By: Kevin Hageland
OXNARD, CALIFORNIA (105.3 The Fan) – Are you a huge Cowboys fan? No, seriously, I mean are you a HUUUUUGE Cowboys fan?
If so, perhaps your love of the team as well as … shameless plug alert … your enjoyment of our camp shenanigans (which are archived and can be found at: 1053thefan.com/camp) have you contemplating attending Dallas Cowboys Training Camp.
I’d certainly recommend it.
Especially for the signatures. The accessibility of the players before, after (and sometimes in between) practice can be a dream come true for autograph seekers. However, it can be a tough landscape to navigate as 9,129 fans attended the first two days of practice – and that doesn’t even include the 102 media leeches … wait … that are vying for the players’ attention.
Good news though, you good readers can use my cheat sheet of do’s and dont’s to get that ink.
DO: Familiarize yourself with the roster
DON’T: Focus on somebody like No. 35 and then wonder aloud, “Who is number 35” … by the way it’s Kavon Frazier
DO: Familiarize yourself with the roster … yes, I know that’s twice, but it’s important!
DON’T: Yell, “Brandon … Brandon Carr,” at a player that isn’t Carr and then wonder why he isn’t coming over
DO: Have a flashy outfit that’ll make you stand out
DON’T: Have an outfit which flashes so much skin that it will get you questioned and perhaps escorted away by the Oxnard Police Department
DO: Have a writing utensil, preferably a sharpie, ready to go
DON’T: Expect players to just have one right after practice. While it’s true I did see head coach Jason Garrett carrying a sharpie in his pocket on Sunday, I’ve seen far more signing situations shut down by lack of a pen or marker
DO: Be able to throw
DON’T: Throw your sharpie to a player unless they are ready and ask for it … we have enough injury concerns on this team already – can’t have someone needing an eye patch because of you
DO: Position yourself toward the southwest exit of the training camp field
DON’T: Yell at the top of your lungs from the other side of the field … the only people that will hear you are those media leeches (who will then write about you) and that hot lady standing next to you, who now thinks you’re a weirdo – thus negating all the prep work you put in throughout practice
DO: Try to get an autograph from Cole Beasley (as he’s been one of the last three people signing each of the first three days of camp)
DON’T: Try to sneak in fans by loaning them your media badge for a radio bit … I mean, seriously, who would do that?! At best, the friendly security guards will politely shut you down – at worst, you’ll earn an intense rebuke from the overzealous security guy who kind of looks like a more under control-beard Travis Frederick)
DO: Ask Ezekiel Elliot if you could rock a crop top
DON’T: Repeat his answer verbatim on the radio as, while hilarious, it’ll probably get you in trouble with the FCC
DO: Bring a child with you … sure, because of love and all that, but also because you might be able to get your picture taken with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
DON’T: Be the creepy middle-aged man without a kid in tow that tries to follow that photo up with his own photo with the cheerleaders
DO: Wear a hat
DON’T: Assume just because it’s 25 degrees cooler than the Metroplex that your folically-challenged head can handle an entire day outside without a hat or sunscreen … not that that happened to me … allegedly
And most importantly, have a good time!
Don’t be frustrated if you don’t get all the autographs you want. You might not get Tony Romo, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant, but these tips should help you get plenty of signatures to add to your team football, giant painting, weird macaroni art mural, replica Super Bowl trophy or 1994 Dallas Cowboys team photo … all things I’ve already seen out here at training camp.
OK, one more bonus tip …
DO: Ask RJ Choppy for some water
DON’T: Expect Choppy to give you any of the water from the gallon jug he frequently carries on the field. After all, “Gotta stay hydrated, bro.”
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