Originally posted on Couch Tarts  |  Last updated 11/13/11
The other half and I stood against the playground bars outside The Counter at Santana Row, waiting for a text (yes, a text. Welcome to the future), to come through and alert us to the fact that our table was ready. As we stood there, discussing California fashion (ugg boots and  jorts, flip flops and wool pea coats), I noticed a group of shaggy looking fellows roll up to the door. I only really saw the one guy, in shorts and tragically faded and ill fitting navy henley and ball cap, and thought to myself, "damn, that guy needs like 3 showers." They sat before us,a text alerting them to the fact that space had opened up. I bid a slient good bye to the man needing three showers and continued to ponder wool pea coats and flip flops, and exactly what this combo said about modern society.
Californianus Sterotypicalus Now, navy henley LOOKED familiar, but not in a way I could place. His carriage and dress really struck me as a pro athlete out enjoying his off day, but he wasn't anyone I recognized, and no one else seemed to recognize him either. I assumed he was a local college jock, or maybe one of the Earthquakes players. He had been hanging out with a strange guy, similar height, in a navy suit who was also in a ball cap and and looked ridiculous. VERY SERIOUS, but ridiculous, none the less. Who the hell wears a suit and a ball cap? Whatever, businessman. You look silly and you own it.

A short while later, text received, we headed inside and were shown to a table right next to the bar. Navy henley and navy suit were there, seated with a gentleman in tight fitting running type shirt, jeans, and a ball cap. I didn't see his face,only the back of him, as the bartender was talking hockey with him. I proudly pointed this out. "SHARKS FANS!" I said, using my eyes to indicate the folks next to us. My husband, not sure what any of the Sharks looked like, but pretty damn sure he knew a hockey player when he saw one, simply nodded. He already suspected they weren't just fans, but actual players, but he didn't want to mention this, lest I devolve into some less than civilized antics.

After 10-15 minutes had passed, the people at the table behind us got up to leave. As they did, the woman stopped by us and tapped the shirt wearing man on the shoulder. He turned, and I **** myself. It was Ryane Clowe. The Ryane Clowe. Not another pseudo one, or a guy who looked like him, but RYANE MOTHER ******* CLOWE. She got a quick picture with him and left, while he returned to football. Suit man began scanning the room nervously, or at least, with the mild discomfort one might express upon finding that they are constipated, but if he noticed me staring at the back of Clowe's head, he ignore it. I, meanwhile, was excited telling my husband over and over, "OMG! OMG! THAT'S RYANE CLOWE!" but in a low whisper as to not be uncouth. How you think you look when you see your favorite hockey player
How you ACTUALLY look
I think that's about all I said for a good ten minutes, while I excited tweeted I was sitting by Clowe at lunch. (I've wanted this guy's jersey for YEARS, but haven't gotten it because I am terrified that if I do, he'll be traded. I have a Kyle McLaren jersey and the summer after I got it, he was gone. I'm way too superstitious to allow that to happen again.)

Now, I have a rule. It's a rule I made years ago after I once saw Scott Adams at a restaurant, trying desperately to enjoy his food, but being denied the chance because people kept stopping to take pictures with him. I do not ask famous people for pictures if they are out eating, or in general just out trying to be a normal human being for awhile. Sure, they're famous, and that comes with a loss of privacy but, I don't want to disturb a guy when he's out eating and hanging out with friends. I mean, I wouldn't want random strangers to come up to me and do that, so, why should anyone else? I was dying though, because he was RIGHT THERE and he's one of my favorite Sharks and it would be so cool to have a picture with him and my hair even looks good for once, but GAH! I can't. I'm too much of a wuss, A, and B, it's just not right. I couldn't even bring myself to tell Ron Perlman that he was a biscuit eating machine when I ran into him in the studio back when I worked in animation. I WANTED to, but I resisted.

I suppose I should confess to a factor C as well, which was my husband and his desire to tell ALL of them, especially the man in the suit, that gentlemen take their hats OFF at the table. (this was discussed before I knew who was at the bar. The other half mentioned of an episode of the Sopranos were Tony went and told some local kids to get off his damn lawn and to take their hats off at the dinner table, dammit!) Were I to approach, I was not sure he would be able to contain himself from telling the man in the navy suit (at the very least) to take off the hat because you don't wear ball caps with suits. Believe me when I say this was a very real possibility.

Bursting with excitement, I began to try and figure out who navy henley and navy suit were. Clearly they were both of very similar builds, so they had to be players, but I couldn't figure out who. McGinn? No, it looked a bit like McGinn, int he sense that it was a man who playe dhockey, but not quite. Plus, I was pretty sure that Ginner didn't have a movember stache going, and this guy did. (and, I thought to myself, Ginner would dress far better. He seems the type) Suit man just looked out of place, and I had no idea who he was, other than he knew Clowe. Upon returning home, further investigation, (that's not creepy at all, Gray!), showed that navy henley was Sheppard and navy suit was very likely Handzus, although I am not positive on that one. Three guys, on their day off, watching football, who also happened to be professional hockey players. Wearing ball caps at the bar.

I bounced out of there, part of me wishing I didn't have moral dilemmas over letting people be people so I could get a picture because that would have been awesome, but happy that I had seen one of my favorite players up close and personal, even if I did spend most of the time gazing in awe at the back of his head. Thankfully, if he heard me reaptedly exclaming, "OMG IT'S RYANE CLOWE!", he said nothing as we walked passed him on the way out. Had I noticed Clowe outside, I would have bounded over, (where bounded over means walked up very sheepishly), and asked for a picture. I probably also would have very loudly exclaimed "OMG IT'S RYANE CLOWE!" before hand, thus making an ass out of myself. I know this because I have done it before. (sorry Cheechoo)

Even though we didn't actually meet, and he doesn't know I was creepily tweeted about sitting near him, the encounter made my day. Thank you Ryane Clowe, for deciding to watch football at The Counter today. I didn't want to disturb you and say hi, but it was pretty awesome to see you nonetheless.

p.s. I'm not a creeper. Promise!
p.p.s only a creeper would say that

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