I don't know how many of you guys heard about this, but Larry Fitzgerald was doing a autograph signing at Paradise Valley Mall yesterday, and I decided to go for the chance to meet him.
I got there at 12:30 [half an hour before it was supposed to start] thinking that the line wouldn't be that long, but it was crazy out there, there was at least a couple thousand people waiting in that long twisting line for the chance to meet him, and some of them were in the line since 8:30 in the morning.
A picture of the line that was posted on Larry's Twitter page, this is just the first area near where you come in, the part upstairs was twice as long as this.
I decided that I might as well wait in the line and see if it would go fast, but from what I was told by the people in front of me some of the people getting autographs were talking to him for around 5 or 10 minutes instead of getting the autograph, a picture of him, maybe talk a little bit, then go. I was annoyed that they were all holding us up like that, and then close to 2:00 when I wasn't even close to halfway through the line, one of the security guards [they were very nice with all of us by the way] told us that Larry had to leave at 2:30 which made everyone in the line mad because they wanted to meet him. I decided to stay in the line for the small chance that I would get to see him when he left [even though I found out later he was going to leave through the back door], and then when there was about 15 minutes left I just stood by the window to the AT&T store trying to get some pictures of him through the window, which I got.
Then, when it got to 2:30 he was still in there, and then I saw that they were still letting people in and the security guards said that he would stay a little longer [which I never heard since I was looking in the window, although I was in the sporting goods store for a few minutes looking at the Jerseys] so I got back in the line hoping that it would go fast and I would have a chance to meet him. Sometime around 3:15, I was almost at the front of the line, but his people told him that he had to leave now, so all of us waiting outside the store started chanting for almost an entire minute "Larry" hoping that he would be able to stay if we did that, and then he got up with all of the autographs he still had, and started handing them out to all of us. I tried to get a picture since he was about 5 feet away from me, but the battery in my camera picked that exact moment to die on me. Luckilly, I was one of the people in the crowd of at least 100 people who were able to get one of the autographs from him, and even though I was being smashed by some people trying to shove their way through, and I was in that mall for almost 3 hours, it was totally worth it.
And it was great that Larry was nice enough to stay longer than he had to, and that he would walk over to us and hand out all of those autographs when he was being told that he had to leave. You could tell that he wanted all of the fans who were waiting so long for the chance to meet him to be happy.
I also found out after it ended that the guy who was right behind me in the line made it into the store. Around 2:30 everyone started leaving, then after the guard said that he would stay a little longer, the guy and his kids got into the line and they wound up being near the front. Makes me wish I would have heard the announcement so I could have gotten back into the line sooner.