Last week, Will and I went to UVa’s “Meet the Football Team” day.
The basketball arena was filled with orange and blue-clad fans large and small, most clutching a team poster, football, helmet or other item to be autographed by the players of their choice.
The players were all seated at tables surrounding the floor, each armed with a silver Sharpie marker and no doubt thankful to have a couple of hours away from the practice field. Fans who had a particular player in mind could find them fairly easily; they were sitting in numerical jersey order. Will’s goal was just to get as many autographs as he could, and we arrived early enough that at first he didn’t have any trouble finding players who were ready and willing to scribble their name and number on his poster.
It wasn’t long, though, before the crowds were in full force and there weren’t many easy targets. Some of the star players had long lines of fans waiting their turn.
Will soon found that his small size could be used to his advantage in working his way toward the players’ tables.
His instructions from me were to be polite and not cut in front of anybody, but to stand his ground at the same time. It was a great teaching moment for Assertiveness 101!
The crowd was an interesting mix. There were plenty of kids, which I expected.
I was surprised, though, by the number of adults who were there, working their way through the crowd to score the signatures of their favorite players. I’m sure that some of them were collecting the autographs on behalf of their kids. Many, though, were clearly after their own treasured souvenirs.
These folks do realize that these players, while they are clearly talented, dedicated, and often quite impressive physical specimens, are still 18-22 year olds who are just a few years removed from getting their driver’s licenses and attending their high school proms, right?
Anyway – it was a successful outing for Will. He wound up with several dozen autographs on his poster,
including that of Cav Man himself. Will asked him whether his sword is real, and was quite impressed to learn that it is!
The highlight of the afternoon, though, was when one of the players asked Will for HIS autograph before agreeing to sign his poster. Guess who has a new favorite player?