Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weekly Homework Assignment

It's time once again for Mama Kat's Weekly Homework Assignment! This week, I chose the following prompt: Share a story of a memorable dinner.

Nearly 10 years ago, I, along with my friend Jeff, went up to Penn State for an alumni dinner featuring Todd Blackledge, a legendary Penn State quarterback who helped the Nittany Lions win a national championship in the early 1980's. As Jeff and I finished getting our dinner (it was done buffet style), we looked for a place to sit - the place was packed, and the only real place left to sit was a table in the back of the room.

Jeff and I proceeded to sit at said table ... not expecting what happened next. None other than Todd Blackledge asked if he could sit with us ... apparently, he couldn't find a table either. Blackledge was a hero of mine growing up ... I even had a number 14 Penn State jersey! This was a dream come true for me.

It was a little awkward at first ... I mean, what do you say to a hero of yours? But, Jeff and I soon found out that Todd was just a normal, pleasant guy ... we talked about the year he won the national title ... he seemed to focus more on the one game they lost - a blowout to 'Bama (a team Paterno never seemed able to beat). He talked about not wanting to go to the sideline, because Joe-Pa was there ready to bark at him. Just a fascinating conversation.

It is said somewhere that it is usually better never to meet your hero, because you'll ultimately end up disappointed ... well that was certainly not the case with me!

1 comment:

Jeff said...

10 years ago already? Damn.

I can think of a few things you said less than a month earlier that I'm really glad you didn't say at that dinner. (Couldn't resist!)

I'll vouch and add that Blackledge couldn't have been more gracious to us. It can't be easy for the keynote speaker to discover he doesn't have a reserved seat, search for an empty spot, and then hold a wide-ranging conversation with 2 complete strangers for an hour.

Compare and contrast him with our fabulous university president, who later that weekend told the same alumni crowd a really obnoxious story about wearing the Lion costume and being fondled by female alumni.

So, yes, that dinner with Blackledge was definitely a highlight for me as well.