Celebrities in Public Places

Yesterday while at Best Buy for our normal Tuesday visit to check out the latest DVD’s and Video game releases we happened to run into a handful of Chicago Bears players that were browsing the aisles. Now I know sports players aren’t necessarily “celebrities” in the normal sense of the word, but in a sports town like Chicago, it’s all we have. So as we were walking up to the DVD section to look around, Devin Hester walked by and started talking to another player who was looking at movies. I’m pretty bad when it comes to recognizing people like that so I had no clue who the other guy was all I know is that he was on crutches, but Hester is a pretty recognizable face and is (or was depending on who you ask) one of the best players on the team and one of the biggest names, and he’s also on my fantasy team.

Now this isn’t Hollywood and it’s just a few Bears players so it’s not like there was security or photographers or anything hounding these guys, they were just tooling around playing video games and looking at movies. I always told myself that I wouldn’t just randomly go up and ask for a picture with a celeb/sports star if I saw one out as I find it kind of rude, but my girlfriend wanted a picture and what’s the worst that could happen, he says no right… So not even knowing he was over there, I asked our friend at Best Buy if they had a demo setup for DJ Hero yet since they didn’t have it last week, he said yeah and we started walking over there. When we got over there Hester was playing the game and started asking the BB guy all sorts of questions about it. So we stood around watching him play for a bit, only because I had actually wanted to play the game, but what was I going to do, tell Devin Hester to stop hogging the game? So eventually we walked away and found my co-worker who was waiting for The Chief (that’s what our BB friend’s nametag says) to come check him out.

As we’re standing at his register in the “iPod” section, Hester walks towards the front of the store to grab a cart only to be greeted by another star Bears player Danieal Manning. I wanted to snag some spy shots of them, but I would really feel like an asshole just shoving the camera in their faces and snapping a picture, so instead I decided to ask Hester if he would mind taking a picture. I honestly felt like a jackass asking, but I felt better about it than if I had just held the camera up and taken some random shot of the guy walking through the store. He was nice and stopped for a quick picture with me, I thanked him and he made his way back toward the DJ Hero demo to grab a copy for himself, which is good because he needs a little practice.

So this leads to a question, would you bother a pro athlete/celebrity for a picture if he/she was out shopping? I definitely would not have bugged him if he was standing around other people or engaged in a conversation regarding something he was buying, basically I wouldn’t butt in and interrupt him just for a picture, but he was just walking through so I asked. Like I said, he was really nice about it, very quiet guy, and the BB guy said they come in all the time and are really nice guys and they wouldn’t mind if I asked for a picture… Now he did say that one of his buddies or someone saw Urlacher out eating lunch somewhere and asked for a picture or autograph or something and Urlacher got upset, which is totally understandable. I would never go up to someone that was eating or hanging out with their family or anything like that, that’s just rude.