How to Get Autographs from Pro Football Players
When the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was eight years old, he found himself in the San Francisco Giants’ locker room where he asked Chili Davis, a star for the team at the time, for an autograph.
Davis refused, but said, “Maybe later kid, maybe if you come by after the game.” So the young Brady stuck around, and after the game he re-approached his favorite player, only to be turned away again by Davis saying, “No, I’m not signing autographs after the game.”
The effect stuck with Brady, both in terms of the disappointment it brought him and in Brady’s future outlook on autographs when he found himself in a similar situation.
“I certainly was hurt,” Brady told Tuff Stuff magazine, “but at the same time, I was in the guy’s clubhouse and now I look at it from a different perspective than I did when I was that age. At the time, though, it seemed like such a little request.”
One would expect walking into the Patriot’s locker room and asking for autographs might be a fast way to get your butt kicked, but there are ways you can position yourself in the autograph-giver’s radar without becoming a nuisance.
First, you must have something to sign. Having a playing sign your arm may seem like a fun idea at the time–and they may well oblige-but it’s largely a pointless act since you’re going to eventually wash it off. A good rule of thumb is if you’re not going straight to the tattoo parlor to have a tattoo artist trace the autograph, don’t bother with body signing. Always carry a good quality pen. What’s the point in handing the player something to sign if you don’t have something to sign it with?
Next, know who you’re talking to. If you can call the player by name, or say something that shows you have taken an interest in him, he’s going to look at you more sympathetically than someone else. The next important thing is location, location, location. It is far easier to get a player to sign something from front row seats than from seats in the second balcony.
If you get a good seat and get to the game early, you can also talk to the players as they walk by. If you can get one in conversation for a while, you might end up getting a few other players to stop by as well. Sometimes a player will start signing autographs and a crowd will quickly form, which is another reason to get to the game early. Fighting a crowd for signatures–or worse–being in your seat as dozens of fans start crowding around you is likely to get you more than annoyed.
If you can learn where the players come into and out of the stadium, that’s another great place to find them ready to sign, pose for photos, shake hands, etc. They’re far more likely to stick around for a while when they’re not in a hurry.
If you’re just looking for a signed photo, you can write the player in care of the team’s address. A better way is to also include a self-addressed stamped envelope and an unsigned 8×10 photo to the football player’s personal address.
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