GT Sports Marketing held it's annual San Francisco show this past weekend, and for the first time, I decided to make the long trip up to the Bay-area to catch some current and former football legends.
Day One (10/4/13):
After an early morning flight, I finally made it up to San Francisco and drove over to my hotel to unpack. Since I had some time to kill before the show, I wandered outside and took some photos before grabbing a bite to eat at IN-N-Out.
I took a ton of "touristy" photos, probably enough to bore you to death, but since this is an autograph site, I'll try to keep them as minimal as possible.
Here's a photo that semi-revolves around the autograph that I got:
That's the Cow Palace, where the show was being held at. The arena was built in 1941 and was originally used for processing soldiers in World War II, so it basically looks like an old military hangar with a few buildings that were added on the side. I didn't take any photos of the inside, but trust me when I say that it's vintage 1970's.
Friday was by far the weakest day for autographs. The people scheduled to sign that night were Colt McCoy, who was doing a private signing only, Sebastian Janikowski, Darren McFadden, Vince Young, and Steve Young (whose time seemed to change every other minute). I was really only interested in Janikowski and McFadden, but unfortunately, McFadden was a late scratch due to "injury treatment", so I was left with just Janikowski. Luckily, he showed up and I was able to get my Raiders mini-helmet sign by Jano.
When I got up to Janikowski, I told him the honest truth that he is the only kicker I will ever pay to get an autograph of. He seemed to get a "kick" out of that and thanked me for my support. A good way to end the night.
Day 2 (10/5/13):
The second day was by far the best day, as a majority of the current and former athletes were signing on Saturday, as apposed to Friday night or Sunday afternoon. With that said, I'll jump straight into the action, as the first autograph I was able to get came from "Mean" Joe Greene, who signed an Official NFL Football and a Hall of Fame mini-helmet, both with his "HOF 87" inscription.
PSA was also in attendance all weekend, certifying autos for $10 on spot. I decided to get both the Greene's, as well as a few others, certified right away.
The next autograph I got came from current 49ers running back, Kendall Hunter. As a big 49ers fan, I believe Hunter will turn out to be a great running back in the NFL, so I was glad to have him sign my 49ers mini-helmet.
After Hunter, I was able to get another current Niner, and my favorite defensive player in the NFL, NaVorro Bowman, who also signed a 49ers mini helmet for me.
The final two guys on the day were by far the biggest two autographs for me, as 49ers' all-time leading rusher Frank Gore and wide-receiver Michael Crabtree both made an appearance at the same time. Crabtree and Gore were the two main reasons I made the trip up to San Fran, as they very rarely sign from what I've heard, so I was stoked to get both of their autos. First off, I was able to get Crabtree on a 16x20 Photofile photo, which looks much better in person than it does in the photo below.
Then I hopped in Gore's line and was able to get another 16x20 Photofile photo, as well as a 49ers mini-helmet signed.
Since Gore was the final signer on Saturday, I got my items PSA'd and made my way to the exit, wrapping up the second day in San Fran.
Day 3 (10/6/13):
I had a very simple plan for my third and final day in San Francisco. That plan was to get the autos I needed and make my way back to So-Cal. Luckily for me, all of the signers that I needed happened to be scheduled within the first hour, so all went as planned.
The first two autographs I received came from Hall of Famer's Fred Biletnikoff and Marcus Allen. I had them both sign a 16x20 photo featuring all three Raiders Super Bowl MVP's (Allen, Biletnikoff, and Jim Plunkett). I got Plunkett on the photo the previous day, but decided to wait until now to show the finished piece, which features all three players.
It's always nice when you can get a project completed in a matter of days.
Since Biletnikoff was fairly cheap and came with a free inscription, I decided to go back around in his line and get a mini-helmet signed by the legendary wide-receiver. Biletnikoff was also kind enough to add "Super Bowl XI MVP" as well.
The fourth and final guy I got on Sunday was "Mr. Raider" himself, Tim Brown. I decided to go against the "norm" with Brown and get him on a Notre Dame mini-helmet instead of a Raiders one. Why? a. because with no logo on the helmet, there is a ton of space to sign, and b. I already got too many Raiders helmets signed for a 49ers fan like myself. In the end, I think I made a good choice.
On my way out, I also decided to pick up this Gregor Blanco photo that I found at one of the tables. The photo came from Blanco's perfect game saving catch last season, and coincidentally has the inscription "Perfect Game Saving Catch 6-13-12" which is what ultimately sold me. The photo was only $15 and inclued a Tristar hologram, so I considered it a pretty solid pick-up.
That concluded my very successful weekend in San Francisco. Since Los Angeles doesn't have a football team (yet), I'm always thrilled whenever I get to graph any current and/or former NFL players, as it's a rarity besides the few former Raiders players who tend to make appearances every other weekend.
Since I neglected to post my final recap of the Oakland A's game that I attended a couple of weeks back, I just wanted to let everybody know that I should be pretty busy this offseason with hockey, basketball, and signings around the area. One thing I love about So-Cal is that there's never a lack of autographs to obtain. A big thanks to everyone who stuck through this long post, and as always, thanks for reading.