This is the 3rd part in the narrative of the Cal FanFest 2007. Please read the earlier portions first to be up to date.
When we last left off, the anticipation had mounted to an extreme peak. The team had made its way out onto the field. Jax had walked 1 foot away from me. Longshore had made his way out. And then the gates opened. The mad dash began. At first, I was kind of run-walking, because I didn’t realize the seriousness of it. But then in the far distance I saw the line start to form for Longshore/Jax and I knew speed was needed.
So, I kicked it into high gear. I felt like Marshawn out there. Weaving in and out of traffic. I even stiff-armed this one kid for like 10 yards. He wasn’t trying to stop me or anything, I just REALLY wanted to complete the Marshawn illusion. I even passed Longshore on the way down. Some people had stopped to get autographs from him.
But I was all "Focus, Twist, focus. No time for weakness. There’ll be time for Longshore later." So, pushing all those kids out of the way, I kept running. Also, you might notice the overcast sky in that photo. On the other side of the hills, it was like 80 degrees, so, of course I was in t-shirt and shorts. Then, driving towards the Tunnel, I see the giant wall of fog enveloping the Berkeley side. Damn. It was fairly cold in the early going, but actually warmed up as the day went on and was quite warm near the end.
And soon enough I was in line. I actually had done well and we weren’t too far away from the front. 2 hours later at the end of the event, I noticed that the line for them was still pretty long, so it clearly never cooled off. So, it was heavenly to get in so early. Of course, with such luck like that, you gotta let your friends cut. Just like that time I cut in to the line for Bill Clinton tix back in 02 and then let like 30 of my friends cut. Nobody ever got mad at that!
It was not too long before we got this.
Longshore definitely seemed like a great guy. Very nice, he even let my friends take some of those posters to his right in the above photo. Although he was confused, because somebody wanted him to sign that football mag that has the "Action Jackson" cover. After Nate, it was time for THA1. When I walked up, I said "DeSean, you are a GOD!" and he laughed that. Keeping him humble, clearly.
Might want to work on that smile. Oh, I almost forgot. After he signed my hat, he was handing the sharpie back to me. And as I grasped it from his hand, the tips of my fingers grazed his. OMSOMSOMS, I KINDA TOUCHED DESEAN! I’M NEVER WASHING THOSE FINGERTIPS AGAIN.
I’ve never done drugs before, so I can’t speak 100% to this, but I think that’s what people feel like when they are high. After we left the DeSean booth, I felt high. It was unbelievable. So close. So awesome! I railed against the commissioner of my fantasy football league who had placed our draft last year at the same time as the FanFest. My chance to slightly touch Marshawn had been lost. NOOOOOOOOO!
The cheerleaders were right next to DeSean and co. As we walked by then, a little girl ran up and said "Can I take a photo?" to which they all agreed. After the photo was taken, creepy old man with a mustache asked "Can I take a photo?"
They agreed. Ai!
Then, Sandy Barbour started to give a speech, so we headed over there to check that out.
She talked mostly about visiting Kitchen Democracy to help stop the lawsuit. She talked about excitement for the upcoming season. Then, we walked by another one of the tables with some more offensive players.
The line was a bit long, so we decided to skip it for now. We ran into Cameron Morrah just kinda standing around, which was cool. A lot of hype around him for the future, so I got his autograph. He was not quite as enthusiastic as the other players, but when I mentioned that to HydroTech later, Hydro noted that Cameron is a very quiet person. He wasn’t mean or rude or anything, he signed my hat and was very nice. Just not quite as enthusiastic. There was another table nearby with the O-Line and Forsett, but the line for that was super long, too.
Then, we saw Jahvid Best. He was just kinda standing around. Most players who were just standing around might have had a little mob of people around them, at most. But a line had organically formed around Best. So, he was very popular. Luckily, Hydro was at the front of it, so he made up for me letting him cut near the front of the Longshore-DeSean line. He won that battle, but Jahvid Best is still pretty cool. Check out the J and B caligraphy on his arms.
Very nice guy and very energetic. When I got up to ask for him to sign my hat, I congratulated him on making the team. Then, I handed him my sharpie, but he already had one. So, he kinda juggled both back and forth and said "Which one should I use??" I was all "Use this one" and he said "I’ll do whatever you want." So, I was all "Will you come to my bar mitzvah?" which got a laugh out of him, even though I never actually had one and it woulda been in 1994, when Best was probably 5. I’d re-use that bar mitzvah bit later on, it worked well on the players.
Anyway, so then we noticed the Tedford table and even though the line was VERY long for it, we knew we HAD to get into it. There was NO other option.
In the next installment of this narrative, there is the adventure of waiting in line for the One who towers of us all. GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!