I got credentials. With these little plastic cards around my neck I can strut around the mall like a big shot and get into doors that most fans can only shout toward. For a fan, it’s an amazing experience. I want to take a photo of my credentials to share but I’m not allowed to for fear that someone could duplicate it. And believe me, I’m not risking this golden ticket.
Yesterday, I had a break from my Stage Manager duties and went down to the final Patriots player availability of the week. This one was different from the big press conferences of earlier in the week. Picture a huge room with a bunch of round tables. On the tables are placards with player names on them. At a certain point, they just come in, find their names and sit down. Because I wasn’t there in any official capacity, I was just going around asking the guys if I could take their picture. Here are a few:
It’s an odd phenomenon that as a fan, we look at these guys as bigger than life. But in actuality, they’re just men…and mostly very young men. I like to think they appreciated someone just saying hello and asking how they’re doing. I was the easiest interview they had all day. It also strikes me as funny how we need to sequester these guys from mobs of adoring fans because of the abilities they have. It’s got to be weird for them. I’ll tell you that I saw many of the players at the welcome party last night too…most of them having fun with their families just like you or I would.
Some guys got more attention than others. Case in point, coaches Josh McDaniels & Matt Patricia:
The guys I talked to were all gracious and gregarious. But like I said, these are guys who are half my age. It’s a little different meeting someone like Rodney Harrison, who dropped by the set this morning. Here’s a guy who’s 45…so pretty much my age. It’s a little tougher keeping the fan in check, but I managed. I’ll admit I let my guard down ONCE…for this selfie with Suzy Kolber. That one was just for me.