Whether you are a full-time collector of sports memorabilia, looking for that special present for a friend, or simply looking for your favorite players, getting the autograph of an NFL player is easiest at this time of the year. That is because the players are out of the big cities and security-controlled stadiums they normally inhabit and are playing at college campuses across the land as part of training camp. Players are more apt to sign now than any time of the year because they are looser and see their teammates signing as well.
Things You'll Need
- Sharpies in several colors
- A bag
- Several footballs
- Some team hats
How to Get Autographs at NFL Training Camps
Start early. Most camps have a designated area for people to get autographs at the end of practice sessions. Stake out a spot about an hour before the session is to end to make sure you have visibility with the players.
Make a sign. Anyone can sit there and scream a player's name. A sign helps. For example, several fans at the Carolina Panthers camp at Wofford College held up signs welcoming back wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad after several years of playing on other teams. Muhammad made sure to sign autographs.
Don't try to intimidate. Yes, yelling insults will work once in a blue moon, but most of the time the players will avoid the guy yelling obscenities.
Have something to sign. Players almost go into automatic mode at this time of year. They will sign footballs, hats, jerseys and programs at will. Bring something that will go up in value financially.
Keep trying for several days. Rookies will often sign the most, while stars for the most part do the least. However, some superstars will sign autographs on days when the crowds are thinner. That means: go to several practices to get the best inkings.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep a bag to store signed merchandise in. This way the players don't see that you are stockpiling autographs.
- Be courteous. These guys don't have to sign, so say thank you.
- Try to limit it to one autograph. These guys aren't going to sign a dozen cards and hats.
- Avoid small talk. Don't expect to get a conversation from a player on his injuries or his thought on politics. Just say thanks and wish them good luck on the season.
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