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El Hombre

Time to Revoke my Voyageurs Membership?

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Just wanted to let you know that the Voyageurs' leadership may want to review my membership status.

Yesterday, I was on a quick flight from Ottawa to Toronto when I noticed that Julian De Guzman, my second favourite CanMNT player of all time, was on the same flight.  I was already seated so when I saw him board the plane, I had the following three thoughts in the span of 30 seconds:

 - "Oh cool, JdG is on my flight!"

 - "Hey neat, JdG is sitting near me."

 - "Oh shit, JdG is sitting right beside me and will continue to do so for the next 48 minutes!"

A thousand questions then went through my head:

 - Should I mention that I'm a big fan and have been watching him since is time with Hannover?

 - Should I congratulate him on the all-time caps record?

 - Should I make plans to go out drinking with him after the next home WCQ?

After carefully evaluating all options available to me, I decided that the best course of action would be to pretend to sleep for the next 45 minutes (because I'm a wimp). In my defence, my previous encounters with other players have ranged from awkward (Brennan and Bircham on the streets of Kingston) to unintentionally insulting (Hainault after a game in Montreal).  Before I started to "sleep", I did make sure that I stopped listening to Adele's "25" on my iPod and changed it to early At The Drive In so as to seem super cool.

So, upon getting the chance to sit next to one of my soccer idols, I said exactly 0 words to him.  Again, in my defence, at one point he had his hoodie zipped up over his nose and, if I've learned anything from my 6 year old, that means that someone is not in the mood to talk.  However, I did learn a couple things:

 - JdG is hard as fuck.  If you think his carry-on went anywhere close to under the seat in front of him, then you don't know how JdG rolls.  He kept that shit firmly between his feet.  He also has a Louis Vuitton case for his iPad and he doesn't care who knows it.

 - I am horrible at social interaction.

 - Unfortunately, JdG doesn't observe standard airplane armrest etiquette.  I'll give him a pass on that though because he scored against Real Madrid.  So, if I'm in the middle seat and your name isn't Julian De Guzman or Gabe Gala, then those armrests are mine dammit!

So in light of all this, if Voyageur leadership wants to review my membership status and kick me out for behaviour unbecoming of a true Voyageur, I completely understand.

I'd do the same to any of you.

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15 minutes ago, Bison44 said:

Did he smell good?  Fresh bread, or maybe new car?

Don't you know that a player loses their new car smell in the month right after they are cap tied! By early June, Arfield won't even smell like new car anymore. ;)

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You didn't say ANYTHING?!  Are you MAD??!!!  Even if I thought saying nothing was the "right thing to do", I don't think I'd have the will power to shut up, even for only a 45 minute flight.

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10 minutes ago, JamboAl said:

Of all the things you've said, the one I agree with the most is: "I am horrible at social interaction". :)

I think deep down, players appreciate the support and recognition if just to say a quick "hello".  I did the same with former PM, Joe Clark.  Really nice man.

 

Joe Clark played for the Nats? What a mensch!

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3 hours ago, Bison44 said:

Did he smell good?  Fresh bread, or maybe new car?

He smelled great.  So good, in fact, that I panicked for 5 minutes that the hoodie zipped up above the nose might have something to do with me.

True story.

Edited by El Hombre

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1 hour ago, Addona said:

You didn't say ANYTHING?!  Are you MAD??!!!

No, like I made abundantly clear, I'm socially awkward and a pussy.  Not a good combination.  Although, I still think I had a positive impact on his life, what with the surrendering of my armrest and not reporting him to the stewardess about his bag not being under the seat in front of him.  I was doing God's work, I figure.

Edited by El Hombre

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6 hours ago, El Hombre said:

No, like I made abundantly clear, I'm socially awkward and a pussy.  Not a good combination.  Although, I still think I had a positive impact on his life, what with the surrendering of my armrest and not reporting him to the stewardess about his bag not being under the seat in front of him.  I was doing God's work, I figure.

I guess it could have been worse than not saying anything ... You could have gotten nervous and blurted out, "So, 8-1!  That was a crazy game, huh?", two minutes into the flight.

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I did exactly the same thing when I went to see Canada vs. Mauritania in Oliva, our first Floro friendlies. We went to the hotel, greeted Floro and his son, took pics. Then we were able to go to the huge amazing pools even though we weren't guests and Julian and a few more players who were not going to dress came out and started lounging. And I sat there playing cards and tanning with my son, he had his Canada shirt on. I said absolutely nothing to any of them, even though I had seen Julian play for Depor many times, and I had just been in Galicia where Coruña is, there was all kinds of shit we could have talked about even on a human, personal level.

I find it very embarassing to act like a fan, I have seen famous people, even actors or musicians, quite a lot and the only times I have tried to say something adulatory or get an autograph for someone with me ( because I am supposedly bold they ask me to do it), it has gone wrong, I have said something dumb. And felt like an ass. 

So I totally sympathize.

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2 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

I did exactly the same thing when I went to see Canada vs. Mauritania in Oliva, our first Floro friendlies. We went to the hotel, greeted Floro and his son, took pics. Then we were able to go to the huge amazing pools even though we weren't guests and Julian and a few more players who were not going to dress came out and started lounging. And I sat there playing cards and tanning with my son, he had his Canada shirt on. I said absolutely nothing to any of them, even though I had seen Julian play for Depor many times, and I had just been in Galicia where Coruña is, there was all kinds of shit we could have talked about even on a human, personal level.

I find it very embarassing to act like a fan, I have seen famous people, even actors or musicians, quite a lot and the only times I have tried to say something adulatory or get an autograph for someone with me ( because I am supposedly bold they ask me to do it), it has gone wrong, I have said something dumb. And felt like an ass. 

So I totally sympathize.

Many years ago, an NHL player said the following to me, when I asked him about dealing with fans;

"I'm a human, just like you, I've got a wife and a kid, just like anyone else. I'm just a better hockey player"

and I've always tried to approach any "famous" person with that in mind. Most of these people, as long as you're not interrupting dinner, or whatnot, love to hear that you enjoy their work. You said it yourself - there's probably lots to talk about on a human level, so introduce yourself, say you're a fan, and speak with them as you would any other person...who just happens to be better than you at a specific thing.

I'm pretty sure I can run circles around most pro athletes when it comes to Excel - I wonder if they'd get intimidated by spreadsheet prowess?

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57 minutes ago, mserson said:

@El Hombre. Okay so true story, he's sitting two tables down from Jess and I right now. We're at Bazille at Nordstrom and there's no way I'm saying anything to him. Revoke my V's membership right now!

That's hilarious!

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20 hours ago, Adam H said:

I'm pretty sure I can run circles around most pro athletes when it comes to Excel - I wonder if they'd get intimidated by spreadsheet prowess?

Oh man, IT IS ON!  From now on, I'm bringing my laptop to all Vees get togethers and if you're there, we're going to throw down, excel-style.  It'll be like "Step Up" but instead of dance competitions, it'll be two nerds (I'm assuming) whipping up pivot tables and vlookups!  You're gunna git served, son!

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1 hour ago, El Hombre said:

Oh man, IT IS ON!  From now on, I'm bringing my laptop to all Vees get togethers and if you're there, we're going to throw down, excel-style.  It'll be like "Step Up" but instead of dance competitions, it'll be two nerds (I'm assuming) whipping up pivot tables and vlookups!  You're gunna git served, son!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_qShAZg2Zw

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4 hours ago, mserson said:

@El Hombre. Okay so true story, he's sitting two tables down from Jess and I right now. We're at Bazille at Nordstrom and there's no way I'm saying anything to him. Revoke my V's membership right now!

Chicken!!  

The chicken is really delicious there.  

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I would have done the same thing. At the '86 World Cup, I could have met the whole team at their hotel as our tour leader had some pull and as Canadian fans in the 80's, we were rare beasts. I decided to meet up with some fine Mexican women who were out of my league and I was a novelty. Being socially awkward doesn't mesh with meeting idols.

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