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  1. #16
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?



    my Fondest memory growing up was going to my moms work in Westminster and on seldom days about once a month or so a guy would grab me an throw me up in the air (i was less than 5 y/o at the time). For years i never knew who this guy really was, my parents kept going on an on about him, with me not knowing who the heck he was, just kept saying Johnny this, Johnny That. I didn't realize until years later that this was Johnny Unitas. I admired the fact that even with his history he would walk into a place to pay his own heating bill (not send a check) acting he wasn't better than any other person and was willing to spend time with the public. That without a doubt has to be my greatest experience with an NFL player.




  2. #17
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    I've had a chance to meet a few NFL players over the years. After the Ravens won SB35, my dad got tickets to the Ed Block courage awards. At the awards banquet, I got to spend about 10 minutes chatting with Tony Siragusa. He was really down to earth and just a funny guy. My dad ended up buying a signed helmet from him too at the silent auction for charity. Also, I got to meet Darrel Green there. He seemed like a really nice guy too.

    Then, one of my good friend's relative used to be in charge of the police at the stadium on game days, so I got to go in the tunnel and on the field for warmups. I never really met any of the players out on the field, but I did get to stand in the tunnel pregame and watch all the players come out of the tunnel for intros. It was awesome being like 10 feet from Ray when he did his dance.

    Next, I got to meet Flacco and Jason Brown at the Polar Bear Plunge after the AFC Champ loss to the Steelers. Also, recently I met Torrey Smith at a signing.

    Every player I've met has been very friendly and willing to shake my hand and talk for a few minutes. I've never had a bad experience.




  3. #18
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    I've had a chance to meet a few NFL players over the years. After the Ravens won SB35, my dad got tickets to the Ed Block courage awards. At the awards banquet, I got to spend about 10 minutes chatting with Tony Siragusa. He was really down to earth and just a funny guy. My dad ended up buying a signed helmet from him too at the silent auction for charity. Also, I got to meet Darrel Green there. He seemed like a really nice guy too.

    Then, one of my good friend's relative used to be in charge of the police at the stadium on game days, so I got to go in the tunnel and on the field for warmups. I never really met any of the players out on the field, but I did get to stand in the tunnel pregame and watch all the players come out of the tunnel for intros. It was awesome being like 10 feet from Ray when he did his dance.

    Next, I got to meet Flacco and Jason Brown at the Polar Bear Plunge after the AFC Champ loss to the Steelers. Also, recently I met Torrey Smith at a signing.

    Every player I've met has been very friendly and willing to shake my hand and talk for a few minutes. I've never had a bad experience.




  4. #19
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenboy2003 View Post
    Two weeks ago in the BWI "B" Southwest terminal waiting on an early flight. Franco Harris walking by and stops to talk to a Southwest agent. My boss is big Steeler fan and immediately gets excited and goes over hoping for a quick photo op. Instead Franco gets this disgusted look on his face and waves off my boss.

    Then Franco proceeded over to Annie Anne's and threw down some pretzel nuggets, all the while waving people off who recognized him.

    Total D-bag.
    I met Franco Harris about 15 years ago and he was completely cool with me. I'm not a fawning Steelers fan and wasn't asking anything from him so maybe it was different. People also change over time so maybe he's sick of it. At the time though he was very cool and came off like a regular guy.

    Al Davis I met many times. He would anything for his friends. It was sad to see him on TV near the end because Al was every bit of the forceful, innovative legend of his earlier reputation.

    I have not met Ray Rice but I know tons of people who have. I work near his hometown of New Rochelle, NY. One of my former co-workers is close with him Mom. Every year Ray Rice holds an event for the kids in the area and the results on the community are tremendous. Rice is praised by everyone and seems like an even better person than football player.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  5. #20
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darksouleyez View Post
    my Fondest memory growing up was going to my moms work in Westminster and on seldom days about once a month or so a guy would grab me an throw me up in the air (i was less than 5 y/o at the time). For years i never knew who this guy really was, my parents kept going on an on about him, with me not knowing who the heck he was, just kept saying Johnny this, Johnny That. I didn't realize until years later that this was Johnny Unitas. I admired the fact that even with his history he would walk into a place to pay his own heating bill (not send a check) acting he wasn't better than any other person and was willing to spend time with the public. That without a doubt has to be my greatest experience with an NFL player.
    I've heard a lot of stories about people meeting Johnny U and there are all the same as yours. He must really have had a great love of people and kids especially. It reminds me of the stories people used to tell about the Brooklyn Dodgers who would all hang out on their stoops at night and give tips to any kid who was interested. Unitas was a very special person. Thanks for sharing your story. It was great to read.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  6. #21
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    Mar 2012
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    I ran into Todd Heap at the Baja Fresh in Timonium one time. He was there with his family, so I didn't want to bug him...but he was sitting a couple tables over and I gave him a low, subtle, "HEEEEEEEEEEAP" so that the whole restaurant didn't hear, and he turned and gave this huge smile and we raised our fists at each other in recognition. It was a cool moment.

    I never had a bad experience with a player, but Kelly Ripen (Cal's wife) used to come into the frame shop I worked at in College all the time, and she was a total nightmare more often than not. Thankfully I didn't have to deal with her personally very often (I built / fit the frames, didn't sell) but I did have a couple of interactions that were unpleasant, and I overheard her giving the salespeople trouble on more than a few occasions. That was disappointing, because I always thought that she looked nice and classy when I saw her at the ballpark as a kid.




  7. #22
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    I met Bisciotti a story I have told here at plenty of times, but major cool.

    When I met Ray Lewis, it was at a signing of a portrait I did of him. He held it up examined it for a good 20 seconds and said, "That is awesome man." Artist's like their work appreciated and since I captured him perfect, it was double compliment. What made it even more memorable was when the 'handlers asked me what color I wanted Ray to sign it in, I said, "Let Ray decide. Ray said "Silver." And was perfect, shook my hand, and I went on my way. But even if my buddy bought my the ticket for my birthday, I normally don't go in for such things even if all the dough goes to charity, it was still a very meaningful 2 minutes of an artists life.




  8. #23

    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    Used to see JO all the time when I lived in Vegas. Offseason he played in the same basketball league. Fortunately the few nights my team played him, either he or I were not there. I say fortunately because I was second tallest on my team and would have had to guard him or his college roommate.

    Grew up in NJ and the Giants used to do training camp a town over, some lived in my town. My sister taught one of Bellicheck's kids to swim. Each year they'd do a charity basketball game against the Jaycees. Me and my high school buddies didn't have tickets freshman year, ran in to Elvis Patterson in the parking lot. He gave one friend a gym bag, the other a diaper bag, and me his kid in a car seat. Told the guy at the door "They're with me". That was really cool.

    Mark Bavaro used to go to our church. He would go to the 8:00 am weekday mass every day, and if you recall he always had a couple days growth of facial hair. After a while two older ladies told the pastor they were praying for him that he would find a job.

    Once I got older, we'd hang out at a bar at the hotel on Fairleigh Dickinson's campus and some of the Giants would show up for a little bit. It was a cool bar because they had free pool tables, and good free food for happy hour. LT would show up and was a complete asshole. He'd have them rope off a table just for him. His teammates wouldn't even shoot with him. Most of them were friendly, but kept off to themselves.

    The one opportunity I didn't take advantage of, but wish I had was a few years ago Derrick Mason was on a flight with me to Nashville. He had been on ESPN that morning and was still wearing the same clothes. I didn't approach him because he was with his son and it seemed no one recognized him, so I didn't want to be the one to draw attention to him. Figured maybe I'd get a chance around MD some other time. That was before he got cut obviously.




  9. #24

    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    I've seen some players around town but I don't interact with them since they're normally with family or friends. Just bad luck on my part, I guess. Peter Boulware, Jamal Lewis, Todd Heap, and Dan Cody come to mind. If coaches count, Brian Billick and Marvin Lewis too.

    Only guy I've caught alone was Jah Reid. It was his rookie season TC and I was the only one who recognized him clearly. Just said "Good luck this year" as I was walking past him.

    I saw Joe Flacco in a pizza place around Pikesville once, too. He was getting a ton of attention though so I didn't say anything.




  10. #25
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    Met Bruce Smith at BWI once and he was pretty down to earth.

    Met Singletary in Chicago Midway once when he was the Ravens LB coach. We were both taking Southwest back to BWI. He was trying to maintain a low profile so I didn't bother him much but we spoke for a couple minutes. Very humble guy.
    World Domination 3 Points at a Time!




  11. #26

    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    Something interesting I have noticed is that baseball players tend to be more self-centered and unpleasant to deal with unlike football players, who are more engaging and personable. Anyone else share that sentiment?




  12. #27
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    I haven't personally met any Ravens cause I don't live in the area. I swear to god one of these days I'll run into Flacco. I next to the town he grew up in, and his parents still live there. I've heard he still hangs around South Jersey a lot. One of these days I'll get lucky.

    My girlfriend gets a lot of Eagles/Phillies/Flyers guys that come to eat at the restaurant she works at. She said the one guy none of the servers or bartenders like is Donovan McNabb. Apparently he runs up a huge tab by buying lots of people drinks and then leaves shitty tips. Not just one time either. Its a recurring thing




  13. #28
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    Now that I think of it I did meet Brian Dawkins and Koy Detmer when they were with the Eagles. Their sons were on my little brothers football team. Both seemed like stand up guys. They'd still talk to whoever came up to them even though they obviously were there to watch their kids play




  14. #29

    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    Don't know. Went to an O's preseason luncheon where part of the deal was to get autographs. Eric Davis was there by the bar and I approached him. At first he was just like "Yeah in a sec". Admittedly I judged the book by the cover a bit (sunglasses on inside, bright blue suit, lots of flash) and figured he was gonna blow me off. He was just looking for some cash to tip the bartender then turned back to me and was very friendly. Lesson learned there.

    Another guy who was a real jerk was Mike Gminski. Lived couple towns over when playing for the Nets. We'd see him around at the mall or wherever. He always denied he was Mike Gminski. To a bunch of kids. Really? You're just some other run of the mill 7 foot white guy? Darryl Dawkins on the other hand was super friendly.

    Back to Vegas - we'd often ask cabbies and service professionals who were the good/bad tippers. Tiger was unanimously the worst tipper. Best story was a limo driver who said Ric Flair had got a ride for him and some others from Venetian to Mirage, which for those who don't know is right across the street. Nature Boy gave him $500.




  15. #30
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: Best and Worst Interactions with NFL Players?

    Have to agree that Ray Rice is probably the nicest guy I have met. We go down to field-level before every game, and Tyrod Taylor is always really good with the fans. He gives away a lot of headbands, gloves, and wristbands almost every game. Also, Michael Oher signs EVERYONE's stuff before every home game as he walks in.

    Shout out to Matt Birk, who will always go down as one of the best with fans.




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