It was friends and family night for players at the St. Louis Ram’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens last night, and perhaps that, along with an easy (though encouraging) win against the Ravens 2nd stringers, made the players walking through the signature line especially friendly, though that does not give enough credit to those players who did choose to stop and sign autographs for a number of fans (yes, I am talking to you, Steven Jackson).
None was perhaps more obliging and friendly than St. Louis’ star quarterback, Sam Bradford himself, though Chris Long and Courtland Finnegan and Robert Quinn and some others I did not know were also very kind. Even Bradford’s father was posing with fans in the foyer of the Edward Jones dome. The apple, it seems, does not fall far from the trunk.
Sam Bradford wished Happy Birthday to a little girl with a sign and who had his jersey on, graciously and winsomely thanked the young girls who gushed about how much they liked him, signed an OU helmet for some a fairly obvious memorabilia merchants, and made my two nephews very happy. And he confirmed to my brother when asked, that, yes, he still does read the story of David and Goliath before every game.
Rounding out the evening, and as if to punctuate the fleeting nature of the activity in which we were all engaged, a recently departed sports celebrity of THE other sport in St. Louis also made an appearance, if only on the back of a t-shirt 🙂 Oh, and walking to our car we caught up with Greg “the Leg” Zuerlein who had just booted a personal best 59 yard field goal and narrowly missed a 62-yarder! Amazing stuff. And after stopping to sign and chat, he and his family walked into the St. Louis night down the lovely Washington Avenue, for the moment nearly completely and blissfully anonymous in his new city. One hopes, and yet is simultaneously a little sorry for his sake, that such anonymity will not last.
Finally, kudos to whoever can first identify who is the other St. Louis celebrity (from a completely different field of endeavor) to whom the title of this blog post alludes, however elusively. HINT: He worked in the same field that the person did who inspired the Baltimore team mascot. And finally, finally enjoy the photos. I am quite pleased with several.
The haiku below first appeared on the blog and then were imagined graphically by a talented friend of mine for inclusion in 17 syllables : one thousand words.
I think the first and last two haiku in these three pieces are my favorites. Oh, I am so hoping that winter in St. Louis will be cold and snowy, but I am afraid it will not be so.