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.
*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.
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-