I've been lucky enough to meet Buffalo Bills Center Eric Wood on a couple occasions.  If I could take them all back, I think I might.It's not because he wasn't cool or that he was a jerk or anything like that.  Actually it was quite the opposite.  I just seemed to always come out looking like an idiot every time.

I've always admired Eric as a player.  I'm just a fan.  I love that he is what I would call a "gritty" player.  He was always right in the trenches and fought hard.  I played center and guard for a good amount of time when I played football so I respect the position he plays and know how difficult it can be. He's never been in the spotlight for doing something negative.  And for his time here in Buffalo, in my opinion, he's been very generous with his time and money.  That's true especially for the kids.

So with all that said, what could have been so bad about meeting the guy?

The first time I met him, I was at Darien Lake.  It was before a Toby Keith concert.  I was there to do my show before I did stage announcements.  While there, our friends from The Bee in Rochester invited us to come to a barbeque that they were having for their listeners.  Sweet!  Free food?  I'm in.

By the time we got there, it was full.  Jam packed with a bunch of people.  But we filled our plates anyway and grabbed a drink and scoped out the only two available seats in the whole place.  They were right in the middle of a table filled with about 5 huge people.  I walked up to the table and began to ask if it would be alright if we sat in those seats that I realized it was almost the entire offensive line for The Bills.  Eric Wood, Kraig Urbik, I believe Andy Levitre...they were all there.  What came out was, "Hey, do you guys mind if we...holy $**t, you're Eric Wood!"  To which he responded, "Yes...I am."  Again, I'm a fan so instead of just sitting there and eating my dinner, I talked their ears off and probably annoyed the heck out of them.

Now fast forward a couple years.  It was the year Jake Owen was the headliner at the Taste of Country.  The Cadillac Three were there that year and after their interview, they invited me to come join them on their bus for a bit.  So I began wandering around back stage to find their bus before the show.  I turned a corner and right right into Eric Wood.  I was shocked to see him there.  I didn't know he was coming.  What did I say?  "Hey!  Oh crap...you're Eric Wood!"  to which he responded, "Yup."

Now that I've felt like an idiot twice I quickly asked them if they'd seen The Cadillac Three's bus and wandered off.

Shoot.  That's twice.

Now fast forward a few hours later.  Jake Owen is on stage.  Liz Mantel knew that I was a big Bills fan and had gotten to talk to the person that was involved with getting them to the show.  She said to me, "Hey, The Bills are up on stage..I have a contact, come on up, I'll introduce you to them.  I argued and said I had made a big enough fool out of myself in front of the Bills already to which she responded, "well come up with me...I want to meet them."

I'm trying to be a good friend now so I agree..and that was a mistake.

She brings me up on stage and gets Eric Wood's attention, and says, "Eric...meet Brett Alan!  He's a big fan of yours!"  To which he responded,

"Yup...we've met."

Yeah...we have.  I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to be that guy.

So needless to say, I've met him a couple times since then at a benefit for Brian Moorman's PUNT Foundation and then again last year at the Taste of Country.  It's pretty safe to say that when he showed up at The Taste of Country again last year and went out on stage with Michael Ray, I politely shook his hand, said hi, and left him alone.

Even though it's one of my most embarrassing celebrity meeting stories, it's still one of my favorites.  He's been very nice each and every time and I'm glad that I had the opportunities to meet him.

I'll miss seeing him on the field but I wish him the best with his young family.  I'm still a huge fan and hope he finds a way to stay with the franchise as long as possible.   If by chance this ever makes it his way somehow, someone else please tell him I said best of luck in whatever comes next for him.

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