Monday, July 7, 2008

Finally Recognized

I’ve been at this for a solid two years now, search engine optimizing, adjusting the layout, modifying the template, working to the wee hours of the morn, trying to create an NFL resource that people might actually visit. All in the hope that some random stranger, at some point in time, might recognize me out on the street and point out that they’ve actually been to the website. Well, this weekend it finally happened. I was in the middle of a road trip back to my hometown of Buffalo, NY for a family function. We stopped in Ohio to refuel, when someone, out of the blue, shouted out, “So have you hit all 31 yet?”

Startled and confused, I turned around with a dumb look on my face, “huh?”

“Quest for 31, have you made it to all 31, yet?”.

“Uh … I’m at seventeen,” my eloquence and command of the nuances of the English language surely impressed him. I couldn’t help it. I was completely caught off guard. Who actually reads this dribble? Do people actually visit the site?

“Incidentally,” I shot back, “How did you know what the Quest for 31 is?”

“I’ve been to the site,” he matter of factly responded.

It was a relatively new experience for me. Someone that actually visited the website and retained enough information from a random Google search to recognize me as part of it? Most of the time people are asking me what the Quest for 31 is, but this was a new twist on the .com inquiry. Well, the whole experience made my weekend. I told that story about a hundred times to anyone that would listen and each time I told the story, the details were slightly exaggerated. By the end of the weekend, that one guy morphed into a group of ex-NFL cheerleaders in an RV, that recognized my chiseled good looks immediately. Struggling to contain their enthusiasm at the chance encounter, they coyly asked for picture with me to keep as a memento from their trip to the great state of Ohio. Reluctantly, I agreed, for fear that my new found fame might drastically change the comfortable anonymity with which I currently lead my life. (My granddad was never one to let historic fact or actual details get in the way of telling a great story … I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

So the moral of this little anecdote is if you see me out on the road, at a stadium, in your local grocery store, let me know.