Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brushes with Greatness

Over the past month, the world travelers on the G:TB staff have been from coast to coast and any number of places in between, spreading the gospel of good cheer to our fellow man. We’ve had interactions of all manner with the fine people of this country, but alas, we’ve struck out in our pursuit of the modestly famous.

In the past, our crack staff has rubbed elbows with luminaries like Jim Bowden, Sugar Ray Leonard, Wes Unseld, John Ashcroft, and, obviously, this blog’s namesake. But I’m not sure any of us will be able to top my chance encounter with one of the 90s most celebrated television personalities.

Several of us journeyed to Charlottesville, VA in the early fall of 1995 to cheer on William and Mary’s gridders as they faced the University of Virginia in a formerly annual intrastate affair. W&M was summarily thumped by the Division I Cavaliers (though the Tribe did outscore UVA in the final 3 quarters of the game), but the result was incidental to our brush with the ridiculously sublime.

After the contest, as we gathered at our tailgate to toast the Tribe and make fun of Whitney, a group of tall, athletic African-American gentlemen walked past. UVA hoops star Junior Burrough stood out, but not nearly as much as his friend, the mere presence of whom caused me to exclaim with much glee, “Jaleel!”.

Perhaps it was the accumulated effect of more than a few adult beverages, or maybe it was the way the late afternoon light caught his face, but I’m pretty sure Jaleel White was psyched that I called him by his real name, and not that of his television alter ego. In my mind, he tells his version of this story to anyone who’ll listen, tells them that he’s an actor, dammit, not a character. And people know his name.

G:TB certainly does.


Whitney said...

If this is another lame-brained attempt to get us to stop calling you "Squirrel," you can forget it.

rob said...

i just appreciate talent when i see it.

Marlin said...

If memory serves me right, Warren Roark dropped a sure touchdown pass in that game.

Rhymenocerous said...

I think that was the game where he stayed down on the ground after a play until the trainers came out, and then jogged off the field five seconds later.

Wait, that was every game.

Dave said...

i had a brush with a semi-famous football player last week in sea isle city-- alex befriended a four year old that was on the same beach with us and his dad happened to be the other safety at william and mary when mark kelso played there-- so we had many long talks about pi lam/ kappa sig relations and the lodges and the greenleaf while our kids threw sand in each other's eyes.