So, my girlfriend was in a store getting a new cell phone. I'm not even sure I should call it a cell phone. It's an "i" something or other. It's basically a computer, camera, and about 20 other things all of which are attached to the cell phone.

Anyone else remember when phones were stuck on a wall at the house, and you had to dial phone numbers and wait for the round thing to come all the way around before dialing the next number? It made you hate phone numbers with 8 and 9 in them. But I digest (just ate breakfast).

My girlfriend had a Washington Redskins thing dangling from her old cell phone, and the guy selling it to her commented on it. He grew up in Dallas and was a fan of the Cowboys (the 'skins rivals). He told a story I thought I would share here.

He was 8-years-old, and going to see Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman at an autograph signing in some store. He had a football with him. Aikman tells this 8-year-old "I'm not going to sign that."

Now, for those that don't know...musicians often times fret (pun intended) about signing guitars. And sports stars don't care for signing footballs, baseballs, or bats. They know a lot of people get those signed merely to sell. So, if they do an autograph signing for a store, they usually just sign 8 x 10s and nothing else.

Well, this 8-year-old boy does what most kids would do in that situation -- he started balling. He cried and cried and cried, as he walked away. Aikmans manager sees this, and sensing a PR nightmare, grabs the ball from the boy and has Troy sign it (which he does).

They try to hand the football back to this kid, but he keeps crying and saying "I don't want it, I don't want it!" Of course, his dad made sure he did get it. And he said from that point forward, he never watched another Cowboys game again.

Now, talk about a celebrity not signing an autograph and losing a fan...this guy basically disowned an entire team and sport!

It baffles me that the celebrities can't explain to the kids, "I'm not signing footballs today, only pictures." A child would be just as thrilled getting a photo signed. Or, the star can ask the childs name, and personalize the football to him. The kid would like it so much more, and it wouldn't have much of a re-sale value with the name "Harold" on it.

With that being said...I'm off to watch the Pro Bowl in a few hours.
Enjoy your football Sunday.

Views: 2687

Comment by Stephen Duncan on February 1, 2010 at 12:30pm
I like when an event posts the rules or terms of the signing. "Explain it, before you have to explain it" is all I ask.
Good story Josh!!
Comment by Stephen Duncan on February 4, 2010 at 8:46am
Colin Cowherd, on ESPN Radio this morning got into the subject of autographs. As he puts it, a "fan" got into a shouting match with Mike Ditka this morning in Miami as this autograph seeker did not like the fact that Ditka didn't sign for him. Cowherd defending Ditka saying that Mike often "takes more time than just anybody else" and is very willing to sign.

Colin went on to say that this week Miami is infested with autograph seekers and that these athletes are getting increasingly tired of these requests and are signing less and less (no new news there). Colin went on to say that he sees in less than 5 years from now, with all the increased security and bigger and bigger venues, autographing at the week leading up to the Superbowl and in sports in general will be a thing of the past.

(I am not a sports collector so I have no real info on what it is like, but can only imagine all the sharks that are not in the water swimming all around south beach this week)
Comment by Tim Henderson on February 4, 2010 at 12:54pm
I am not sure if everyone knows but Aikman is a Germafobe he hates holding your item and he usually has his own pen at golf tournaments so he does not have to take yours, but I agree he is still a jerk because he usuualy will only sign the tournament program.
Comment by Brandon Mysinger on February 9, 2010 at 11:42am
That my friends is why you should collect NASCAR autographs. :)
Comment by Josh Board on February 9, 2010 at 3:45pm
Great Mike Ditka story. It reminds me of the famous Jerry Lewis one, which I've told before. He told Martin Scorscesse, who then put it in the movie KING OF COMEDY.
Lewis was running late, and a woman was on a payphone (another thing of the past) talking to her sick mother in the hospital, excitedly saying "oh my god, jerry lewis is walking by me right now!!!" She wanted Lewis to say hello to her sick mother and wish her well. He explained he was running late, and if she met him back there in an hour he would gladly do that and have more time to talk. This sweet little lady, then proceeded to curse out Lewis for a solid two minutes as he walked away.

With Ditka, I'd be willing to bet, this guy had a ton of footballs and was just a dealer. It's so easy for those guys to spot the fans from the dealers. And it's the dealers that spaz out.

Sometimes, I wish I did this. Tom Petty walked by me, when only 3 fans were there (and I was wearing a Petty shirt!) I wish I would've screamed some crap at him, although he looked so high, who knows how that would've gone over.

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