last night i was out with some friends. we were at an outdoor concert in this cool little area with restaurants, shops, greenways... you get the idea.
So, we grabbed some food. I was sitting at a table and all of a sudden our friend Charlie runs in and says "Kendra... Jon Beason is outside."
For those of you who don't know, Jon Beason #52, is a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers.
If I had to list my favorite players, which i can't really do, he would be in my top 5. Probably in my top 3 on some days. I really love him a lot.
So there I am, lurking in the corner of Hickory Tavern, looking through the window taking pictures of Jon Beason chatting with the fans. Too chicken to just march out there.
Finally, enough was enough. I needed to meet Beast (that is his nickname).
I took a gulp of liquid courage (dos equis) grabbed Charlie's arm and said "we are going to talk to him"
Here is the thing. I am the opposite of cool when it comes to the Panther's. I have met other famous people and been ok. But when it comes to my boys, other than when Julius Peppers was on there and we were BFFs, i become an idiot. There are so many stories of me not being cool with them. The time DeAngelo Williams was in our studio and draped his arm around my neck while i was talking to someone. I didn't even make eye contact. I couldn't. I literally ignored him. The time i ran up to Mike Minter and kind of danced around from foot to foot until he took pity on me and spoke to me. And the worst, the absolute worst... when I met Steve Smith. I can't even type that. If you ever see me in person, ask me about the time i met 89. It is a pitiful tale. Like, he even shook his head. It was that bad.
but back to last night. We got outside along with another friend, Steve. We are standing near him. I have zoned out, trying not to be an babbling fool. I am focusing on everything else. To the point where I almost went back inside to grab my beer. I started to forget why we were standing out there. But before i could, i heard Charlie talking to someone, and out of the corner of my eye i see a very large hand extended to me. I look up and there is Beast. "Hi. I'm Jon". yes you are. Yes. you sure are. I was able to introduce myself, though my voice was about 3 octaves higher than normal. I don't have a high voice to begin with, so it might have almost sounded normal.
now, at this point, i wasn't going to play around with pleasantries. No way. we had some business to discuss. Beason had been injured last season. And we had needed him bad. So i wasn't playing around. I needed the facts. So while our hands were still shaking i got up my nerves and asked
"Ok. So how are you feeling? Where are you at? I heard 80% a few weeks ago? Still there?"
He blinked a few times. Then smiled and said "100%." I fist pumped and said "YESSS!" He then said "100%...today". Mid "YES" and fist pump, i dropped my arm and said "WHAT? Nooooo. You can't take it back. I need 100% Beast! I need you to be at 100%!!!!!!!!!!"
Oh hey, Jon Beason... you wanted a nice relaxing night, drinking beer and listening to music? Yea? Nope. Not happening. Sorry. Crazy white girl here wants you to know that SHE needs you to play at 100%. Forget your coaches, team mates, your entire fan base or career plans. Nope. SHE needs it. Sometimes I am pretty sure they have a picture of me in the locker room that says "run from this girl. She is cray".
Thankfully, Beast is a kind soul. He winked and said "today 100%. But tomorrow... probably 105%!"
Again, being cool and awesome and calm, I began to jump up and down. He then talked about how much he had missed playing, how he can't wait till September, to which I scoffed and said "um... YOU can't wait? I can't wait" WHAT? Sands... NO! STOP IT.
Eventually we walked away from him. I didn't say bye. That is another thing i do. When it all becomes to much, talking to one of my boys, I flee. At that point, Charlie remembered that we hadn't introduced Steve, who was looming behind me. We went back in side (well, I skipped and clapped) told everyone else about our magical encounter. Then Steve came in and told us that no matter what i did, he did far far worse. His opening line was to tell Beason that a fellow player's parents lived next door to him. Awesome. I wasn't the worst fan Beason spoke to. PROGRESS!
I immediately text my stalker pictures to all my other fan friends
I shall share them with you now.
|his arm was bigger than my head.|
|oh instagram. you failed me this time.|
I wasn't the worst, Butner. Hah! NOT this time!