Thursday, January 30, 2014

Graphing NFL Players During Super Bowl Week Day 1

One of my New Years resolutions was to go out and graph more this coming year. The fact that the Super Bowl is here in NYC and there would be a ton of appearances by former and current players was the perfect time for me to go back out and hunt some autographs. I was mainly looking to add autographs to my Jets collection and add some players I might not have otherwise had the chance to get any other time. In my first two days, I had some ups and downs, but so far it has been a good time.

Day 1:

On Wednesday, I arrived at Super Bowl Blvd (which in actuality is Broadway between 34th and 47th streets) at about 10:00 am. I initially was tired when I left my apartment, but the excitement of the day's events woke me up pretty quick. That and the 15 degree temperature that morning did the trick.

I waited for my friend to arrive at 11:00 am and we quickly got in line for the autograph stage. That day's scheduled guests really didn't thrill either one of us, but we wanted to see how the autograph lines worked and what to expect for future appearances that week.

While we waited for the first autograph guest, the Jets Flight Crew came out and did a few dance numbers for the crowd. After, we were told that the first guest would be up shortly and to have our items ready. If you didn't have an item, there were autograph cards that the player would sign. I had bought a huge Sports Illustrated Football book with me for players to sign, so this was the perfect opportunity for me to get a signature in it.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, Derrick Brooks was the first player to sign that day and I had my book ready. I flipped through the book quickly and couldn't find a picture Brooks was in so I decided to have him sign the inside cover. The pages are grey with Sports Illustrated printed across it, so when I got up front, I asked the handler to ask Mr. Brooks to sign the page in black.

Instead of the black Sharpie I asked for, he used silver. At first I was a little ticked, but now that I look at it I see it looks fine, so I have no problem with it.

After we left the line, we decided to walk up and down the Blvd and I took a couple of pictures.

Here is the very tall toboggan slide. The one that you couldn't get me to go up if Joe Namath was calling for me to slide down with him.

Temporary home of the NFL Network during the festivities.

That is pretty much all the pictures I took of the Blvd as my hands were numb from just taking those pictures. I will be back tomorrow, so I will get some more pictures of the Blvd and post them then.

While walking back up, we noticed a line outside a Duane Reede and asked what it was for. We were told Justin Tuck was doing a signing inside, so we got on the line. We were pretty far back, but the line was moving pretty quickly. A half an hour later, we were inside.

Justin was only signing photographs that were provided by the store.

The photo is not bad. Just seems like it's a very good printed picture rather than an 8x10.  But, it's a free autograph, so I'll take it.

After, we went up to Macy's for the main event of the day (at least for me), Wayne Chrebet. He's my all time favorite Jet, so there was no way I was missing out on him. I was originally going to have him sign his page in my Jets book, but opted to stop at Modell's and use my 20.00 credit on a Jets mini helmet. Unfortunately, Jets mini helmets have been hard to find this particular week, so I grabbed a football instead.

We got to Macy's a couple of hours early, but there was a line starting to form already, so we jumped on the back. I had my tablet, so I helped myself to Macy's free wi-fi and killed some time looking at Facebook and other sites while chatting with my friend.

When Chrebet showed up, the woman who introduced him to the crowd accidentally introduced him as a former member of the New York Giants which got a hearty Bronx cheer from most of the crowd until she corrected herself. When Chrebet got up to the table he posed for pictures and then started signing.

When I got to meet Chrebet, I told him how big a fan I was and about my Chrebet card collection. He seemed genuinely happy to hear about it and thanked me for being such a big fan. As he signed my ball he noticed my Yankees sweatshirt and commented that he knew I was a smart guy. He shook my hand and off I went with my new prize.

I really like how nice the ball came out with the silver Deco paint pen he used. I need to get me a few of them in different colors.

Macy's and NFL Auctions were auctioning off this really sweet full sized Jets helmet signed by Marty Lyons, Mark Gastineau, Joe Klecko and Abdul Salaam, otherwise known as the New York Sack Exchange. I really wish I could afford to bid on it. Owning a New York Sack Exchange signed item is on my "Must Have" list.

After, we decided to end the day by hitting Modell's for the Maurice Jones-Drew signing. When we got there, there was a line outside and we got to the back of it and waited. The line started to move in no time and we were inside. This time, I decided to take the picture the store provided instead of buying anything. We were allowed to take pictures, but since my battery was running low, I decided not to take any.

When I met Jones-Drew, I told him how I enjoyed watching him play and then told him I hope he signs with the Jets this off season. He appreciated it the remark, signed my photo and off I went.

When the day ended, I was out hunting autographs for a total of 9 hours. I was tired, my feet hurt and I was hungry. But I was thrilled at the autographs I was able to add to my collection. 1 possible Hall Of Fame Player, A former Super Bowl winner, a really good running back and my all time favorite player. Not a bad way to get back into the autograph hunting game.

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