Many, many years ago, David Letterman coined a phrase that friends of mine and I at Western Kentucky University adopted and discussed frequently.

A "brush with greatness" occurs when you just happen to meet somebody famous. In the years since, I've applied rules to it because of the opportunities I've had to meet country stars via meet-greet-passes or attendance at the Country Radio Seminar, where you are virtually GUARANTEED to meet a lot of celebrities.

In other words, if it's set up, it's not a brush with greatness because it's not a chance meeting.

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Well, if you attend the Kentucky Derby, there's no guarantee you'll meet someone famous, but a LOT of celebrities attend the annual race, so you can't rule it out.

But, under my rules, any meeting at the Derby would count since none of them would be planned.

Back in the 50s, when my mom was a student nurse in Louisville, Bob Hope attended the derby. During his stay in the city, a member of his entourage had to be hospitalized and he came to visit. The patient was on Mom's floor and she got to meet Bob Hope, which is one of the coolest examples ever.

So is this one:

I have good friends who are alumnae of Fern Creek High School, so they must have loved this.

Seriously, imagine being a high school football player and getting a selfie with, arguably, the most famous quarterback on the planet.

You see, "brushes with greatness" can happen to anyone at any time...AT the Kentucky Derby. So next time, in addition to your fancy duds and those hats, don't forget to charge your phone.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

[SOURCE: WLKY-Louisville]

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