I wasn't around last week when Cam Newton signed $125 autographs at Southpark. The story still resonates, for some reason. You can read about it in our newspaper daily in Letters to the Editor or The Buzz.
If people want to pay $125 for a signature, have at it. But I think autographs, for adults, are dumb.
If I ran sports, fans would not be allowed to ask anybody younger than they are for an autograph. I know -- poor Mark Martin.
Charles Barkley was walking out of Charlotte Coliseum one night after a Charlotte Hornets game and pointed to the group waiting for an autograph.
He asked: Would you walk into the middle of that group?
If there were kids, they had long been shoved aside. It was adults, some but not all foaming at the mouths, waiting for an athlete to walk their way.
I don't understand the appeal. Does an autograph connect you to the signer even though he or she probably has signed thousands of others? Do you look at the autograph when you're alone and feel good or show it off to your friends and feel cool?
Autographs are great for kids. Kids are entitled to idolize athletes.
One of my idols was, and is, Muhammad Ali. He was the guest of honor at a Charlotte fundraiser for Parkinson's disease, and one of the organizers asked me if I wanted his autograph.
I admit that I paused for a second or two.
Then I said, no thanks.
If every adult did, athletes would be much freer with their signatures because the recipients of those signatures would be kids.