This kid was trying for several years to get Manning's autograph and was never successful. We had been to countless training camps over the years and had always manged to be squeezed out by creepy grown men wanting an autograph. We were at training camp right after it moved back to Anderson University. It was the night practice, which we have always enjoyed. Practice was over and everyone was leaving. My son was standing there, head drooping, telling me about how he wished he could just get Peyton's autograph. There was a guy standing next to us that spoke up and said "Hey kid, he is over there signing on the other side of the field, you better run over and get it NOW!". Up to that point, I have never seen him run that fast! I was walking around to the other side to wait for him. The crowd was huge and I thought we would be there for a while only to end up missing another opportunity. I wondered over to the bleachers and climbed up far enough to see if I could spot my son in the crowd. I could not see him, but I could hear the large security guy next to Manning yelling at someone, "KID!!!! Calm down!!! Take a step back! KID!!!! KID!!!" He kept saying it more forcefully "KID!!! TAKE A STEP BACK! YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN!" I wondered what all the trouble was down there, but I didn't think much of it. And then the guy continued on ""KID!!! TAKE A STEP BACK! CALM DOWN!!!" I am starting to think to myself...what kind of knucklehead kid is causing trouble down there? I snapped a quick shot of the commotion with my camera. I could not see a kid causing trouble in the mess of people in front of Manning. Obviously, he was much shorter than all of the adults clamoring around Manning. The guy in the large floppy Colt's hat to the right of Peyton is the guy that was yelling at the kid.
Never Give Up!
Then just after a couple of minutes I see my son walking back towards me staring at his Superbowl ball with a huge smile on his face. After a moment passed, my son snapped to and asked me "Did you hear that security guy yelling at me? There is no way I was walking away without an autograph this time!" I have to admit, I laughed.... Then we promptly left! Here is the autograph:
This I believe was at the 2009 Training Camp. He never did get Peyton Manning's autograph again. It sits encased in a plastic container (heavily guarded with lasers and motion detectors) and is forever cherished by my goofy kid. As a father, this is a memory I don't think I will ever forget. How we did hate to see Manning go. Now my son keeps asking me to take him to Denver..... Let's just bring him back here, for the children!