Bear with me on this one. This can be like an inside the mind OFF4L as to take us back to the days of a long lost member.
It was known early on that myself and a few others were going to go on a stalking mission. Seeking autographs and photo ops is always a dicey operation, and that day was no different. Dicey meaning that is hit or miss as who & when somebody will be exiting the hotel once they arrive. And some properties are more dynamic than others by means of their layout. Hotel security is variable that must be noted as well.
Today's situation was pretty basic. Two access points in/out of the hotel seperated one street corner and about 150ft. There was only a crowd of 20-25 of which 5 or 6 were ebayers and we were kept to the sidewalk clear of the entrances. It was all good and I came prepaired. Three mini helmets ( '72, current logo, & current logo "speed" mini), a full sized helmet, 8x10 photo album with current players, and my brand new custom made DCC sign. Sharpies,.......check. Camera,....check. And I was there with one of my best friends, and new friend that is just as Dolphin crazed as I am. There was a nice positive energy in the air.
Not long after after the team arrived some of them started to float down. And it was then I thought I'll just try to get as many signatures as I can on my sign. That is unless Tannehill or Bush made it my way. Sadly they did not. But a number of players did sign it. 11 to exact, and 13 if you count Mike Dee & Nat Moore. And why wouldn't you count them,....after all they're only the CEO & a Ring of Honor member. Back to the current players, I got most of the D line on there. Here is the complete list of numbers : 27,75,55,96,21,34,91,97,94,20, and my man number 78 Tony McDaniel.
You see my man Tony was kind enough to take a couple of pictures with me.
I was also able to score Koa Misi & C Wake's autograph of 8x10's I had with them. It was a pretty solid day with on tiny exception. I got scolded by the head of hotel security. I was C wake sitting in there and while no one was looking I walked in and started my DCC story while he signed my sign. I quickly asked if he would sign my pic as the security staff was asking me to leave the lobby. Wake agreed to at which time my fingers started to fumble with the clear pages hold & protecting the pics in the folder. I only had 7 pages but they kept sticking , then I couldn't get the pic out quickly,....all the while they keep asking me to leave. I replied " hold on,...he's said he would sign it !". Finally I got it out and he signed it as I quickly scampered out the door. Just then this little bald fire plug of a man tells me step to the side. Here he proceeds to threated me with being arrested for treapassing, going on and on like your grade school principle. Two things : grown men barking at me while point there finger has little effect when your 8 inch shorter than me. And threats of arrest meant nothing as Bob had said he want to leave 10 minutes eariler. He was in the right, I should have never followed that 10 year old in there. My bad,.....
One of the other things I really like seeing & hearing about from other fans is their Dolphin tattoos. Sure Vilmas has one and I got that pic.
But Tim had one too ! He came to Cincy from Pittsburg with a crew of 6 or 8,....I forget. But he looks like he worked out like a champ back in the day. i'ld say 6'2" about 240Lbs and massive black & white Dolphins logo on his shoulder. Super cool but no pic. Say hi Tim,....
So my big idea of having a group Dolphin tattoo picture got lost in all the in the frenzy that was our tailgate. I can think of 5 tattooed DolFans, I bet there was a few more that didn't know about. That would have made for a cool picture. Oh well,....there's always NY.
Before we can talk about this moment we need to back a couple of hours. Not 10 minutes after the the first of us arrived he wandered over and started chatting with us. After a few minutes it dawned on him he was in Cincy and he maybe ought start with the home teams fans 1st so he wandered off saying he would return later. I personally could have cared less as he came off dry and truly uninterested in the answers to the questions his asked to those in our group. About 30 minutes later, and while the lot was yet half full, I noticed he was talking to the camera being flanked by two Bengal fans on each side. Three little words,....target of opportunity ! I walked briskly over in that direction, and with about 6 ft to go I rolled in hot and gave the loudest BLAHHHHHAHAHAHAHAH I could sticking my heading between the reporter and the fan to his left. The fan jumped, then said,...." get outta here asshole". Mission accomplished.
How was I to know the situation was only going to get better,.... (or worse depending on how you look at it ). I caught up with the fan who seemed a bit pissed an apologized, he was cool and just said I scarred the shit out of him sneaking up like that. We laughed I said that was the idea, and I wished him good luck with the game today. But, then Mr personality comes back over and we got a few more folks hanging around by then. He strikes up a little conversation with me. Not mind you, I am ultra hype-ed and am in full DCC collection get the word out mode. I show him my sign,....."nah". Then he says "what's this?" as I hand him M.M. and going on about the DCC. "Nahhh" as he tosses M.M. onto the table. CODE RED ! CODE RED ! WE ARE TAKING FIRE,...PREPARE TO ENGAGE !
Ah right you son-of-a-bitch,.....But wait, he's not done pissing me off just yet. Then he asks, " do you do "this" all the time ?" as he points his finger right in my face. I mean his finger was 2 inches from touching in the face. I was a bit taken back by the proximity of his finger and when I said "what?!?!" he did it again ! now he is really in for it. As soon as he went live I went berserk ! I promptly opened my suit coat and started Phinvading his personal space. I wasn't done yet, I grabbed Mini OFF4L out of my inside pocket and started dancing right in front of his face while he was trying to delivery the forecast. The whole time my Wife doesn't have any idea why I'm flipping out on this guy and is constantly nudging me in the back,.....all the while I ignore her as I got bigger fish to fry. So, as I'm doing this he is giving me little taps below the camera shot as to get me to stop. Wrong,.....I smack his hand back and continued with Mini OFF4L.
I'm still riding high from the weekend. And on Monday night I got a call from a buddy I met two years ago in Cincy. Since our 1st game together we have met up in Cleveland & down in FL last season. Now I will attend another game with him as he lives in NJ and is going with the group DolFansNYC as well. I bet there might even be a few Phisiders in attendance there as well,....I can't wait to see what stories I'll have to tell after that weekend.