The Guy in the Pink Jeans
I’ll admit before I even get going that this is slightly off topic, but hang in there reading it because it is definitely sport related. Many of you have probably experienced something similar so I thought I would share a story that happened to me tonight.
Let me set the stage… I have been in San Antonio for a few days at the Sport and Recreation Law Association Conference, which was very very cool by the way. Today (March 7th), I flew from San Antonio to San Francisco where I am speaking to a class at Berkeley on Monday. In San Antonio, I was surrounded by some very smart people (attorneys, professors, and attorneys who are professors) who are totally up-to-date on current sport law and pretty much everything else that has to do with youth, intercollegiate, professional, and international sport. I’ll have to write about specifics of the conference another time.
So, I’m totally psyched and feeling good about the industry as a whole and those that are leading the way from an academic perspective. THEN, I get on the plane. I first noticed this couple because in the terminal they were complaining about everything that came on the airport CNN report pretty much as loudly as possible (since their comments were totally offensive to anyone not holding their same political beliefs, I will omit their comments). But, I quickly realized that there were other issues going on because he had on pink jeans about 2 inches too short AND he was wearing a fanny pack on his hip. She, however, seemed pretty normal at first glance. So, I had a little chuckle to myself and went back to working.
You can guess what happens next, the lovely couple become my seatmates for the next 2hrs and 17minutes. Notice that I remember every minute of it. Here is why;
1. They have seats A/B and I have C (the aisle). The flight is full and when I sit down, she still says “crap.. you are sitting here.” I’m still not sure if I should be offended or not.
2. Immediately upon announcing that everyone needed to turn off their electronic devices, something amazing happens. He pulls out a GPS from his fanny pack and fires it up. When the flight attendant walks by, he smiles and hides it under his shirt. I’m still a little freaked out about the recent air tragedies that have occurred and am not feeling like having this joker contribute to my demise. So, I have a nice long internal debate on whether or not to rat him out or not. But I have visions of causing a major scene because he just kind of seems like that type of guy. You know what I mean, the rules only apply to everyone else type of guy. So, I settle on giving him really really mean looks. Apparently, I need to learn to be mean, because he is too fixated on the GPS to notice. He and his wife then proceed to argue for the next hour about the ETA, plane speed, heading, etc.. from the GPS.
3. He points out to his wife every mountain, river, road, lake, town, or farm he can see from the window for 30min. She can’t see them because he is at the window seat looking down and the angle prevents her from seeing straight down. She gets upset because she can’t see anything.
4. She asks me if I am traveling for work and soon she learns I am a professor in sport management. Hold on, here comes the sport part. He proceeds to blame the entire state of the World economy on sport. He managed to make 3 points over and over again without stopping for about 30min.
Here is Why Sport is to Blame for the World Wide Economic Downturn According to the Guy in the Pink Jeans: a) sport doesn’t export anything, b) people are having financial trouble because teams are luring fans in and taking money from them and people aren’t going to see movies because they are going to sports events instead, and c) A-Rod’s salary (he might have a point here). He also can’t imagine why there would be a job for anyone to teach about sport – since it isn’t a business according to him. OR, why any student would spend money to talk about sports in college. So, a non-business entity is apparently responsible for the recession. It didn’t matter what I said (and trust me, my arguments were good), his mind was made up. What freaked me out as I was trying to listen to him is that there are a lot of folks that don’t know anything about sport and BELIEVE they do.
So, why is this important at all?
Well, if you are reading this, you know more about sport than this guy – yet there are others in the world just like him. This is not the first time I have run into “this guy”, but never have I run into a woman that manages to spout off about sport in a way in which she feels she is hugely superior in knowledge to all of those around. I also need to give this man’s wife credit. She actually continued to ask me legitimate questions about sport as we walked off the plane and were out of earshot of her husband. So, what is it about guys like this – not all guys- that makes them think they know it all when in comes to sport?
One more thing, as I was reflecting on this and trying to find a shuttle – at least a 45min ride from SFO to Berkeley – guess who is standing right near the shuttle I am taking? So, I hide behind a bus stop for a minute thinnking about whether or not it is worth an extra $75 to cab it instead to avoid them. Thankfully, their GPS must not be that great because once they realized they were in the wrong place, they headed off across the street almost getting plowed over by a bus. THE END.