The Coach was an amazing athlete in high school and college (according to him he STILL is, he’s cute). 🙂 While he was in college, he was blessed to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. Obviously, this was an AMAZING accomplishment and a framed copy of the cover hangs in our daughter’s bedroom. Recently, he went to pick up my Mother-in-Law, GG, from her house, a few hours away, to bring her up to our house for a visit.
Since GG is downsizing and moving back to her hometown, each time we go to her house she sends us home with some of the Coach’s things. Often times, pictures and childhood keepsakes of him and his beloved brother as kids. This time, once GG was settled and the Coach had unloaded the truck, he walked into the kitchen and handed me this oddly familiar looking photo/picture/poster.
The Coach: Do you recognize that photo?
Me: It’s you but, it is weird.
The Coach: How do you know it’s me?
Me: Because I look at that image every day. It looks like some generic version of the SI cover. Did you make that?
The Coach (laughing): It is me and no, I didn’t make it.
Me: Well, who did?
The Coach: Some sports marketing company. Every once in a while this picture would pop up in grocery stores, gas stations, etc for football themed promotions or giveaways. Once one of my friends saw it and told me about it. After that, I would see them from time to time. I got one and kept it.
Me: What? Can they do that without your permission? Are they still using it? Where’s your check??
The Coach: There is no check. I was in college when the original photo was taken so SI would be getting a check if anyone.
Me: That is crazy! So, they have this picture of you popping up all around the Southeast and there is nothing you can do? I am going to track down this company and see what’s going on.
The Coach: You are funny.
Me: I’m serious! I mean, you should at least be able to make sure the weird poster shows up at grocery store and gas station chains we like! I’m just saying.
I did a little digging and that company doesn’t currently produce the weird poster anymore. But I guess I can understand how it can happen…
Once while working as a Consultant in 2001, a woman in my group would often tell me that she had seen me somewhere before. After a few months of us trying to figure it out, I thought I probably reminded her of someone else she knew. Until one day, she asked me to come into her office.
Work Lady: You know that my family and I are headed to Disney for our vacation this year.
Me: Great place. I was there a few years ago for a conference, I had a great time.
Work Lady (smiling): I know!
Me: Huh? How would you know about my conference in Orlando? Did we meet there??
Work Lady: Not exactly. You probably don’t know this but, Disney sends out promotional videos when you ask for more information about the parks and attractions. Have you seen one before? I brought in the one they sent us.
Me: No, I haven’t seen one before.
Work Lady pops the video into the machine she has in her office and hits play. We watched the intro of attractive families describe their dreamy Disney vacation filled with beloved characters, theme park attractions, and lifelong memories of ‘the best vacation ever’. I almost booked a trip for myself right then and there! After a minute or two of these vacation testimonials, Work Lady fast forwards the video and pauses it…on the screen a still of me.
And then it all started to come back to me. While attending a conference at Disney, my co-worker and I were asked to do an interview describing our experience in Downtown Disney one night. We did the interview, signed a release, and continued to have a good time, never giving it a second thought until now.
Work Lady pressed play and there I was on the screen raving about what a great time you can have as an adult at Disney. The entire time, I watched (and laughed at) the video I thought:
- Did I really think that outfit was cute?
- How many other people have seen this?
- I definitely had a couple of drinks that night!
Clearly, the Coach and I should have some endorsement deals. I mean seriously, just think of all the grocery store and gas station football related items that reversible (that’s right it has two sides!) poster influenced folks to buy. And let’s not forget all the families that decided to choose another destination for their family vacation after watching the Disney video.
All I can say is…America, you’re welcome. 🙂