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Why Larry Johnson Signs Every Autograph

Posted by Matt Terl on March 12, 2010 – 6:10 pm

When new Redskins running back Larry Johnson was waiting to sign his contract, Gary Fitzgerald of Redskins.com and I managed to talk to him briefly about his feelings for the team. Between his talk of “a dream come true” and “grew up watching the Redskins,” Johnson started to say, “I have a story about Gary Clark, but…” and then trailed off to namedrop Joe Jacoby and Charles Mann as guys he rooted for growing up.

We eventually got him to come back around to the story, though, just before he was called away, and it turns out that Gary Clark — the great Redskins wide receiver — was a pretty big inspiration for Johnson, just not in the way you might expect.
“People always ask me why I always take the longest time to sign autographs — like, I’ve gotta sign every autograph,” Johnson said.

“Well, when I went to Redskins camp [as a kid],” he continued, “I was real shy about getting autographs, but my brother wasn’t. So my brother asked Gary Clark for an autograph, and he didn’t stop. He just kept running.”

Johnson shrugged. “Ever since then, I’ve been prone to try to sign every autograph I can at different team events and stuff like that. I always do it, regardless of where I am.”

Then he was called away by general manager Bruce Allen to sign something else, and that was all we got of that story.

But Redskins fans who might be a bit skeptical of this move can take comfort in the fact that Larry Johnson is every bit as much of a Hogs fan as they are, and he learned something from Gary Clark that he carries with him to this day.

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