Meet the Spartans – or not

On Tuesday, my family picked me up after work on the way to Meet the Spartans. This is a public event for families to shake hands and get autographs from members of our pre-season Top Ten ranked football team.

Arriving at the stadium, we waited in line for some free football posters, full of plenty of white space for autographs.

There were other family-friendly activities at the event. These lines were shorter than the autograph lines, so we decided to knock them off first. The autograph lines would still be there afterwards.

We got our picture taken with the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl trophies from the last two years. Then we got some awesome pics of the boys in full gridiron regalia.

2030 Heisman

He looks the part, but judging by his failure to pick his way through holes in the crowd, he’s going to need a good blocker in front of him.

Posing for pictures makes football stars hungry. Since the concessions were being offered much cheaper than can be had at an actual football game, our next mission was to stand in line to get the kids pizza and fries. Watching the kids eat made the parents hungry. Another bout of standing in the food lines left everyone fortified and ready to go grab some autographs.

But first the boys had to visit the spirit tent and pick out some officially licensed merchandise to need desperately. It’s nice they have team spirit, but until they get jobs their foremost loyalty belongs to Team Family Finances.

One of the boys noticed people going down to the field. We couldn’t miss that opportunity, and worked our way through the crowd to a little, roped-off, paved strip, about five feet wide, behind the end zone. We milled about there, each boy tempting authority by letting the toe of his shoe creep over the pavement onto actual football field grass.

Introducing your 2033 Heisman Trophy winner.

Introducing your 2033 Heisman Trophy winner.

Having toe-kissed the grass, it was time to go snag some autographs. On the way, we learned that if we hurried, we could go upstairs and check out the coaches’ booth and the press box. We scurried for the elevator and went up eight floors to the press level. It was an amazing view, even from the window opposite the field; we could make out the dome of the State Capitol.

As we explored the press area, Mommy found a wireless phone charger. Being a tireless devotee of cellular communication, she had to figure out how it worked with her phone. I chased the kids around the press box for a while, returning to find her the unofficial demonstrator of the device to the curious and the low-batteried.

Coming downstairs, we found we’d cleverly outwaited the autograph lines. They were down to nothing, mostly because the players had gone. But we still had some nice posters. Nobody came out of there with posters fresher than ours.

How many autographs did we get?

Zip.

How many players did we even see?

Zero.

But we ate like superstars, we touched extra special grass, and we charged our phone like we owned the place.

It was a pretty special day for young hearts.