Ponder signing worth the waitPublished 10:29am Friday, July 13, 2012
Dedication, perseverance and hard work.
These are just a few qualities that a sports fan needs to get an autograph.
I, myself, can claim, on one day, to have just such qualities.
Thursday afternoon, Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Christian Ponder held an autograph signing at Scheels in Fargo.
Fans began lining the sectioned off store at 8 a.m. and waited until 5:30 p.m. for the second year quarterback to put pen to paper.
Ponder played in 11 games last season throwing 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his first season in the NFL.
Cheered and jeered in his first season under center, Ponder was nothing but courteous to the fans that entered the sporting goods store in search, of what many hope, is an autograph from the future of the struggling franchise.
Heading to Fargo with friend, Joe Barfknecht, we arrived at Scheels at 3:45 p.m. in hopes of being one of the lucky 500 that would be allowed to get Ponder’s autograph.
A true Minnesota nice vibe was felt throughout the line. Fans talking with other fans, children playing and the occasional badmouthing of the Packers was all present while waiting to get into the store.
Meeting several different, interesting people in the line over my two and a half hour wait, I wondered how many times my fellow fans have sat in lines like this for an autograph.
I felt that there must be a proper survival pack for such an event. The pack would include a umbrella, chair, bottles of water, iPod, book and a light snack.
When the signing began, the line started to move fairly quickly and it only took the quarterback an hour to finish the signing.
I didn’t have jitters walking on stage — it was the first time I had asked for an autograph from someone younger than me. We had a pleasant conversation and after the autograph, I wished him luck next season.
As I left the store I thought to myself, that Ponder is a very classy guy.
Whether Ponder ends up being a future Hall of Famer or just a flash in the pan, Joe and I had a great time meeting the Viking signal caller.