Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Random Sports Star Experience...

Having worked in the sports industry for a while now, I tend not to get excited about seeing famous athletes. It's just part of the business and after you've had some sort of voodoo spell put on you by a band of angry Ghanaian women (as happened to me and the ref I was escorting at the 1999 Women's World Cup) everything seems a bit ordinary anyway.

Fast forward to yesterday. Becca and I are having a painfully long experience at a student/backpacking travel agency trying to get things sorted out for Fiji. (yes, I know: we lead difficult, difficult lives) We're the only customers in the place. Suddenly the agent next to ours walks by handing out miniature cricket bats. I peek over thinking "that would make a cool souvenir". A few minutes later the same lady walks by and says to our agent: "do you want yours signed?"

I quickly swing around and I catch a glimpse of a blond face and spiky hair. Part of me hopes that it's Shane Warne (Australian cricket genius whose weight gains and sexaholic activities make for fun reading in the tabloids) but it wasn't. Instead it was the fastest bowler in Australian cricket, Brett Lee. He'd appeared out of nowhere with his handler and for some reason was slumming it in the travel agency signing autographs and talking with the workers. I'm guessing he probably has a deal with them or the like but it still was a strange thing to see.

I was ready to just chalk it up as obscure athlete sighting #2 of the trip (Goran Ivanisevic in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre being #1). About then Becca took the initiative and asked for a cricket bat for me. Signed of course. The handler turned around and said "for a customer? of course!"

A few minutes later I'd shaken hands with a semi-famous cricketer and was now the proud owner of a signed miniature cricket bat. All in a day's travel, right?


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