Saturday, May 21, 2011
I read that as part of the NFL Rookie Premier event this year, the newest 49ers QB (and several other rookies) would be at a West LA Best Buy for an autograph session on Friday. Since it was just a mile down the street and during lunchtime, I thought it would be worth dropping by.
Surprisingly, there were only about 20-30 fans there and the wait time was minimal. They've got to do a much better job of promoting this. Several names - such as these 4 top 10 picks: Von Miller, AJ Green, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert - that have dominated the sports landscape for much of April during the NFL draft hype were there, but not many fans showed.
Perhaps this goes to show what schmucks LA sports fans are. Here they love them some Lakers, but couldn't care less when the King of all sport, the National Football League, rolls into town. I meet natives here who don't vote, don't know where the state of Ohio is, don't watch NFL and probably hate hamburgers and golden retrievers. So un-American, these people. I digress.
Cam Newton wasn't here but the other rookies besides Green, Miller, Gabbert and Locker were Shane Vereen, Jordan Todman, DeMarco Murray, Kendall Hunter, Ryan Williams and of course, Colin Kaepernick. To be honest, they didn't actually announce who would be there outside of the top 4 names (listed above) so like a stalker geek, I googled Kaepernicks' twitter. 15 minutes before 1pm, he said he was off to Best Buy. Sweet.
Anyway, the event didn't allow you to bring your own items in to have signed, which was fine with me since I had nothing anyway, but they provided photo cards that the rookies would sign for you. All fans went through the line and got autos from all the players, but I really only cared about meeting what I hope to be the future SB winning QB of the 49ers. They let me skip ahead. I didn't even stop by Kendall Hunter, the 4th rd RB 49ers pick, but I kinda regret that now. I also regret forgetting to bring a camera. Again, I think a picture with an athlete is more meaningful than just his auto.
I will admit that I donned a 49ers cap so Colin knew where I was coming from. And I will say this - he comes across as one of the coolest and nicest athletes you will ever meet. He looks you in the eye, he speaks coherently, he smiles widely and just seems genuine.
After a few minutes of small talk and procuring a couple auto photo cards addressed to my 2 sons, I left a satisfied fan. One day down the road, when they're old enough to care (and read), I'll pull out the 3 time SB MVP's auto to them.
Now if one of those other guys like AJ Green or Von Miller becomes the All-Pros that they're projected to be, I might regret not meeting them. But who really cares, pro athletes come and go - 49er QBs are legend.