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Candy Lake

You've made this argument before in a previous column. I don't understand it. Why are you so opposed to adults getting autographs? I'm opposed to children being in bars, but they're there anyway. I like autographs. I have autographs of Joan Jett (along with her picture with me) and Robert D. Raiford. They make cool conversation pieces in my home bar. I don't like it when people get autographs just so they can sell them. But if you want one for your own personal use, then I think it's fine. If it makes a person happy, and it doesn't cause the celebrity any grief, then why do you care?

Phil Fowler

Tom, you'll never be able to convince some people, but I agree with you. (In your profession it could be a conflict of interest)
A signed book or piece of art is different. It adds to the intrinsic value of the item; but a middle-aged person asking another adult for an autograph is just kinda pathetic. I shook Dell Curry's hand at a Panthers game this year and told him he had the sweetest jump shot I ever saw but I couldn't imagine asking for an autograph.
Of course, it could be a male pride thing too...


Ya know I feel where you are coming from I think it's a "preference" I personally would not ask for anyone's autograph that's younger than me as I too feel it to be a somewhat demeaning..However, Such Iconic Figures I grew up Idolizing such as Rick Flair, Hulk Hogan, Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, Magic Johnson..If the "Situation" was right I would gladly take an autograph from one of those individuals...or a photo..but I wouldn't approach them if I ran into them at Disney land or at a bar. A buddy of Mine ran into Mike Tyson at a gas station in Arizona several years ago..and he asked Tyson if he could take a picture with him Tyson Responded "WHAT?! The F I look like Taking a picture with you" tyson then busted out laughing and told my buddy he was only joking...and proceeded to take a photo and held a 10 minute conversation...my buddy said he was the coolest celeb he'd ever meet...and He still has the picture...I see nothing wrong with that. I do hate to see any Adult standing in a line (in front of any! kids!) for an autograph....So I feel where you are coming from but I wouldn't say asking for Ali'S Autograph at some book signing is inappropiate...or "Wrong"


ever taken freebies at a game Tom? Free shirt here, food there, etc.? If so, good for you. If not, don't lecture others pal!


I remember as a teenager I ran into Marvin Hagler sitting at the bar at the same hotel I was staying at in the Bahamas..I mean the guy talked to me like he knew me for years...for like an hour..just non stop..I felt like I was the celeb...he was so cool and I respected him so much for that. After our convo I asked for a photo and he was glad to take it and I can tell that story a 100 times and I don't think I was intrusive..I mean he was by himself..and sitting there taking down Bahama Mama's....had he been with his Family I obviously would't have bothered him..I don't know I'm so torn on this issue...I feel both sides..When I was a kid I was cursed at by Manute bowl! at disney..for asking for a autograph.and I once saw Larence Taylor at Kings Dominion in VA and my aunt wanted a photo for her husband..and of course! she used me to go ask for it...well needless to say Larence Taylor was "larence Taylor" LOL...He did take the photo though...with a few comments....


My hobbie is collecting sports memrobilia. I have a baseball and on it reads: "I'm sorry I bet on baseball." written and signed by Pete Rose. I personally like autographed pictuers that capture the player in one of their greatest plays. That being said, I don't ask people for their autograph in person, I instead buy it at sports memrobila stores.

This could have been a good article if it was arguing that asking for autographs could invade the privacy of a player or making them go out of their way for something like that. But its just because of the pride of asking somebody younger. Wow. Swing and a miss again Tom. I'm sure your kids loved that free T-Shirt you got them instead of the autograph.


Tom your high up on the mountain looking down at the rest of us takes on the sports world dont settle well with me!
Ive followed the NFL for over 30 years and I would love an autograph from any of the Panthers players or legends like Farve,Montana,Marino,Deon Sanders etc...
When Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammed gave me a game glove after enduring an away game in Steeler central it was moment I will cherish forever. There framed behind glass by the way.

Why you ask: because its a love and a passion for the game and its history and the players who sign them without resentment share that same passion for the game and its history!
Your a fair weather fan Tom and if you had the passion and the love of the game and its history you would come down off your priveledged thrown with a cool blue sharpie and and line up for a Steve Smith authentic!


I have a baseball that my father had autographed by the 1972 SF Giants. Has Willie Mays, McCovey, Bobby Bonds, Tito Fuentes etc. I have it now and it' worth a lot. I am 50 but still trasure it.

I don't ask for autographs often but still do occasionally have musicians sign their CD's for me or for my wife. Don't see what the big deal is.


It's rediculous to say that adult fans shouldn't be able to get autographs from people they're fans of... I enjoy trying to get items autographed when the opportunity presents itself. They make nice items for memories. I don't sell any of my autographed memorabilia and the like. When I eventually get a place of my own, I'll likely have a nice collection of conversation pieces to display (I'm a student, so I rent apartments for now). My memorabilia of choice is Carolina Panthers gear; I have a few helmets, footballs, pictures, etc. that I've collected. Also, it's fun to do this through the years as different players roll through and regimes roll by.

Now, I don't go out seeking autographs in inappropriate situations, like stalking a team's hotel or anything like that... I only do this when there is an autograph session or if I'm at something like Panthers training camp (where autographs are expected, really).

I also have some things from App State that I really enjoy, one of which being a 3x5 foot ASU flag that has roughly 30-40 signatures on it. Many of the greats from the past several years are represented. That will be something that will likely be displayed anywhere I live. I've also had a few game worn jerseys over the years, and those are great to get autographed.

I just see nothing wrong with adults getting autographs. Fans really enjoy them, and celebrities should expect to (and be expected to) give them. I mean, they owe at least that much to their loyal fans, right? This is one thing that you can never fault Jake Delhomme about... that guy will sign some dang autographs.


here is my take. i see kids at training camp getting autographs of football, they then play with these balls. we get autographs and put them on display. we take pride and care of our signatures. i have seen kids be rude to players while we have been nothing but cordial. yes their are bad apples who do sell the stuff. i see a lot of them. i am not and won't sell mine. they mean something to me. nothing looks nicer than a full size football helmet full of autographs.


First, do you hacks get paid per number of posts, cause that's the ONLY reason a hack, sentence fragment writing goober like you would voice such a machismo riddled, inarticulate and juvenile argument. I mean do you have security issues with your manhood Mr. 3 day old beard? What the *(*&&^ do you care if a guy wants an NFL player to sign his jersey. I and MOST don't have the LUXURY to be so mediocre at our job and get to rub elbows with sports stars... but what would you have us do to have a chance to talk to or meet a star... just stand there at the practice fence and stare at them like a (*&*^ stalker? You moron. Or how about we let all of the 5 kids at the fence get auto... LIKE EACH AND EVERY ONE ALREADY DOES! They all get to the head of the line and hoisted above others and get their hearts desire of everything. Let's talk about spoiled athletes, out of touch writers and spoiled children in the country instead! You and the Rhode scholar Ditka need to go have a couple rainbow mai-tai's and talk about how manly you are you pathetic putz.


This is dumb, I'm only 23 but drive 9 hours from Indiana down to training camp every year. While I'm the same age as alot of the players, I'm not above asking the players for their autographs. Why? To preserve a piece of Panther history. Sorry for bein a fan!!!


I only asked for autographs once, at Steeler's camp when I was a kid. Let me tell you, the back ups and training camp fodder would LOVE to sign anything for you. To them it is an honor and a privilege. Many stars still have that mentality as well. Some don't. But as long as a guy is honored to sign something for you than why not let him, just don't be rude about.

Mr Bernz

I think you're being a tard saying you shouldnt ask for an autograph, whether to keep or sell. You pay these celebs, in a round about way, why not be able to get a signature & sell it if you want to make a buck? You think they have any second thoughts about doing an advertisement to get you to come to a game? to get you to buy a shoe? or a jersey? Wake up & smell the coffee pal, it should be an honor for them to be asked to sign anything, not a hassle.

Reporter of the Obvious

Unless you suck, this article was pointless and unneccesary. Keep your "autograph" obsession to yourself and try to expand your comfort zone a little so you can find some possible way in your oh so perfect life to think of your children's hopes and desires when it comes to an autograph before letting your insecurities stop you. Your children would've treasured you and those autographs if you could've pushed your oversized ego to the side for 5 minutes. Oh well...

Sounds to me like you may have seeked a 'signature' from someone you admired at some point in your adult life and that person chastised you for doing so. Must've given you one heck of spill about how immature you were for asking him/her for their autograph. Well, that person was wrong (unless he/she was invaded during private time with family, etc.) and so are you for having such a condescending attitude towards autographs.

How about the people who read gossip magazines? Watch reality shows? Surf the internet for stars, celebrities, athletes, etc.? You want to go ahead and diss the remainging segements of society because it's pretty much the same thing just at a more alarming rate. An occassional autograph during a sport season versus sitting on your coach throughout the week watching what the Kardashians are doing...visiting training camp and asking for an autograph versus reading some magazine detailing how Angelina and Brad might break up, but then again they may not and oh, she may be pregnant again to piss off Jennifer? Come on man, this is a very slippery slope!

Taxes Suck

Thi is true. Pete Rose got so sick of it he started charging and then you know the rest of the story as MLB with the Feds couldnt prove he ever gambled so they winded up charging convicting and jailing him for tax evasion solely on the autographs since fans whined so bad.


I'm an adult and my most prized piece of Panthers mojo is a cap signed by Kevin Greene when he stopped by our tailgating spot after a game. It was a special gesture and I wear it whenever I need to call on the spirit of great Panthers past (along with my Wesley Walls jersey). Tom, if you can't understand the appeal of that then you shouldn't be a sports writer. To reduce something that special to stupidity is, well, stupid.


Asking for autographs might contradict with your obligation to report unbiased information and your job in general, but in no way does is contradict with my being fan just because I am older.

With that said, I am not going to cut in front of a kid asking for an autograph, but I am not necessarily going to let them cut in front of me either...


Guys, relax. I've known Tom for 12 years, he's a sports writer but not a fan. He has been doing this so long that he has been jaded by the whole celebrity attitude of today's modern athlete. I made a really nice collage painting of Steve Smith last year and asked for his help getting it signed and he gave me the same rant.

Cedar Posts

I'm with you Tom.

The only autograph I want is on a check or a contract.

I guess I get my fill of celebes and sports stars in my job.


So, you believe its dumb for an adult to ask for an autograph but, okay to have autographed items? Regardless of how you got them, that's like saying, prosecute the guy who buys pot but, kudos to the person who smokes the pot he purchased. No wonder the paper is going under, they pay people to think this stuff up. PS I have no problem with adults who ask athletes to sign autographs, even to sell them later to people. This gives kids the opportunity to own memorabilia of their favorite athlete, which is a great thing. Tom is a loser.


You're a fucking dumbass, Tom.


Tom is still bitter because I asked for Scott Folwers autograph and not his.


did someone ask you to sign a bathroom stall door, saying TOM was here?

get over it call Dr. Phil

Chris Summey

Man Really?
Even you don't believe the bs you write. If I was out somewhere and had a chance meeting with somebody my kids adored(Steve Smith)if the situation was right I'd ask him in a heartbeat because I know what joy that would bring to my kids! A bitter cynical old man you have become, and only because NO ONE HAS OR WILL EVER ask you for your autograph!

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