Happy Groundhog Day! I understand there’s also some sort of “big game” going on today. It’s so funny how everyone has to say “big game” instead of Super Bowl.
Or Superb Owl.
Back to Groundhog Day, not only a holiday where a rodent is used to predict weather, but one of my favorite movies. I especially love Bill Murray in it; I love that dry sense of humor. It reminds me of an encounter my partner Tracy and I had with him years ago.
The Final Four was in St. Louis in 2005, and though we didn’t have tickets to it, we went downtown to soak up the atmosphere. St. Louis’ downtown has developed a lot since, but back then there were a lot of vacant spaces that suddenly became bars and merchandise stores simply to sell stuff to the massive amount of people in town for the games. It felt like we were tourists in another city. The weather was great, so we just enjoyed walking along the streets, people watching with a couple friends of ours.
The championship game between North Carolina and Illinois was about to begin, so we headed down Washington Avenue to our friend Brian’s loft to watch the game. As we were walking, we noticed someone familiar passing us, heading toward the dome. Tracy and I turned to one another and said “that’s Bill Murray!”
We decided we couldn’t let an opportunity like this pass us by, so we left our two friends and headed back the other direction in search of Bill. We caught up with him just as he’d turned the corner to go into the dome. Tracy politely said “Mr. Murray, could we please take a picture with you?”
I should probably mention that Tracy, being from the south and a big Michael Jordan fan, was decked out in North Carolina wear because she was cheering for them that day. Bill Murray, you may or may not know, is a huge Illinois fan.
Mr. Murray turned, looked at Tracy, and said “North Carolina! We’ve got to beat you guys!” Then before we realized what was even happening, he said something along the lines of “You want a picture? I’ll give you a picture!” and proceeded to pretend to kick Tracy’s ass, right there on the streets of St. Louis while many people, myself included, watched in amusement.
Tracy was holding the camera, so we didn’t get the posed photo of the three of us we had in mind, but thanks to my cell phone, I think we got something even better. Keep in mind this was the beginning of 2005 and I was still using a flip phone, but that said, I think this photo perfectly illustrates the sense of humor of Bill Murray.