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View Full Version : Steelers are no-shows at autograph session



Captcoolhand
06-17-2007, 09:38 AM
There was no mistaking his allegiance.
Wearing a Hines Ward jersey and holding a Terrible Towel, Brad Byers had to be a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Byers came straight from his overnight shift at a local warehouse to stand in line on Saturday at Valley Mall for autographs from four current Steelers.
Admitting he was tired, he quickly brushed it off.
"I can sleep tomorrow," Byers said. "The Steelers are in town."
Unfortunately, he was wrong.
As Steeler Nation converged on the mall, word spread that the noon autograph session with defensive backs Anthony Smith and Ryan Clark had been canceled.
Clark, who was visiting family in New Orleans, arrived at the airport to find out his flight had been delayed. He would be unable to get another flight until early afternoon - too late for the autograph session at the mall. Anthony Smith wanted more money for his appearance.
"When he found out that Clark was unable to make it, he wanted us to double his fee," said promoter Pete Ausiello of B&G Sports Memorabilia, who represents the four players who were to appear at the mall.
"We won't be held ransom for more money," he added.
Steelers fans purchasing tickets for autographs were told the 2 to 4 p.m. session still was scheduled.
But it wasn't long before the hundreds of fans on hand learned that linebacker James Harrison had canceled his appearance. Instead, he decided to attend a football camp sponsored by a friend.
That left linebacker Larry Foote, who told organizers he would be there. But, flying out of Detroit, he encountered a number of airline problems and also missed the event.
"We've never had anything like this happen," Ausiello said. "We've had a player here or there pull out on us, but nothing like this."
Brian Kaltenbaugh, marketing director of Valley Mall, said the day was disappointing, but "things happen that sometimes are beyond our control."
"There had been a lot of buzz about the Steelers being here," he said. "There are so many Steelers fans in this area. But they seem to be taking this very well."
Although the players were not on hand for autographs, there was plenty of Steeler merchandise available from vendors.
Arthur Gibson of Greencastle, Pa., wearing a Super Bowl XL championship cap, brought his son to the mall to get his football autographed.
"Since the players aren't here, we were told that organizers will take the ball, get it signed and then ship it back to us free of charge," Gibson said.
Gibson said he grew up in Ligonier, Pa., which is east of Pittsburgh, and has been a fan since he was born.
"I'll be a Steelers fan forever," he said.
Gibson said he just built a new house, and is planning on having a Steelers room.
"I already have a lot of stuff," he said. "But today, I'm adding to it."
Corey McCarney of Hagerstown had come to the mall for autographs, but also to purchase Steelers merchandise.
"Our house is all Steelers," he said. "Even the walls are black and gold. So I'm always looking for something else to add to my collection."
Jason Armstrong of Hagerstown said being a Steelers fan comes naturally.
"My family is from Pittsburgh, so it's in my blood," he said.
Armstrong said he was headed to the beach, but had to stop off at the mall for the Steelers event.
A member of a local Steelers fan club, Armstrong also signed up Saturday to be part of a large national fan club.
"I'm really filled with optimism about this coming season," he said. "I guarantee, the Steelers will be in the playoffs."
Usually these types of storys don't have much concern to me but to read that Smith wouldn't show unless he was given more money is just plain wrong.:willybs:
I understand that the Players should receive something for their time and all, but who are you really doing it for,You or the fans?

Black@Gold Forever32
06-17-2007, 11:08 AM
I agree Smith wanting more money is B.S......But I have a good autograph story....About 4 years ago Randle El was out here in Indiana signing autographs......I waited in line for over an hour to get his autograph then suddenly the organizer of the event said no more the session is over....But Randle saw there was only 20 or so people left in line and he said he would stay and sign the rest...So I did get my autograph.....I just thought it was cool that Randle El did that....Even though he left the Steelers and signed with the Redskins, I will always contiue to root for Randle El...

Stairwayto7
06-17-2007, 11:22 AM
Autograph story #3:

When my brother Ryan, aka Phsychoward, was about 12, I took him and my younger cousin to Erie,PA to watch the Steelers scrimmage Buffalo. Gary Anderson, all 5`4" of him was standing by himself, so I told Ryan to ask him for a autograph. Anderson, the worm that he is, responded "No" , just NO. I wanted to beat his ***! We really didn`t want his auto anyway, but for a kid I was thinking at least I was able to get my younger brother a Steelers auto. Now he has plenty!

DIESELMAN
06-17-2007, 12:23 PM
Thats a chance you take waiting around for autographs, not knowing when something might come up to delay or cancel the event. Whats up with Smith? He ain't been around long enough to be pullin that kind of stuff.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-17-2007, 12:28 PM
I agree Anthony wanting more money is just flat out BS, regardless of who else shows or doesnt show.

Greg Lloyd and Darren Perry did a similar nice gesture to the fans way back in the day, like 32 was talking about with El. The promoter said the show was over but both Greg and Darren stayed till every fan currently in line got an autograph; it was one of the biggest thrills for me still to this day to talk to and shake hands with Lloyd.

PsychoWard
06-17-2007, 12:44 PM
Autograph story #3:

When my brother Ryan, aka Phsychoward, was about 12, I took him and my younger cousin to Erie,PA to watch the Steelers scrimmage Buffalo. Gary Anderson, all 5`4" of him was standing by himself, so I told Ryan to ask him for a autograph. Anderson, the worm that he is, responded "No" , just NO. I wanted to beat his ***! We really didn`t want his auto anyway, but for a kid I was thinking at least I was able to get my younger brother a Steelers auto. Now he has plenty!

yeah i remember that what an ***!!! :cursin:

Captcoolhand
06-17-2007, 01:00 PM
Thats a chance you take waiting around for autographs, not knowing when something might come up to delay or cancel the event. Whats up with Smith? He ain't been around long enough to be pullin that kind of stuff.
You know D, i was thinking the same thing.:yesnod: it's not like he's a superstar Player

TEEMONT
06-17-2007, 01:19 PM
Oh well...that happens...I don't see what the big deal about getting an autograph is anyways...Im' all about a picture or a handshake...

25MVPKing
06-17-2007, 01:22 PM
That's crap about Anthony Smith... just because someone else pulls out, he thinks he's got the upper hand and wants to screw them for more money. That's friggin ridiculous.

I can understand a "no" for various reasons, but a holdout? Like I said, friggin ridiculous.

K Train
06-17-2007, 03:17 PM
the article words it teeribly to make him look like an ***, you dont kow the whole story

BlitzburghRockCity
06-17-2007, 04:00 PM
We can't fault the ones that couldn't be there because of travel problems, that stuff just happens. Ktrain is right we don't know the whole story behind this and what prompted Anthony Smith to turn his back on his obligation to attend the event but still it's sad to see him disappoint so many fans over some appearance money.

Black@Gold Forever32
06-17-2007, 05:21 PM
Well James Harrison should have not planned to attend the autograph session if he wanted to attend his friends football camp....I don't care about the adults that waited so much...Its the kids that waited....As for Anthony Smith I like the guy as a player and was happy when we drafted him...He was a stand out on some very bad Syracuse teams in college...But it seems with his hot dogging after an INT last year and this that he might want to check his ego....I really don't care what he does but if he wants to be a fan favorite among the Steeler Nation then backing out of autograph sessions isn't the way to do that...lol

As for Clark and Foote...They had travel problems so thats understandable...

Stlrs4Life
06-17-2007, 06:20 PM
Can't believe Anthony Smith had the guts to ask for a double fee. He'snot even a starter. What a bunch if crap.

Dako
06-17-2007, 09:44 PM
Autograph story #3:

When my brother Ryan, aka Phsychoward, was about 12, I took him and my younger cousin to Erie,PA to watch the Steelers scrimmage Buffalo. Gary Anderson, all 5`4" of him was standing by himself, so I told Ryan to ask him for a autograph. Anderson, the worm that he is, responded "No" , just NO. I wanted to beat his ***! We really didn`t want his auto anyway, but for a kid I was thinking at least I was able to get my younger brother a Steelers auto. Now he has plenty!


Took my nephew to a Hagerstown Suns game about 15 years ago. Frank Robinson was there and a group of kids (about 8) got in a line for him to sign autographs. My nephew was last. The seven in front of him all got signatures. When it was time for my nephew, Frank just stopped and said no more autographs. There was no one behind my nephew. That day changed my whole opinion of Frank Robinson. A true jackass.