A few weeks ago, the San Jose Sharks had their first autograph session of the year. Not knowing what we were getting ourselves in to, we decided to cough up the $60 per person and head over to Logitech Ice on the big day.
Beforehand, we did some calculations. The Sharks said they were only selling 300 tickets max, and each person could get 2 autographs per player (and only 1 ticket per person). That's 600 autographs a player. Could it be done?
The answer is yes, it could be done. The money benefited the Sharks Foundation so that was a good cause, and after talking to a couple of the Sharks Foundation people, they told me the players were doing this completely out of the goodness of their hearts for charity.
Anyways, we showed up around 7 (it started at 7, but doors opened at 6:30), and quickly realized we were pretty close to the back of the line, but more people filed in as the evening wore on. Sharkie was there of course so his was the first autograph we got. 90 minutes later, we finally hit the table where the players were (all 9 of them). The players were seated at multiple tables in a line in alphabetical order. There was a nice, big sign saying "no photos", to which I promptly ignored and took photos of all the players. I figured I'd snap away until someone said something to me. No one ever did, so I have photos of all the players.
We also figured out that with a 2 hour event, we'd have roughly 10 seconds per player if we wanted to say anything. I probably went a little bit over that time period, but Leif was a little shy so he didn't really say anything. I told Nils Ekman he was my favorite player (in Swedish of course, but he answered me in English). When I was getting Jonathan Cheechoo's autograph, some woman by the door (teenager I should say) yelled "I love you Cheechoo!" He turned a little red, but not much, so he probably gets stuff like that a lot, even though it's weird. He had just received his new bottom teeth and said he was still getting used to them.
Anyways, both of us now have 10 autographs on our jerseys, pages in the Sharks yearbook signed, and we also got an extra jersey signed to send out to Leif's nephew, Jonas in Sweden.