Well, 20 can mean a lot of things to a lot of people but it means one thing and one thing only to me.
20 dollars? 20 minutes until landing? 20 people ahead of me for stand by?
Nope. 20 is B-Dawg. Or, more formally, Mr. Brian Dawkins. The best safety ever. The leader of the defense. I have his jersey. I know his monster-like strut out of the helmet on game day. I’ve seen the Pro-bowler singlehandedly turn the game around.
And low and behold on the 6:45 p.m. PHL to DEN he is in 4C and I’m in 4F. Any savvy traveler sees the problem: 4D.
Turns out that 4D and I have gone from hate to love on this flight. (We return to hate by the end.) At first, we had this little tiff about the space underneath the seat in front of us (he took too much of it), but he capitulated and helped me put my bag overhead. And he taught me how to save battery power on my iPhone. And then he did the most wonderful thing! About half way through the flight, he spilled his drink all over me! Call buttons were pressed, I made a little scene. Oh, dear, my outfit is all wet. What will do? I knew where this was going.
And sure enough, seatmate says, “Should we switch seats?” YES!!!!
It took about 2 minutes for Mr. Dawkins to ask me if I was okay (“All dry now?”) That basically opened the door and allowed me to cover the most pressing of topics:
- Feelings about Chip Kelly (he likes him.)
- DeSean (he saw it coming and confirmed it was Chip’s decision. Also said Chip believes if the system is right, any decent player can play wide receiver.)
- Michael Sam (he didn’t seem to be a fan although concurred when I said I thought he showed courage.)
He was very soft spoken so I ended up nodding a lot, but who cares. All my female corporate travel crap was out the window and I was a schoolgirl in awe. He even took his shoes off and you know what….I didn’t mind! (Very cool socks incidentally.)
Meanwhile, seatmate didn’t even know who he was. That was fine except as we were disembarking I heard seatmate say something to him like, “Oh, does that bother you when people recognize you and talk to you like that?” Thanks, seatmate – back to the “hate” part of our relationship!
And you know what B-Dawg said? How’s this for class: “It could go the other way, Bro. I could not be recognized. I’ll take being recognized. It’s a blessing.”
Write and tell me if you’ve met your favorite NFL player and if you did, did he look you in the eye and say, “It was nice talking to you, too?”