Friday, December 14, 2012

Evolution of an Autograph

I absolutely love the game of football. I have since I was a kid where I was fortunate enough to see some of the greats of the game, like Dan Marino, Phil Simms, and John Elway, when they were still in the primes of their careers. Back in those days, we didn't have the home town team Carolina Panthers to root for, instead, we got a steady diet of the Washington Redskins.

It was during this time I was introduced to my beloved New York Giants. I loved watching Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor, Rodney Hampton, and Mark Bavaro play on cold Sunday afternoons. Through good and bad, even to this day, I root for them. Luckily, we've had a better team over the past few years.

When Drew Bledsoe came into the league, I became a follower of the New England Patriots, even though they weren't the best team on the field every week, Drew kept it interesting with his passing heroics. All of that came crashing down in front of me with one vicious hit from Mo Lewis of the New York Jets. Drew was essentially knocked out of the game and his New England Patriot career. A fifth rounder by the name of Tom Brady came into the game and as we all know, the rest is history.

I drifted away from the Patriots after that, mainly because I wasn't a fan of Brady after he took Drew's starting job. Still, I followed them on occasion and I've been impressed by the tight ends they drafted in 2010. Which leads me to the point of this blog. Rob Gronkowski is a beast on the football field! I noticed this early in his career and sent some cards his way through the team address, hoping he would autograph one for me. To my surprise, three months later I opened up a self addressed stamped envelope and I received this!

I was pretty excited to get this from him and a few other signed cards. Not only is Gronk the premier tight end in the NFL, he also appreciates his fans! Although he got hurt this year, he's had a monster career so far by hauling in 185 catches for 2,621 yards and 37 touchdowns. That's monster production for a tight end.

Well, I received those cards over a year ago and forgot I had sent some other ones out. To my surprise when I opened my mail today, I received these!

These cards were signed almost two years apart and their is a significant difference in the way Gronk signs now. He has shortened the length of his name from a full signature to basically an abbreviation in the R and Gronk but it still looks awesome to me.

This guy is one of the classiest guys in the NFL and I appreciate him taking the time to sign for me. Even though I'm not a huge follower of the Patriot's in the Brady years, I am a huge fan of Ron Gronkowski. I hope he never changes his outlook towards the fans.

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