“If you could ask Jimmy Connors anything, what would it be?” was the question I asked Facebook friends. I was invited by the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, for a weekend which included a reception with Jimmy Connors to launch the new resort package called, Legends of Boca Experience.
It’s not because I couldn’t think of my own questions but it’s because I wanted to see if there was anything out-of-the-box I could ask. Something no one else has asked him. And okay, I crowd-sourced the question because I was a bit lazy since I was a little short on time for proper research to find something really intriguing.
I received excellent questions regarding tennis and how the game has changed, how he trained for his comeback, best equipment, etc. We’ve all dreamed of being Jimmy Connors at some point in our lives, and by taking part in something like las vegas tennis lessons, you could still, once you’ve hit the court, pretend that you are the Brash Basher of Belleville himself.
During the reception, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d ask him the questions. There wasn’t a formal receiving line and it looked as though if you wanted to meet him, you needed to creep over and find an open window to speak with him. I saw others doing this and as I was about to make my move, it began raining and the reception was moved indoors.
It was the tennis legend, about a dozen others and me at first and as I replayed in my head what I was going to say, everyone else from the party came undercover to escape the rain, too. Soon after, Boca Raton Resort & Club president Richard Hayduk welcomed the group and eventually introduced Jimmy Connors to the Boca Raton community.
“I look forward to seeing you all around the tennis court, around the hotel and around town so that this relationship can continue to grow not only here at the hotel but also with my new friends,” Connors said.
Well, he probably won’t see me around town because I live on Florida’s Southwest Gulf coast rather than the East coast so this is my once chance to ask a question. Connors floated in and out of the new reception area and I asked a gentleman whether he would be back. This gentleman was Erik Silver, the resort’s Director of Tennis for the past 20 years, who is working with Connors on the Legends of Boca Experience, and in the know.
“Yes, he’s doing an interview,” he told me.
What Did I Ask Jimmy Connors?
Eventually, Connors returned to the reception and was in pouncing distance. I asked Erik whether I could meet the tennis legend (yes) and if he could take our photo (yes).
After shaking hands and introducing myself, I asked him whether he knew there’s a street in a small Mexican town named after him.
“No, I didn’t!” he said with a look of disbelief.
With my crowd-sourced Facebook post, my friend barb, who always has a fun, different slant on things, suggested I ask the five-time U.S. Open champion whether he knew there’s a street in Mexico named after him. I had printed out barb’s question and showed it while I read it to him.
“It’s in San Juan Cosala, Jalisco, Mexico…in Spanish it’s pronounced Him-ee Cone-ors. Calle Jimmy Connors crosses Calleee Raul Ramirez,” I told him.
Sensing he had more hands to shake, we posed for a couple of photos and in a snap, he had left the building.
The question wasn’t earth-shattering and probably something any other interviewer would have asked but I liked it because any other interviewer probably would not have asked it.
As for my brush with the tennis champ, he was extremely nice, seemed interested in meeting me and learning about this street in Mexico and had very soft hands!
The next evening I saw him and Silver in the hotel lobby and I stopped to say “hello,” except it turned out to be, “Hello,” to Silver and “Hey, how’s it going?” when Connors looked up from his phone. He reciprocated with a “Hey.”
One day I’ll get around to writing my blog post titled, “Stupid Things I’ve Said to Famous People.”
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