He comes early. He stays late. He gets better every year, and he’s always ready for training camp.
Bryan Ruble, of Winchester, Va., is attending his 27th Redskins training camp, and doing it bigger than ever. A Redskins fan since birth, Ruble put on his Theismann jersey and shows up to camp year after year to do the same thing: get player’s autographs.
“I just love intermingling with my sports heroes. I grew up watching them passionately,” Ruble said remembering back to when Darrell Green showed up to his rookie training camp in a blue Volkswagon Beatle with graphics in Carlisle, Pa.
Ruble still has the picture of Green and is hoping to get it signed one day. But what he does nowadays is much more elaborate than just a few signatures on a football or picture.
In past seasons, you may have seen him with a ‘Burger King Hanging with the Hogs’ poster that accumulated 30 signatures. This year, Ruble outdid himself and got nearly 50 autographs in his first day at camp!
“This year seems to be a more fan friendly year with players and fans,” he said. “I look forward to it every year. I stay out as long as I can until I am asked to leave.”
I met Ruble at his post on Tuesday afternoon. The first practice was over and most fans had left Redskins Park, except three people outside the front gates. It appeared they may have escorted him off the practice fields, but hadn’t shooed them completely off the premises.
Just then, a black Range Rover drove onto the lot and Ruble got into position with his sign and marker. Players are returning from lunch in a rush to go to meetings. They give a wave, but don’t stop.
“What’s dear to me is the fact that my parents started me with this,” Ruble explained. “They took me to camp every year when I was younger.”
He says he’s accumulated over 1,000 autographs over the years, and gives credit to his families ties with the team.
Just then, another car drives on the lot, with the same result. False alarm.
He continues: “Every year my parents would have the passion coming with me as well as just seeing me as a kid with the players.”
Ruble credits his late father as a major influence for his fanhood.
“I’m still coming out and trying to get the autographs,” Ruble said, “because I know that’s what he would have wanted.”
Ruble’s memorabilia and signatures dominate his homes decor, so what to do with the giant posters with dozens of names on them?
“I hope to share it someday with the rest of the fans in a museum,” he said.
So, if you ever come across the ‘Redskins Sign Guy,’ feel free to stop and say hello.
But just remember that his focus and determination are unmatched. He is a true Redskins fanatic; he goes big, then he goes home…if security can ever get him to leave.
Tags: sign-guy, Training Camp, washington redskins
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