1.22.2010

My New BFF

As I blogged about earlier, I recently returned from a trip to Dallas, Texas. As I arrived at the Indianapolis airport and approached my gate, people were already queuing up to board. In line I noticed a well-known mustached gentleman that I quickly recognized (although it seemed that either no one else did, or they were far too polite to say anything). As I boarded the plane I started to plan what to say to him, just in case we were seated next to each other. Alas, that was not meant to be, as I was stuck a few rows behind. My new friend slept most of the flight, and as we left the plane I quickly hustled up to say hello and wish him a successful trip to Dallas. And the encounter had concluded, or so I thought.

As I arrived at the terminal to leave Dallas, what were the odds that this same man was on my return flight. I didn't let the opportunity slip by and approached him, mildly startling him (sorry!), and proceeded to chat for about 25 minutes until we boarded the plane. I was so impressed by his willingness to answer my questions (despite an exhausting trip and while devouring a sandwich), his positive attitude and enthusiasm, and his openness and candor. We talked about his trip, recruiting, how deceptive the specs can be on a high school kid, speaking engagements, the long hours he has to work, the prospects for the coming season, the coaching carousel, the university, my job, teachers, big wins, a seminar his wife runs that my mother attended to learn more about the sport and team, and many other things. Yes, dear readers, my new best friend in Boilermaker country, head football coach Danny Hope. Boiler Up!


P.S. Coach Hope noted that he hadn't been recognized by anyone else at the airport, and, one of the highlights, I responded, "Give it time. Once you lead us to the Rose Bowl, they'll all know you well." ;)

1 comment:

Kelley said...

this is a great story! i love airport encounters. welcome home, kirk!