Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Chris Christie Round II 11/3/14

For the 5th time in under a month, New Jersey Governor, and 2016 Presidential hopeful, Chris Christie was scheduled to be in Connecticut to stump for CT's GOP nominee for governor, Tom Foley.

You may recall that I met Christie just last Monday when he came through, and was pretty successful, but this time he was even closer to where I live, so there was no way I wasn't going to go and try to get some more autographs, because once the campaign trail comes, more and more people are going to be trying which will make things more difficult.

I had to rush there because of my schedule, but luckily for me the Governor had an even busier schedule. In the morning he was in Rhode Island, he then flew to Michigan, flew back to Connecticut, and was going to finish his night in Portland, Maine.

I probably got there about 20-25 minutes before he arrived, and while I got close again, I failed to get his autograph before he spoke. It was MUCH less crowded than the last rally I attended however, and I was even able to get the first spot where he was going to walk away from the podium. When that happened, I knew I would be all set. I actually brought a friend with me to help, since I wouldn't be seeing the Governor again for a while.

When he walked off of the "stage", he came right by me, and started signing. I had a picture of him and his wife, which was a strategic move on my part, to start a conversation, and keep him signing, which he did. He showed the picture to his wife, who was also happy to sign it.

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When he saw this picture he said, "Hey it's me with my buddy!"
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After he passed us in the line, we went to get a position by where he was going to exit. It got very crowded, so I decided that we should go outside to try for one last 'graph, and maybe get a picture.

I had him sign a baseball out there, and got an even nicer signature on it than last time.

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Unfortunately we couldn't get a picture with him, but he signed a lot for us so I went home more than happy.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Chris Webby 10/30/14

For a number of years now, I have been constantly listening to Connecticut rapper, Chris Webby, and like the rest of his huge, but still somewhat niche fan base, have been waiting for his debut studio album to be released for quite some time now. Luckily for us, Chris' album dropped last week, and FYE had him do in store signings in a number of cities. I was lucky enough to make it to his Meriden stop.

It is very widely known that Chris is one of the most fan friendly rappers there is to meet, and I have appreciated his music for years now so this event was the perfect opportunity to meet who is in my opinion, already one of the best rappers out there, in his home state of Connecticut.

Chris was a little late, because he had an extremely busy day which started in New York City, which is a few hour drive away but made it more than worth it for every fan who waited for him.

I should mention that the crowd was VERY big. I was so happy for him to get such a big turnout, but I shouldn't have been very surprised because his album sold out in nearly every Target and Best Buy in the country in just a couple of days.

Overall, I had a great time meeting one of my favorite rappers ever, and I can't wait to see him perform at the end of this month!
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Chris was super appreciative of everyone who came out to support him, and talked with everyone for as long as they wanted. He asked me if I had gotten to hear the album, and I told him I had barely stopped listening to it at all within the last few days.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie + Tom Foley 10/27/14

As far as last minute adventures go, this one just about tops them all. I found out literally HOURS before this event, which was a rally for Connecticut Gubernatorial candidate, Tom Foley, that New Jersey Governor, and likely 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie wouldn't be too far from me.

Even though I was not prepared at all, after my last class/meeting I shot over to the store, printed some photos, grabbed some baseballs from home, and was on my way.

I got to the venue about an hour before things were set to kick off, and there were a TON of people. Luckily, I found a parking spot down the road, and headed over. It was clear that neither Foley nor Christie had arrived yet, so I waited by the spot where I figured they would be going in.

Both arrived after the event was supposed to start, which is totally normal. Foley was first there, and after he finished talking to a few folks, I had him sign a photo for me. He was nice, but not overly so, but certainly wasn't mean which was good.

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When Christie's SUV pulled up I got ready to approach him, but Foley did also so I obviously wasn't going to interrupt. When they went to go in I don't think the governor heard me, but his lead security guy did, and he told me he would get me on the way out.

It was getting pretty cold at this point, so I really hoped he would stop. The event didn't run too long, and when Christie came out, I was the first person to stop him. He was extremely nice, and took the time to sign a photo for me, as well as take a picture with me!

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I wasn't done.

After that, I was able to get in the middle of the media scrum, and got him to sign a baseball. I was really excited about this, and he gave me an AMAZING signature. 
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I left very happy.

It isn't often that I get a chance to meet a political powerhouse, the last one really being Rudy Giuliani a few years ago. It was nice to have to opportunity to make this happen, especially on such short notice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Jeff Hardy, & Matt Hardy 10/18/14

The other night I had the chance to meet not only my favorite tag team of all time, but also the legendary Ricky Steamboat. There was a wrestling event being held at a high school in Connecticut, and as always, although I have never gone, there was an autograph session with all of the stars beforehand. As everyone knows, I don't really ever pay for autographs unless it is for charity, and since part of this was a fundraiser, and I grew up a really big Jeff Hardy fan, I decided it was definitely worth the trip.

The set up was pretty normal, and the first person I met was Ricky Steamboat. He was very nice, and definitely appreciated his fans more so than the other stars there. I never got to see him wrestle, but I follow and respect the history of the business, so I couldn't pass up the chance to meet him.

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After I met Ricky, I went over to the Hardy table. Jeff was always one my my two favorite wrestlers, HHH being the other. It was awesome that both Jeff and Matt were there together, because their matches as a tag team were always legendary. Matt didn't seem to even care that anyone was there, but Jeff made up for it and he was really nice, and talked with people. Nonetheless, I was happy that I got to meet them.

I got a photo with the Hardy Boyz:

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The show itself was actually really good. Matt and Jeff ended the main event with a Twist of Fate to Swanton Bomb combo.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

UCONN First Night + Ray Allen! 10/17/14

It is my senior year of college, and even though I live in Connecticut I had never been able to make it to First Night, the fantastic annual event that UCONN(and most colleges), hold to commemorate the start of basketball practice, and a new season. Luckily for me, I now have a job that never requires me to work weekends, so I could finally make it to the event.

There is usually a strong alumni presence, but the timing this year didn't work very well with the NBA schedule, which is heading towards the end of the preseason. Ray Allen of course, still hasn't signed anywhere, and he lives in Connecticut so I expected him to be there. Other than him, there were just the familiar faces such as Donny Marshall and Charles Okwandu.

First Night also represents the only time in the season in which both the mens' and womens' teams are together at once. There was an autograph session before the event, which was good, except for the fact that they don't allow outside items. Ryan Boatright hooked me up though, and was super nice as he always has been. Head Coach Kevin Ollie also hooked me up with one of my own items. I had the feeling that the athletic department was definitely breathing down the players' necks this year, because Boatright looked around 3-4 times to make sure nobody saw him signing my item.

I got Ryan on a magazine, and will add Ladontae Henton on it as well later this season:

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Here is the Kevin Ollie 8x10 that he signed for me. As you can see, the markers that the school provided were absolutely terrible:

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Finally, here is the huge poster signed by both full teams:

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After the event I went outside to try and meet my favorite basketball player ever, Ray Allen. For those of you who don't know, Ray is one of the toughest athletes to meet in any sport, and he just NEVER signs. I was lucky enough to have gotten a beautiful autograph from him at the Calhoun charity basketball game 2 years ago, and I was shocked.

I was even more shocked last night.

I was in the spot I needed to be in, and the door opened and I saw Ray saying bye to people in the doorway, but then he walked back inside, and I thought that he had maybe chosen to use a different exit. After waiting for a while longer, I had not lost hope because I figured there was a strong chance he was just talking to people because he doesn't get to come around a lot. Anyways, after a while longer he walked out. Nobody there even tried for an autograph, because by his demeanor, he clearly was not going to stop. Myself and two other people wanted pictures with him, and as I approached him he said he would, but I had to walk with him. I couldn't believe I was meeting him for the second time because of how impossible he is. He never stopped walking so the photo isn't perfect, but it is FANTASTIC given the circumstances.

Ray is just one of those people that I get excited about having a chance to meet because doing so brings back so many childhood memories. Not only is he the best basketball player ever from UCONN, the NBA 3-point king, and a major piece of the only Celtics Championship I have ever seen, but he is my favorite player ever in the basketball world, and at the end of a day, interacting with him means a lot to me.

I left last night VERY happy.

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Before Ray had come out, I got a picture with Sam Cassell Jr. who will hopefully be a big addition to this year's team:

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Boston Celtics Vs. New York Knicks 10/11/14

I took a few months off because I had so much going on, but I promised you guys I would be back this fall, and after a great night Thursday, as well as tonight, it's safe to say that I'm back.

Tonight, the Boston Celtics, my favorite basketball team of course, had their second of 2 preseason games in Connecticut this week, and this one happened to be at Mohegan Sun. I have been pretty successful in the past with basketball at Mohegan Sun, so it was kind of a no brainer to at least give the game a shot, even though I had never been to an NBA game there.

I did the usual, which for those who don't know and want to get autographs at basketball games is: go down to your favorite team's tunnel, know every player's name, and hope they don't "big league" you.

Lucky for me, I know every player on the Celtics, and also lucky for me, 90% of them were feeling nice!

I started off things on a good note by getting Marcus Thornton's autograph literally the minute I got to my spot.

After that, the ink just kept flowing... Brandon Bass, Kelly Olynyk, Evan Turner, and many more. I had never experienced such an influx of players stopping after warmups. It was just amazing. It did help that I was one of the only people who knew just about every player, so each player almost always stopped for me first.

I ended up getting the following players: Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Kelly Olynyk, Brandon Bass, Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, and Marcus Thornton.

The only bad part of the entire night was that I saw Danny Ainge twice, and he wasn't having it.The first time he ignored me completely, and the second time he looked right at me, thought about stopping, and decided not to. I was okay with that though since I did great with the team.

Cedric Maxwell was there as well, but I just never got close to him.

The guys that I asked to sign that didn't on the Celtics were Marcus Smart, and Gerald Wallace. Tyler Zeller ran in before anyone could ask him, but he wouldn't have signed anyway.

The legendary, Walt "Clyde" Frazier was at the game doing the tv broadcast for the Knicks. He ignored me on his way onto the court, but after the game I was able to make my way down, and he signed for me. I was shocked because for one, he is an absolute legend, and for two, he was acting completely out of it. He wouldn't even look at anyone, so I was surprised he signed.

Overall, I was more than pleased with how I did at this game, and it really switched me from baseball to basketball mode. Next up is UCONN First Night!

I didn't know what to expect going into this game so I just printed a team sheet for the Celtics:

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From top to bottom:
Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green, Marcus Thornton, Evan Turner,Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, & Brandon Bass

Here is the Walt Frazier 'graph!:

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Friday, October 10, 2014

George Springer & Nick Ahmed 10/9/14

A few weeks ago I got an email saying that the UCONN Alumni Association would be holding a dinner in the middle of the state, and Astros star, George Springer, as well as Diamonback, Nick Ahmed would be attending. Both players made their MLB debuts in 2014, and Springer is of course one of the best young prospects in the game. Springer was born in New Britain, so I figured that if  I was ever going to have a chance to meet him before he got too popular, it would be at this event, just a few miles from where he is from.

The event was scheduled to start at 6, and the guys came in just after that. There were a lot of people there, but not too many cared about autographs or pictures, so I got to go through the line twice. They were saying you could only get 2 autographs per player, but the guys didn't care at all and were signing whatever people had. It was just easier for me to go through twice because I had large items.

Both players were very nice, and George especially seemed pretty happy to be there. I'm definitely glad I got to go, and I got a number of great items signed.

George was giving out some of the best autographs I have ever seen from him! Lately his signatures have been just his initials, but he definitely hooked me up!

I felt pretty confident going into this event so I decided to buy a Springer jersey. I'm very pleased with how it came out because silver markers/pens can be very tricky. I think I'm going to get it framed soon!

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I also got a Rawlings bat signed:

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George also made the cover of Sports Illustrated this summer, so I had to add him to my SI sub collection, which has grown a lot in the past few years:

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Finally, I got a baseball signed:

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George was also nice enough to take a photo with me:

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I didn't come as prepared for Nick Ahmed, but I had him sign a baseball:

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This was a fantastic event, and I really hope both of these guys can break out big time next season!