hockey and he told me he played for the Kamloops Blazers. "Cool" I said. "So does my cousin Ryan".

One day after I had worn out my welcome (5 hours later) I had asked him if he had any hockey cards of his own yet. He said he did. So as he was giving it to me I asked him if he could please sign the card. He obliged but he felt weird about signing it for me. I'm sure he was a newbie at the whole autograph thing.

"I bet one day this will be worth something", I said to him. He laughed at me and said he hopes so too.

As the summer ended I wish him good luck and maybe we will see you again next summer. I knew that that summer I met and hung out with a pretty cool guy. I just really hoped that he could be a great player someday. He deserved it.

Well, that guy ended up winning everything that a hockey player could possibly win. Gold medals at the Junior tournament, gold medals at the Olympics, a couple of Stanley Cups, World Cup gold medals, even a Norris trophy. Figured it out yet?

That older kid was Scott Niedermayer and his little brother was Rob. And yes, I still have that card (see photo below). Maybe this is the 1st ever signed card or signature by Scott? I don't know for sure. When he goes to the Hall of Fame, I imagine that the value of this card goes up even more.

So I wouldn't say that I know Scott anymore, but I defiantly knew him then.

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Over the years I have known a few NHL players: Scott and Rob Niedermayer (see story above), Steve Yzerman (my wife knows the family quite well and we met him a few times. He signed a card for us one time, but he made it out to my wife. I was stunned. She not really even a hockey fan.), Dallas Drake (I learned a lot about hockey from him and his family when I lived in Rossland in the 80's. My whole style and work ethic in hockey is because of that family. We played a lot of hockey at his rink in his yard.), Brad Lukowich (we played together in Bantams and Midgets in Cranbrook), Pat Price (my Dad's good friend and a car salesman), Shawn Horcoff (played against him for years in minor hockey and kicked his ass doing it when I lived in Rossland), Jim Hiller (dated his sister), Jon Klemm (friends through association), Jarome Iginla (Friends by association. Iggy wanted to fight me one night at the bar during his rookie season because he thought that I threw ice at him. It turns out his BFF Mike and I were friends from Cranbrook and that saved my ass from being beat. What an arrogant prick Iggy was back then.), Stephan Peat (One minute we are kids playing hockey, the next minute he's fighting Don Brashear in the NHL. Lucky bastard he was. Also, his mom was so cool. She would crank Metallica on our way to games.)

Do you have a name dropper story you want to share with us? Add it to the comments below.

-Written by Smokin' Ray from Oilers Jambalaya-

1 comment:

  1. Oh man. I want that card. Great story.

    ReplyDelete

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