In my experience with meeting professional sports personalities there have been few guys that really come off as authentically nice people. Last night, I met Mick Foley, he was at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, who jumped all the way to No. 1 on the list of truly genuine athletes that I've encountered.
I've met Yankees, other wrestlers and NFL players. All of these pale in comparison to the laid-back nature of Foley, the only exception may be Chris Jericho. During the reading/Q&A/signing, Foley was witty, sincere, humorous and—I guess the best way to put it—nice.
A guy who can joke around about himself or even about the time. It was almost like talking and listening to a guy I have known for years, instead of only having watched on TV. He even at one point stopped the signing of his book Countdown to Lockdown to sing "Happy Birthday" to a young fan who came out to see him. If that isn't a good guy, then I don't know who is.
When it was my turn to get the Hardcore Legend's John Hancock in my new copy of his latest memoir, he asked what my favorite Foley moment was. Obviously, it was good ol' Commissioner Foley and his antics with Edge and Christian. Foley then shared a story about the 2000 Thanksgiving episode of SmackDown, about the food fight and who exactly came up with the name of Al Snow's Dish..."Al Snow Peas." He also said that the true beauty was that Brian Christopher, Grandmaster Sexay at the time and son of Jerry Lawler, got a bit of revenge on his stepmother (The Kat) by dumping gravy on her.
This small gesture of taking a couple minutes to talk to fans, as he did this with almost everybody, showed he actually maybe cared about the people who supported him.
This is something I've only experienced with Chris Jericho, earlier this year while he was signing his Fozzy CD at FYE at the Huntington Mall. Although I am a diehard Yankee fan, they kind of seemed annoyed by having to do signings. Honestly, I realize they are probably being forced to do it, but at least act like you care...I'm talking to you A-Rod, Jeter and Rivera.
In fact, even NFL busts can act like jerks. That's right, a certain former first round draft pick wouldn't sign a ball for a little kid at a collegiate spring football game. Then again, he is a Steeler, which means he has little-to-no class.
Mick Foley stood as a beacon of humility among other athletes. The guy seemed more like my Uncle Jimmy during Thanksgiving than a rich, world-famous wrestling legend. Perhaps other public figures should follow the example set by the man who has bled on six continents.
(P.S. I am not one of those guy who gets autos to sell them online. I get them made out to me to keep.)