The best time to get autographs at training camp — really the only time, unless you’re exceedingly lucky — is after practice. The players disperse along the rope and sign the things that are handed to them, and usually it’s a nice, efficient transaction. The players stick around as long as they can, the fans get their stuff signed and exchange a few words with the guys, everyone leaves happy.
From what I’ve seen around Redskins Park, this works out pretty well, primarily because the Redskins have a really good group of guys in the locker room. I know the kids who got DeAngelo Hall‘s cleats yesterday were pleased, as was their dad, Carl Chandler.
Chandler brought his two boys, Dakota and Cole, to their first training camp yesterday. “We decided to come up from Richmond for the day, get some autographs,” he told me. “They love the Redskins, that’s pretty much all they talk about.”
They enjoyed the practice. Chandler thought Jason Campbell “really looked pretty good,” and the kids got see their favorite player, Chris Cooley. Then they stuck around for the autographs.
“We were trying to get autographs from DeAngelo and everybody started crushing my son,” Chandler told me. “So DeAngelo pulled him from under the other side of the fence and told us to hang out and gave us his shoes.”
“He was just gettin’ smashed,” Hall told me afterward. “The Redskins’ve got great fans, but I’ll tell you what: me, Campbell, Santana, CP, anybody comes over there, they’re going for it. The dad was trying to keep ‘em back, but fans were just trying to get autographs and weren’t seeing it.”
I had caught up with Hall while he was sitting in one of the equipment carts conducting an interview with a Tidewater TV station in his stocking feet, and he now got up and started walking into the facility. “So I asked them to come underneath the rope, they came underneath, kinda got ‘em out of the fire a little bit.”
That makes sense, sure. But why give them your shoes?
“I didn’t have nothin’ else to give ‘em,” he said, laughing. “So I signed my cleats, gave one to each kid, and took a picture with ‘em.”
So consider this one more rule to add to my previous list of training camp suggestions: Watch for the people around you when you’re trying to get autographs. DeAngelo Hall won’t always be there to rescue your children and give them his shoes.
It turned out fine for Chandler, in the end: “It made my day, actually, when he pulled them over and signed his shoes for them.”
Tags: DeAngelo Hall, DeangeloHall, Training Camp, TrainingCamp
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