I Met the French Connection — and had NO IDEA. Yup. I’m a Loser.
A statue of the legendary French Connection is being unveiled today at Alumni Arena. Which made me think about why I am the BIGGEST SPORTS LOSER EVER. Seriously… I’m not a sports fan…I’ll own up to that right away but I gotta tell you, I was ASHAMED of myself.
Last year I was asked to sing the Canadian National Anthem at the ametuer Hockey tournament in downtown Buffalo. A pretty big deal from what I understand. And singing the American National Anthem was Buffalo’s own Frankie Scinta. He’s a great guy…still a Buffalo guy even after all those years in Vegas.
So I’m backstage before the event eating whatever is on the complimentary snack table when three suited gentlemen walk in. They were laughing and having a great time. One of these gentlemen looked very familiar but I couldn’t place him. I chalk this up to age. Sometimes I feel like my brain is disintegrating in my skull as I speak…anyway…
One of the gentlemen asked me why I was there and I told them I was singing “for the Canadians” and they said thank you in advance. They introduced themselves by their first names and we hung out and laughed for about a half-hour. One of the gentlemen asked if I was single because he had a newly divorced friend and I proceeded to razz him for a few minutes all in good fun. They were REALLY FUNNY! And they really seemed to enjoy each other..I was really struck by that. I had a blast just hanging out and talking to these men who I thought were maybe sponsors for the event…or maybe media types.
So it’s time for the big show. It’s time for me to go out and perform and they all give me big good luck hugs and that I’m representing Canada dammit!! BE GOOD!!!! I’m singing the Canadian Anthem first, then Frankie sings the American Anthem…and then, over the loud speakers LOUD music pipes in and the announcer says…PLEASE GIVE IT UP FOR THE FRENCH CONNECTION!!!!!! The place goes WILD!!!! They walk out AND GIVE ME THE THUMBS UP!!!!! THAT’S why RICK MARTIN looked familiar. OMG…I’m an IDIOT!!! It all started to make sense. I think about how many people would have died just to spend a minute with these guys and I actually got to hang out with them.
Months later I was so sad to hear about Rick Martins tragic death. I remember what a funny, kind guy he was backstage and how he laughed with a woman he didn’t know and made me feel like I was part of the group. And what a group it was. I’m so glad I have this memory. Even though I STILL don’t watch hockey…if these guys were still playing, I’d start.