Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)
All kinds of people come into the Apple store. I get to meet and talk with people of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities. That’s a pretty fun part of the job, actually.
A couple days ago, I got to meet a few guys that were even more fun to chat with, being a long-time (big) Buffalo Bills fan.
I was working in the iPhone section, and a couple guys came up to check out the phones. One of them was studying it, so I offered to answer any questions, and began chatting with him.
The weird thing was, his friend looked a LOT like Ashton Youboty from the Buffalo Bills. I took a couple glances, but kept thinking, “Nah… he’s too young… too small. But it sure looks like him… Maybe a brother?”
As I was talking with Ashton-look-a-like’s friend, another guy from the store came up and said, “So you guys from Ohio State?” They were both wearing OSU garb, so it was a valid question. The guy is a Purdue grad, so it was a Big Ten thing… I didn’t bring up my MSU affiliation, as I was trying to be helpful with the iPhone, not play on long-standing college rivalries, which are an important part of life amongst Big Ten schools… 🙂
The guy who was checking out the iPhone said they did attend OSU, and they played football there. That of course intrigued me, as I knew that Ashton Youboty played football at OSU. Now I was pretty certain this was Ashton’s brother or something. Well, as I was going to ask, he left to go check out something else, but I asked his friend… and sure enough, it WAS Youboty, and the guy checking out the iPhone was another young Bills player, Dustin Fox!
After he revealed his “secret identity” I paused for a moment, then said, “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but… I just… thought you’d be bigger.”
He laughed and said, somewhat sheepishly, “Everybody does…”
We chatted a bit. Dustin said he’s the “team techie” and I showed him around to a few other toys in the store. They left and I was glad to have gotten to meet two of the (well, really just one) Buffalo Bills!
But the night was not over.
Much later in the night, I looked up at the big board that shows the names of people with appointments at the Genius bar, where we offer tech support on our products. One of the names on the board was Ashton Y. Now… there could be another person named Ashton. And perhaps even another Ashton with a last name starting with the letter Y. But, the likelihood of Ashton Youboty and this other potential Ashton Y. being in the same Apple store on the same night… not very likely. 🙂
So, apparently, Ashton was coming back.
And indeed… not long before closing time, Ashton (but not Dustin) and maybe four other friends strolled into the store. I was still manning the iPhone station, so I greeted them and helped one guy out, giving him an overview of what the iPhone does. Since they all came in together, I figured they were all Bills players, but honestly, I did not recognize any of them. Except Ashton, who was sitting at the Genius bar, getting some help from the Geniuses.
Well, as we were finishing up (it was just about closing time) the store cleared out – except for our Buffalo Bills friends – and I was no longer needing to stay at my station, so… I went over and introduced myself to Ashton. (Who, at this point, was just sitting at the Genius bar, waiting for something.)
“So, you’re Ashton Youboty,” I began. He nodded. “I just wanted to come say hello. I’m a big Bills fan, and your friend Dustin said you who you were when you guys were in here before.” I told him the story of how I thought they’d be bigger, and he said, “Man, I am bigger. I’m fat! The coaches want me to lose weight!” Then he added with emphasis, “It’s hard to lose weight!” Ha! He didn’t look like he needed to, but I’m sure his coaches know what they’re talking about. 🙂
After wrapping up a few other things, I had a moment to say hello to the other guys. I made sure that there were not other customers in the store, and that they (the Bills players) were not busy being Apple customers, and I finally got to say hello.
“So are you guys all Bills players?” I asked.
“Yeah.” (Their unified, hushed reply was a little less forthcoming than I had hoped…)
“Well, I have two boys at home, and they will want to know who I got to meet tonight, so… what are your names?”
The guy immediately to my right said, “Jabari.” I actually didn’t quite hear him, so I asked him to repeat and when I understood him that time I said, “Jabari Greer! Nice to meet you.” Ashton was next to Jabari, and then we went around the circle of guys and they all introduced themselves as I shook their hands.
“Reggie….” I said in a leading tone.
“Corner.” He smiled when he said it. Some of these guys are not really that outgoing… 🙂
“Reggie Corner! Nice to meet you.” (It really was. This was fun!)
We got to the last guy around the half circle, who said, “Jon Corto.” I heard him just fine, but I asked him to repeat it, because I had never heard of Jon Corto, and I know my Bills! So I probed a bit further, asking what position he played, and where he was from… still no luck.
As I was probing, Jabari said, “Well, tell us who you are!” So, I laughed and introduced myself. “My name’s Greg… Campbell. Actually, I have a Bills show…”
“Really?!” said Jabari, “Here in Rochester?”
I explained the Buffalo Bills Review, and actually, I thought I remembered that Jabari had been in the running for – or possibly won – an award from our show this past season, but that turned out to not be true. I did let him know that though, and he said, “I’m gonna have to check that out!”
In explaining the show, I mentioned that I grew up in Buffalo, and that’s how I became a big Bills fan. That’s when Jon asked where I was from in Buffalo. Turns out he is from Orchard Park – where the Bills play! So I talked with him a bit about that, how cool it is that he is from there and now playing for the Bills! Kinda living vicariously through that for a moment… 🙂
They didn’t stay much longer, but it was very cool to meet them all and chat a bit about Bills football, even the Buffalo Bills Review. When I started working at the Apple Store, never imagined that I’d get to meet five Buffalo Bills in one night! Was definitely a fun experience.
Wonder who will be coming in today?