News & ToursAugust 15, 2015

A rant on adult autograph seekers

HAVEN, Wis. -- The popularity of Katy Perry. Meatless diets. Running a marathon. Marriage. These are things I don't necessarily agree with, but I get.

Adult autograph zealots do not fall in this category.

For kids, getting an up-close look at your role model is an experience to be cherished for a lifetime. Having a memento from this brush with greatness is icing on the cake.

To grown-ups, I fail to see the attraction. You received a sheet of paper or a faux golf flag with someone's Herbie Hancock. This is especially creepy given the athlete-in-question is often younger than the signature seeker.

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If that was the end of it, I'd let the subject be. Different strokes, different folks, and so forth.

But when this passion comes at the expense of the children, there's where I draw the line.

On multiple occasions this week, I've seen adults, or at least people who should be behaving as adults, shove kids to the side in hopes of grabbing one of these sacred sports relics. Because nothing says "souvenir" like a golf ball with "Steven Bowditch" written on it.

At least, it's supposed to say "Steven Bowditch" on it. It's kind of hard to tell, considering, you know, it's on a golf ball.

And if a golfer doesn't acquiesce to their autograph demands, these adults grumble about the guy being a "jerk" or "inconsiderate." Ironic, as they're saying this while squishing a poor seven-year-old against a guardrail.

On Wednesday, I asked a 40-something year old why he was hovering around the clubhouse for an autograph.

"It shows I was here," he replied.

Have you seen the course yet?

"Nope, probably won't. Don't need to."

Do you feel out of place, hanging around an area that's mostly designated for juveniles?

"I've been waiting, same as they have."

It's bad enough they are combating kids one-third their physical size for two seconds of attention from golfers. It's borderline criminal that some are doing it strictly for monetary purposes, hoping to parlay these gifts into selling them online or through a memorabilia broker.

Which is why I propose a new rule: If you're old enough to drive a car, you're not allowed to hassle athletes for autographs.

I'm sure most already assume as much. But apparently these blockheads need it written out.

Follow @JoelMBeall


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