We live in the town where Wayne Gretzky grew up. Nearby is the Wayne Gretzky Sports Center and we drive on the Wayne Gretzky Parkway everyday. According to Wikipedia, Wayne Gretzky is "the greatest hockey player ever."
At church last week a very proper looking older woman in pearls and a fur wrap told me that she lives on the same street as Wayne Gretzky's family. She asked if I would like her to get Mr. Gretzky's autograph for my children.
Looking back, what I should have said was "How kind of you, that would be lovely."
Instead I said "My children have no idea who Wayne Gretzky is."
She looked as if I had slapped her.
I blundered on "We really aren't hockey fans at all."
Again the astonished look.
"But he owned the Phoenix Coyotes- they're an American team. He played in America for American teams." She continued to splutter, as I tried to make her understand that I had never even seen an entire game of hockey played.
Luckily another woman came along to save me, telling me about their planned youth activities.
So, sports fans, would you be astonished if someone had not heard of, say, Michael Jordan? Jerry Rice? Joe Montana? STEVE YOUNG?!