It’s not often that you get to meet a professional athelete and talk with them, even if it’s for 10 minutes. It’s even less often that you find yourself in the midst of a Hall of Famer, and your childhood idol right before your eyes. Shake his hand, make him smile, get his autograph, as well as a hug!
Well, that’s what happened to me while I was on my business trip this week in Orlando. Stuck in a hotel that is connected to the airport, I saw my first ever hockey hero in person. The Golden Jet! Bobby Hull!
I happened to be calling home at the time, and the cell service in my room was the pits, as seems to be my luck lately, so I was in the lobby trying to get a good signal. As I’m talking with my daughter I see an older gentleman waiting for his room key as the person he was with was checking in. I say to my daughter as he’s standing there, away from the counter, “I think Bobby Hull’s here”. She says, “are you sure”? As Bobby turned around, I heard his wife say to the bellhop, “The name is Hull”, I knew for sure it was him. My daughter said “hangup and talk to him”, which I did.
I went up to Bobby and said with the biggest grin on my face, “You’re Bobby Hull right”? He smiled about as big as the hotel, and proudly, and I mean proudly said, “YES I AM”! We carried on a conversation for about 10 minutes, exchanging how happy each of us was with the Chicago Blackhawks winning The Cup, and how good he felt for them, and for himself as a Blackhawk Alumni. Trying to hold back the tears of happyness, of seeing an idol of mine in person, I asked for his autograph and he gladly accommodated me.
I thanked him, wished him well, and we did sort of a half hug that I initiated. I truly think he was happy to be recognized.
I’ll never forget the smile on his face!
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