Last Friday, I arrived in Columbus, Ohio a few hours earlier than the seminar registration time so I decided to get some fresh air and go for a power walk. About 30 minutes into the walk, I was exhausted – 92° and a very hot sun beating down will do that to you. I sat under a tree to cool off and decided to abort the two mile power walk. Instead, I would take a leisurely stroll back to my hotel.
On the way home, I really was minding my own business when I heard some hootin’ and hollerin’ to my left.
Biggest football practice field that I’ve ever seen. The field was enclosed in a tall fence with black netting all around it, as if to keep spectators from seeing all the action inside. What I did see was a young lady standing at the open gate so I decided to wander over and investigate.
Our conversation went something like this:
Diane: So, what’s going on? Who’s this team?
Tracy: (not her real name) (with a very confused grin on her face) That’s the funniest question I’ve ever heard. Who are you?
Diane: I’m a Canadian who happened to be walking down this street and thought I would check out all the noise. Why is my question so funny?”
Tracy: No one has ever asked me that question. You’re watching an Ohio State Buckeyes football practice…and EVERYBODY knows about it!
Diane: Well, I don’t know much about American football and I have no idea what a buckeye is.
Tracy: A buckeye is a nut that comes from the official state tree of Ohio, the buckeye tree and this team is the best in America.
Diane: Interesting. So, what are you doing here?
Tracy: I’m the lead nutritionist for the team and I’m just about to hand out popsicles to the guys when they come off the field.
For the next hour, I pummelled this woman with questions – it was quite the fascinating conversation. I sure learned a LOT about football. (my least favourite sport)
Why are those guys sitting in tubs of cold water?
How many players do you carry on this team?
Are all the athletes on scholarship?
These guys are HUGE! What do these guys eat?
Where do these live? Do they have a curfew?
How many coaches on this team?
Do you enjoy your job?
Do you actually like football?
Is that a full size indoor football field with astroturf over there?
How much do tickets cost during playoffs?
How many people fit in the stadium?
The young woman was super friendly and she asked me to help her hand out popsicles to the football players as they walked by.
A couple of players and one coach asked me who I was and I answered, “A Canadian, just walking by.” I have to admit – they look a bit confused.
Tracy: You know, people would pay a LOT of money to do what you’re doing right now. We have so much security around here, I’m surprised you got in.
Diane: Well, the security must be taking a break because I just walked on over here. I’m curious – how come you let me in and have been so friendly?
Tracy: Because you didn’t have a camera and I’ve never talked to a Canadian before.
Diane: I gotta’ tell you – not all Canadians are so naive when it comes to football. Just sayin’.
Tracy: You play more hockey in Canada, right? Is it cold all year where you live?
Diane: We definitely play hockey but no…we get summer too.
Tracy: Didn’t know that. Don’t know much about Canada. You guys are pretty much American, right?
Diane: Nope. We’re Canadian – all Canadian.
Tracy: Cool. Well, I gotta’ go to meetings now.
Diane: Thanks so much for taking time to talk to me. Really enjoyed it.
Tracy: Yah, I will never forget that question you asked me. Made my day!
What an interesting afternoon!