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College football: Adults, be on your best behavior at fan appreciation days

Fan appreciation day is where a kid can be a kid and an adult can act a fool. If you've never been to “Meet the Cowboys” or “Meet the Sooners”, you might think I'm kidding. Unruly behavior at fan day? Sadly, yes.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 2, 2013 at 11:00 am •  Published: August 1, 2013
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Fan appreciation day: where a kid can be a kid and an adult can act a fool.

As thousands of Oklahoma State and Oklahoma fans gear up for the annual preseason autograph sessions with their teams, this is a plea to every adult who will attend the fan appreciation events Saturday.

Behave yourself.

No pushing. No shoving. No cutting in line.

If you've never been to “Meet the Cowboys” or “Meet the Sooners”, you might think I'm kidding. Unruly behavior at fan day?

Sadly, yes.

Granted, this is Oklahoma and most folks here were raised right. They mind their manners. They respect other people.

But this is also a college-football-crazy state, so sometimes where the sport is involved, folks lose their heads.

Frankly, I don't get the whole autograph craze in the first place. It's one thing to randomly bump into a celebrity and ask for an autograph. That's proof of your chance encounter.

But getting autographs from players sitting on the other side of a table signing their names assembly-line style? Where's the appeal in that?

Now, if you're a kid, it's a whole different story. Just getting within an arm's length of your favorite players is a thrill. Then leaving with their autographs? That's a moment to remember and a treasure to tack on the wall of your bedroom.

In a perfect world, getting autographs would be a kids-only endeavor.

Turns out, I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Three years ago, the Baltimore Ravens instituted a kids-only autograph policy during training camp. Crowds of autograph seekers had gotten too rowdy and become a safety concern, so the team banned adults.

Two years ago, OU did the same for “Meet the Sooners” day — no autographs for adults. Adults can accompany their kids during the event, but only children can get autographs. Even though Sooner fans of any age can get autographs after the spring game, it's children only on fan appreciation day.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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