Jump to content

Sports figures you have met.


infrared41
 Share

Recommended Posts

Alright, here are mine...

Kevin Curtis: My dad coached him in college and he was my favorite player, we always had great times. We've had him over for thanksgiving in college, and I met him about a year ago as he played for the Eagles.

Chris Cooley: Again, exact same story as Curtis. Utah State had some good players :\ Great guy and always helpful.

Chris Horn: Old School player at Rocky Mountain College before we got there, I met him when he was playing for the Chiefs, he came up to Billings. Classy man.

Matt Light: Long story, but basically: Was up for a hunting trip in Montana, and he called Rocky asking if he could come do a talk for the team. I got a ball signed by him and a few pictures. He is extremely nice.

Ndamukong Suh: I met him at the Holiday Bowl luncheon on the Aircraft Carrier, Makin Island. Very nice, he a little frustrated at all the yelling at him for autographs but thats it.

Chris "Beanie" Wells: Met him at Cardinals spring training, they were practicing in the dome and I was one of the only people who had field access.

Matt Leinert: Absolutely great guy. He gave me some autographs, also at NAU

Kurt Warner: Great guy, words cant describe it. He is nice and very willing,

Larry Fitzgerald: Haha! This guy is awesome. Me and my dad got to have a convo with him. and he ran some routes with our team. haha!

Anquan Boldin: Just like Fitz. Funny and a nice guy. Wasnt very social, but still nice...

Dave Dickenson: Great guy, I met him at a University of Montana party

Barry Bonds: He was very nice actually. I got a ball from him..

Andre Either: Very Nice. I got a private tour by someone who works for the dodgers.

Coaches

Most of these were at the AFCA Banquet. Jim Harbaugh, Randy Shannon, Bob Stoops, Pete Carroll and some others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've gotten autographs from Gabe Kapler about 4 years ago at a bookstore and Ken Hodge at a Bruins when I was less than 6 years old, and I didn't know jack about him although my mom kept saying how good he was. I saw Jim Corsi at Autograph Alley in Fenway this past year and said that I was from his town and he said that was cool. Got an autograph. I have seen Doug Flutie multiple times at BC games and met him once in the parking garage at a BC womens' basketball game about 7 years ago. He's awesome. I think that's all the important sports figures I have encountered in my life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have been many and I could spend the weekend to get a more complete list (so I may just make a second post to talk about the average to spare players). The backstory is better than the meeting In terms of greatness:

Ken Griffey, Jr.: January 5, 2002. A friend of mine worked for ClearChannel at the time and got us tickets for AMA Supercross. We get to will call and look at the tickets to see they are in the Club Level. We look closer and it is a suite. Get up there, open the door, and we are greeted not by our host, but ?The Kid?! We sit down, grab a plate, and see Omar Epps in the same suite. We looked at each other with the strangest look. Apparently, Griffey was an early sponsor of James ?Bubba? Stewart.

Al McGwire/Ray Meyer and Tom Izzo: 1997 Final Four. ESPN Radio was doing their Sunday Night show the night before the Final at I think the Marriott. We got there before they went on-air, so we had a seat at a table next close to the broadcast dais. McGwire comes in before his scheduled time and just sits down with us. That hour, I nearly pissed my pants hearing him tell his tales.

He gets us up to do his interviews and keeps referring to ?those guys at that table know what I'm talking about?, and he was talking about the three of us. Right when Al starts, Meyer walks in and heads to our table and says, ?They just told me to sit down here!?

As for Izzo, Final Four Saturday, my friend who works for the Michigan Athletic Department got us tickets. Most people in the dept. committed to NYC for the NIT or the Frozen Four. We know the venue was dry, so we came in pretty well oiled and sat behind Izzo. I know I said some pretty salty things, especially after Dean Smith's final game coached. He did not phased. Six years later I saw him again and apologized.

Mike Modano and Bret Hull: I met him initially at the Harrah's Casino in New Orleans during SB XXXVI. Just looked up and it was him while Hull was playing craps. I had two beers in hand as I bought one for my friend. Well that one went to Mike and I said, ?You probably did not think a brother would know who you were, huh?

Hull heard it, turned around and laughed. Mike said, ?Uh, you're right, but don't tell anyone else.? 15 minutes later, he bought me shot.

In a much lesser note, I did meet Doc Gooden, Strawberry, and Gary Sheffield at a Tampa Bay Thrillers game when I was like eight. I will probably post more Saturday before football.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike Modano and Bret Hull: I met him initially at the Harrah's Casino in New Orleans during SB XXXVI. Just looked up and it was him while Hull was playing craps. I had two beers in hand as I bought one for my friend. Well that one went to Mike and I said, ?You probably did not think a brother would know who you were, huh?

Hull heard it, turned around and laughed. Mike said, ?Uh, you're right, but don't tell anyone else.? 15 minutes later, he bought me shot.

I am very jealous of this story!

-Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adam Wainwright- I put him first because I actually know him. We played with and against each other for years and he went to my rival High School in the same city. We graduated the same year and my best hit off him came our senior year when I smacked a double to drive in the winning run off him. Great guy too.

Kwame Brown- He also went to my rival high school and we graduated the same year. I saw him a lot before he got drafted, and only once and a while after. He was not a bad guy to be around but I have heard that is not the case anymore.

Jeff Francoeur- He autographed my Sports Illustrated. Great guy!

Random Korean player at the World Baseball Classic- I have no idea whoi he was, but I got a picture with him :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My list is few but good

Jim O'Toole- former Reds pitcher(1958-66), I work at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch in a Cincinnati suburb, and waited on him earlier this week. Very nice man.

Bob Huggins-Former University of Cincinnati(now West Virginia)head coach. Met him at an NBA preseason game years ago. He was nice enough to sign my Kenyon Martin Nets jersey.

Mike Babcock-former Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL(now Detroit Red Wings) head coach. Actually sat in his office and talked to him for a while on one of those pick your seat night gigs. As much as I hate the Red Wings he was very nice person to talk to.

Brian Kelly-former University of Cincinnati(now Notre Dame)football head coach. Okay I didnt actually meet him but I waited on his wife at work. She was renewing his license plates for him in October.(and he does not recieve a refund for lost time on his plates with his move to Indiana, like that matters to the greedy b***h!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike Modano and Bret Hull: I met him initially at the Harrah's Casino in New Orleans during SB XXXVI. Just looked up and it was him while Hull was playing craps. I had two beers in hand as I bought one for my friend. Well that one went to Mike and I said, ?You probably did not think a brother would know who you were, huh?

Hull heard it, turned around and laughed. Mike said, ?Uh, you're right, but don't tell anyone else.? 15 minutes later, he bought me shot.

I am very jealous of this story!

-Dan

I walked in between Morrow and Modano, but I only knew what Hull and Modano looked like. I think I earned the shot since I knew who Turco was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've met a few:

John Mackey: I used to work at a local card show and he came to sign. Very nice guy. I know he has some brain damage from his playing days. He signed a photo for me, so I shook his hand and thanked him. He seemed impressed and wrote me a longer note on the picture. Definitely a cool experience I won't forget.

Boomer Scott: Same card show, I helped him out while he was signing. He was actually kind of rude and had me get him alot of stuff. I helped him carry stuff out to his car afterward and he talked to the guy who runs the show. Right before he left he did lean out and thank me. So to be honest I didn't really know what to think of him.

Brooks Robinson: I met him a a signing at a local card shop. One of the nicest guys I've met. He agreed to take a picture with me, which was cool since I know alot of athletes don't do this anymore (Adam Jones refused to take one with me at Spring Training on my birthday last year).

Another kinda cool story, is that I play softball with two guys whose brother plays for the Orioles in the minor leagues. I won't say who he is, but he's got a pretty good chance of making the majors. Anyway after his season was over, he actually came out and played a game with us and hit a grandslam. It was probably illegal to have him on the team, but no one else really knew who he was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robyn Regehr

Skated with him at an outdoor rink during the lockout really nice guy signed a few sticks for my friends and I.

Henry Burris

More of just a hey how you doing moment saw him at a CO-OP (Calgary Food Store).

Milt Stegall

At this years Grey Cup when he was walking out of the press area shook his hand and talked some football.

Not much but still sweet to know that you talked to some professional athletes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I met a lot of athletes during my short stint at Distant Replays, but the only one that I actually got to talk to for any length of time was Warren Sapp. He cleaned out the store of everything we had in a 3X or 4X, but was probably the most polite customer I ever helped. One of the jerseys he picked up was a red Steve Bratkowski throwback and I said "you know they're in your division now, right?" (this was the off-season when the NFL had just realigned). He said "It's all good, I wear ALL my victims!" before lifting up his shorts to show a smaller pair of Philadelphia Eagles gym shorts underneath. My shift ended while he was still shopping and the owner said he'd take over from there since I had an appointment to get to after work. As I was walking to the train station, Mr. Sapp rolled up and said "hey fam... where you headed to?" I told him about my appointment and he said "get in." We mainly talked about college ball and he told me a couple stories about his days at The U.

I've also met numerous Packers, Brewers, Bucks and local college athletes, but none of them yielded stories as good as the one about Sapp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've met alot of Braves players, as that was always the biggest part of the games for me, trying to get autographs before the game at the player's parking lot. There are only a few I remeber actually talking to people and Paul Byrd, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones were probably the nicest ones, there was another one, I think his name was Charles Tillman (I could be wrong), but he was a preety good rookie OF for Atlanta and got traded to the A's, and I havent heard of him since but I got his autograph. Paul Byrd talked to us for a preety long time, because there wasnt many fans out there. I got Glavine's autograph as a Brave and when he came back as a Met. Chipper signed them while he was hurt, he is my favorite player so I was star struck by seeing him but he was really nice to everyone around. I got Andruw Jones autograph but he didn't say a word to me haha, the gate security guy said I was lucky though because he never signs autographs back there. I also met Mike Shula at a Japanese Steakhouse in Birmingham, and thats about all of the people I met that I can think of. Really the only ones that my Dad and I had a conversation with was Paul Byrd and Mike Shula.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The player you are thinking about is Charles Thomas. He helped the Braves win the division in 2005 then fell off hard when he got to the A's.

Ah Charles Thomas, I knew it was Charles and his last name started with a T. Yeah he was actually on the A's when I got his autograph and someone told him "We need you", and he said he wished he could come back. He was in the minors at the time but came to the game to see some old teammates I guess. I remebered him being good when he was on the Braves, wish we wouldn't have traded him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eric Piatkowski (Nebraska/Clippers/Rockets/Bulls/Suns)

Eric is my dad's cousin, so I met him several times at family gatherings when I was little. I don't really remember much, but apparently I rode around on his shoulders for a while.

I think that's about it. Not much, but hey, what would top riding on the shoulders of a professional athlete?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My next set is...

Super Bowl XXV: I was a senior in high school at the time in Tampa. Tickets to the game were given to me and my brother. The parking was the closest parking I have ever had, due to the THAT war . The pre-game party, which I could not really enjoy had Dan Marino, Icky Woods and other players. My brother and I had seats next to Gayle Sayers (and wife) and were behind Kevin Mack. I have seen a lot, but that game, may be the best football game I will ever see, period. It had a safety!

The halftime was NKOTB, but with local kids tearing up the turf. Following the halftime, I saw two girls who were are on field for the show and saw me in the stands. I brought the stub in to school as it was one of the first hologramed tix, and I was a hero. I was old friends with both girls and should not name names.

Bob Gainey (July 1995): When I was working at University of Michigan in the summer he comes in to the IMSB (Intramural Building), but looking for the hockey building. He just said, ?I am Bob Gainey and I am looking for Red Berenson.?

I am (and making out) scrambling for around two minutes, then was told where Red wad at. I Then told Bob I would walk him over. I got four personal autographs at that time and then I happened to move to Dallas in 2000 and still talk.

Vinny Ceratto: He and I still talk. During the 2002 season, he was rehired. The Tahnksgiving weekend game the team was at the Dallas Reniasaance. Vinny is in the bar and we overhear him say, ?What do you have for dessert? Do you have any chocolate chip cookies??

My buddy and I snapped. The bartender got Vinny two cookies and a scoop. A week later, my secretary and I both baked cookies to Vinny. Until this year we both still baked and we both have received holiday cards. I met him in Dallas annually, before 2007. He was good.

2007 MotoGP: Non-motorcycle guys; the US MotoGP is the F1 race in the US. So I go to Laguna Seca with my college roomate who actually knows all the riders. The Saturday before the real race, I follow my friend to the Yamaha and Honda tents where many legends are at. I have no clue, I was there to drink. I just had a 2 lb. bag of trail mix with me and the two of us go through all the legends.

Wayne Raney, Jamie James, Scott Russell, Colin Edwards, Giacomo Agostini, ?Steady? Eddie Lawson; ?Fast? Freddie Spencer.

Each shoke my hand, but the old men: Agostini, ?Fast? Freddie Spencer, ?steady? Eddie dug in ande ate the trail-mix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I met a lot of athletes during my short stint at Distant Replays, but the only one that I actually got to talk to for any length of time was Warren Sapp. He cleaned out the store of everything we had in a 3X or 4X, but was probably the most polite customer I ever helped. One of the jerseys he picked up was a red Steve Bratkowski throwback and I said "you know they're in your division now, right?" (this was the off-season when the NFL had just realigned). He said "It's all good, I wear ALL my victims!" before lifting up his shorts to show a smaller pair of Philadelphia Eagles gym shorts underneath. My shift ended while he was still shopping and the owner said he'd take over from there since I had an appointment to get to after work. As I was walking to the train station, Mr. Sapp rolled up and said "hey fam... where you headed to?" I told him about my appointment and he said "get in." We mainly talked about college ball and he told me a couple stories about his days at The U.

Great story. I miss Distant Replays.

Great thread idea here. My list:

Bob Lilly, Bob Hayes: As an Army brat, I had no 'home' team until my dad retired and we moved to New Orleans when I was 8. My mom was from Dallas and my grandmother lived there so I 'adopted' the Meredith era Cowboys as my team and was a die-hard Dallas fan. One of my best memories is visiting Dallas once as a kid and my dad taking me to the Cotton Bowl, where a kind security guy let us walk around on the field. For a 6-year-old kid, that was really something.

When I was 9 or so, we were living in New Orleans and my dad surprised me by taking me down to a Canal Street bookstore one day. A long-time Dallas sportswriter named Sam Blair had written a book called Dallas Cowboys: Pro or Con? and who was at this store doing a signing? The author along with freakin' Bob Lilly AND Bob Hayes! It was awesome. I don't remember a lot of details but both players were very nice to me and I still have the autographed book.

Bart Starr: Many years ago I was working the ticket counter for American Airlines in Tampa and checked in Bart Starr for a flight. He was very gracious and laughed when I told him he'd broken my 6-year-old heart with that sneak in the Ice Bowl. I still have his autograph on the back of an AA ticket jacket.

Roger Staubach - saw him in passing at the Atlanta airport, he seemed distracted or maybe p***ed so I didn't approach him.

Stan Brock (former Saints tackle) - the largest human being I've ever met in person. He was listed at 6'7" and 290 but I'm 6'2" and was about 230 at the time and I felt like a small child looking up at an adult.

Jammal Brown (current Saints tackle) - saw him in a restaurant in Norman, OK. Massive guy and frankly, he looked like someone you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.

As an aside, I met/saw many celebrities during my airline years, including:

George W. Bush - his dad was President at the time and I drove W and his SS escort from one flight to the next; they searched me pretty thoroughly beforehand too!

Jay Leno - just saw him passing by, didn't speak other than to say hello.

Edward James Olmos - Very low key. We had a Special Services department who usually escorted celebrities but Olmos had none of that. He just walked up the my gate in a sweater and jeans and handed me his ticket. We were busy and I didn't even really notice it was him until I saw his name on the ticket. I'm a fan and told him I really enjoyed his work. He said, "Thank you very much", took his boarding pass, and sat down with everybody else to wait for boarding. Very nice guy.

Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello - I can hear the "Who?" from the young 'uns here...you'll have to Google 'em.

Arsenio Hall and Paula Abdul - they were dating

NFL refs Jim Tunney and Larry Nemmers

Yakov Smirnoff - he was hilarious, just firing off one-liners that cracked everybody up.

Penn and Teller - one of them (the shorter one) was boarding and I was helping the F/A take tickets. This was in the days when people would come up to the counter and we'd tear off and return just the boarding pass stub for boarding. So he had the stub but his hands were full with a carryon, a magazine and such, so I didn't immediately see it in his hand. Then I saw it and reached out saying, "Oh, you have a stub." And he draws back with fake indignance and says, "I BEG your pardon?" And I look and see who it is and say, "Hey, you're..." and he interrupts, still with fake anger, and says, "Yeah, buddy, the guy with the little stub!"

Toni Tenille - One of the nicest people I've ever met. Her flight was delayed an hour and I was going on break so I stopped just to say hello. She invited me to sit with her and we talked about anything and everything for 45 minutes. She cracked up when I told her I'd had a crush on her when I was like 17. :P

That's all that come to mind at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I won't mention the autograph signings I went to as a kid, cuz those guys were all cordial but short.

Paul Molitor. I flagged him down at old County Stadium and chatted briefly after BP when I was about 12. It was cool that he took the time.

Chuck Foreman. I was a kid with my parents at a restaurant. Chuck (a very good Vikes RB from the 1970s) was before my time. My dad recognized him. So, being about 10 and into autographs, I went to his table where he was with who I assumed was his wife. (I'd never do that now...guys should be able to eat in piece, but I was a dumb kid). Anyway, he signed and was totally cool about it. He asked me my name and personalized it. I appreciated it.

Tony Oliva. I think I was about the same age (10 to 12) as the above two instances. Spring Training with my parents. Tony was batting coach for the Twins. We were at the facility hours before the game, hoping we could find players to sign the pile of cards I brought. Nobody around, so we wandered aimlessly and were in a batting cage. Suddenly I hear this thick accent say something like "hey, you're not supposed to be here." But he was joking. He signed my card and chatted for a while and said some funny things. He was definitely a great guy to meet. When we were on our way out he says "hey" and I turn around and he flips me a ball (very Mean Joe Greene moment). That was easily the best run-in I've had.

Barry Sanders. I was in high school when the Super Bowl came to Minnesota. I'm in line for the field goal kick with two friends and one says "that's Barry Sanders." I turn around, and, sure enough...My friend and I went over and shook hands with him. Quiet and cordial, but clearly did not want to be bugged. He had an agent/manager or someone with him that said "no autographs" as it was clear that other started to notice his presence. Not a great story, but Barry is easily in my top 5 athletes, so I thought it was cool.

The above are the biggest stars. During my time at the University of Wisconsin there were tons around. My two stories are Tony Simmons, a WR who went on to a short career with the Patriots (and someone else). It was at a bar. He was drinking water. Two of my friends and I spent about 20 minutes talking football with him. He was pretty cool. The other was Paul Grant, a Center who was drafted by the T-Wolves (I looked him up and he has 16 NBA games under his belt). I mention it because I struck up two conversations at bars with him and he was just really cool and answered questions and just enjoyed talking to people. And I am sure, at 7 feet tall, he was bugged a lot.

And one I don't count because I don't remember it. In 1979 when I was five, I was with my parents and met Herb Brooks. My dad claims to have said something like "it's going to be a rough trip to the Olympics" to which he claims Herb replied "we're gonna win the gold."

I have no bad experiences. I think as a kid, I had some say they did not have time to sign, but that's fine. If someone is cordial about not giving you time, that's all I ask. They don't owe me conversations and don't have the time to please everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can honestly say that Mariano Rivera is one of the nicest people I've ever met. The man is just a class act. I met him at a charity benefit back in 2005 and we chatted a little bit. Overall, though, great guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I met a lot of athletes during my short stint at Distant Replays, but the only one that I actually got to talk to for any length of time was Warren Sapp. He cleaned out the store of everything we had in a 3X or 4X, but was probably the most polite customer I ever helped. One of the jerseys he picked up was a red Steve Bratkowski throwback and I said "you know they're in your division now, right?" (this was the off-season when the NFL had just realigned). He said "It's all good, I wear ALL my victims!" before lifting up his shorts to show a smaller pair of Philadelphia Eagles gym shorts underneath. My shift ended while he was still shopping and the owner said he'd take over from there since I had an appointment to get to after work. As I was walking to the train station, Mr. Sapp rolled up and said "hey fam... where you headed to?" I told him about my appointment and he said "get in." We mainly talked about college ball and he told me a couple stories about his days at The U.

Great story. I miss Distant Replays.

Great thread idea here. My list:

Toni Tenille - One of the nicest people I've ever met. Her flight was delayed an hour and I was going on break so I stopped just to say hello. She invited me to sit with her and we talked about anything and everything for 45 minutes. She cracked up when I told her I'd had a crush on her when I was like 17. :P

I am pretty darn sure that 80-90% of the posters here have NO IDEA who she (or the Capt.) is/are. I loved his hat though. You may have won the most obscure, but once household name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I met a lot of athletes during my short stint at Distant Replays, but the only one that I actually got to talk to for any length of time was Warren Sapp. He cleaned out the store of everything we had in a 3X or 4X, but was probably the most polite customer I ever helped. One of the jerseys he picked up was a red Steve Bratkowski throwback and I said "you know they're in your division now, right?" (this was the off-season when the NFL had just realigned). He said "It's all good, I wear ALL my victims!" before lifting up his shorts to show a smaller pair of Philadelphia Eagles gym shorts underneath. My shift ended while he was still shopping and the owner said he'd take over from there since I had an appointment to get to after work. As I was walking to the train station, Mr. Sapp rolled up and said "hey fam... where you headed to?" I told him about my appointment and he said "get in." We mainly talked about college ball and he told me a couple stories about his days at The U.

Great story. I miss Distant Replays.

Great thread idea here. My list:

Toni Tenille - One of the nicest people I've ever met. Her flight was delayed an hour and I was going on break so I stopped just to say hello. She invited me to sit with her and we talked about anything and everything for 45 minutes. She cracked up when I told her I'd had a crush on her when I was like 17. :P

I am pretty darn sure that 80-90% of the posters here have NO IDEA who she (or the Capt.) is/are. I loved his hat though. You may have won the most obscure, but once household name.

You're right. She was very sweet, and holds the distinction of being the only "Beach Girl" ever, i.e. the only female to perform on stage as a 'member' of the Beach Boys (keyboard and backup vocals on tour in the 1960's). She also wrote what IMO is one of the most romantic/sensual songs ever, The Way That I Want to Touch You. Here she is with the Captain in their heyday.

Captain%20&%20Tennille.jpg

I also forgot one. Remembered when I read about the guy who went up to Chuck Foreman's table as a kid:

Tom Dempsey - The Saints kicker who set the NFL record with a 63-yard FG lived in an apartment complex near me. The local kids knew where it was and so I went to his door - so uncool to bother the guy but as a kid you don't think about these things. He'd gotten used to it though and actually kept a box of signed 8x10s on a table by the door. B) He was incredibly nice and gave me a pic and talked to me for a couple of minutes. This is from the web, I misplaced my pic a long time ago but this is basically what it looked like:

9516.jpg

Dempsey.jpg

He didn't have a right hand and only half a right foot due to birth defects but played for a number of years in the NFL. And you Bronco/Elam fans, yeah he knocked one through from 63 yards as well, but Dempsey's was with the game on the line, :02 on the clock down 17-16 and in the humidity of sea-level New Orleans. Elam's was in Denver's rarefied air at the end of the first half with nothing to lose, so IMO if one 63-yard FG can trump another, Dempsey wins easily. November 8, 1970...and I was there! :D

If you've never seen it, treat yourself...just the radio call is priceless and I love the way the crowd noise rises as the ball approaches the goalposts. And BTW, most of New Orleans didn't immediately know he'd made it. A swarm of bees short-circuited a transformer and the power to the radio feed failed just before the kick. :blink:

Sure looks short of the crossbar from that angle but the refs were right there, and the one in the back ground is pretty demonstrative too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.