I remember when I took what was basically Psych 101 in college, we discussed something called anchoring bias.
Anchoring bias works as follows: you ask one group of subjects a question like "Is the population of the United States more or less than one billion people?"
You ask a second group of subjects "Is the population of the United states more or less than 100 million people?"
Then you ask each group of subjects to write down the number that they think is the actual population of the united states. The subjects in group one, who were given the one billion "anchor" in the leading question will on average guess higher than the subjects in group two who were given 100 million as the anchor number.
So what the heck does this have to do with anything relevant that I may write about? Well, I think it explains how I was mistaken for JD Drew while out in Boston last weekend. Let me explain.
The Capital Grille on Newbury Street in Boston is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights. After the Red Sox-Yankee 4pm game, we had a 9pm ressie, and showed up to a packed house, to find the host turning away four San Diego Chargers defensive backs who had shown up without a reservation (sorry gentlemen, please call me ahead of time next time you're in town and I'll take care of you). Fortunately, the host clearly knew who the fuck WE were, and sat us promptly.
We were in a booth, with Mariano Rivera and some guests seated in the booth directly to my right and one up, and Jack Welch, the legendary GE CEO and some guests seated directly to my right and one back. Now, although almost no one noticed Jack Welch, everyone noticed Mariano, and several people came by to shake his hand and solicit an autograph during dinner.
This is where the Anchoring Bias comes in, because, you see, on Saturday night at Capital Grille, you kinda start to assume that everyone there is "someone." I happened to be with 3 other guys, one of whom was about 6 foot 6, so other tables started eyeing us. I'm guessing they weren't whispering: "Hey - that's Kid Dynamite - that guy who writes those sweet Vegas recaps!" When two of the guys in our party got up to go to the bathroom, a Sox fan wandered over, still wearing the red long sleeve jersey jacket he'd worn to the game.
"JD Drew," he accused me - as he extended his hand to me. Now, you have to understand - although I might normally be attempted to play along, JD Drew is not exactly a fan favorite in Boston. He has been a very expensive and very disappointing failure so far this year. Thus, when someone comes up to you thinking you're JD Drew, they are quite likely to react poorly, as three of my friends separately replied via text message "DID HE PUNCH YOU FOR SUCKING?" "DID HE TELL YOU U SUCK?" "DID HE BOO U?"
So I look this doucheball in the eye, and calmly say, "No." I look about as much like JD Drew as I look like Dustin Pedroia - which is to say, not much.
He keeps his hand out, saying "You're JD Drew."
I stare at him with a look that says without words "dude - STOP," but he doesn't believe me - he's sure I AM JD Drew, and I am just shy or afraid or something.
"I'm not JD Drew," I tell him quietly.
His hand is still extended, and he says "Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you on a good game today," you see, Drew had actually driven in a clutch RBI against the Yankees!
I shook his hand, smiling, and telling him one last time, "I'm not JD Drew," while shaking my head. He walked away, back to his 8 man table, and they proceeded to stare at me for the next 15 minutes.
I tried to unload a deuce in the bathroom, but wilted under the pressure, fearing that at any minute a camera phone would appear under the stall trying to catch JD Drew on the crapper for the Boston Herald.
until next time,