Monday, November 23, 2009

Vertically Striped Socks for the Sports Guy! A report from the Sports Guy's Book Tour

I spent Friday night in a bookstore. I'm just that cool. Actually, I was with hundreds and hundreds of like-minded "cool" people who were waiting in line to meet Bill Simmons also known as ESPN's Sports Guy.

I've been reading Simmons for years, and he is one of my absolute favorite writers out there. He mixes sporting knowledge with pop culture knowledge and a solid sense of humor, and has used that mix to create quite a following. I greatly enjoy his work, both in his columns and his podcast "The B.S. Report" which he posts two or three times a week. There are few people I would be willing to wait in line for an hour and a half to have them sign a book for me, but Simmons is definitely one of them. He couldn't have been cooler, either. As he engaged with the fans who came to see him, and he also heard that someone had a baby with them in line, so he had them come to the front of the line so they wouldn't have to wait with a crying kid, which was a good move. There is no downside there. It's a class thing to do, and both the parents as well as those around the kid are going to be impressed with you helping them out. Good job, Bill!

Anyway, My buddy Scott was gracious enough to come downtown to meet me and provide me with some excellent conversation while we waited in line to meet him. Scott didn't even have a book to get signed, he just came with me for moral support...that is a good friend, right there! Not only that, but he was cool enough to take the photo at the top of this post, which I'm rather glad to have. It's Bill signing my book, as I gave him the very special, very Denver Centric gift I had brought for him.

That's right, I gave him a pair of Vertically Striped Socks. On Monday, I went down to the Invesco Field Team Store to purchase a pair that I was going to give to him. They didn't have any of the Yellow and Brown ones which I wore to the Broncos-Patriots game, but they did have the White and Brown ones which were also the last ones available in the store. Since the only place you could go to get the socks was the Team Store, I may have purchased the very last Vertically Striped Socks in Denver. I'm not going to lie to you, there was a part of me that wanted to keep them for myself. However, I decided that to show my appreciation, I'd bestow them upon the Sports Guy as a way to say thanks for the hours and hours of entertainment he has provided me. I have no idea what he'll do with em, but I hope he appreciates the unique nature of the gift. I also gave him a little note that thanked him for his work, and tipped him off to the existence of this humble little website. So if you're reading, Bill. Thanks!


Here is the letter I included with the socks...If you don't feel like straining your eyes, I've put the text below...

Bill,

Wanted to give you a “uniquely Denver” gift, so I though since you pretty much were the only one on the bandwagon of our Broncos before the season started, I would give you something that was over the top unique to Denver…a pair of authentic Vertically Striped Socks from the AFL 50th anniversary program. (Plus my website is www.verticallystripedsocks.com, so hey, kill two birds with one stone!)

I tried to be sensitive to you as a Patriots fan by getting you the white and brown road version that they wore when they beat the Chargers rather than the yellow and brown ones that they wore when they took down your Pats. I’m nothing if not a sensitive soul.

Anyhow, thanks for years of great columns and podcasts. I’m a big fan, but wanted to get you something that wasn’t giving off too much of the “creepy fan” vibe. Hopefully this succeeded, and I appreciate you coming to Denver to connect with your fans. Give Dameshek my best, and check out the site sometime!

All the best to you, I look forward to reading your book.

A big “Sports Guy” fan from Denver,

-Craig Dodge

Oh, one other cool thing happened as Scott and I were waiting in line. I got into a conversation with some of the guys who were in line behind us, and as I showed them the socks that I was giving to the Sports Guy, the subject turned to this blog. The guy in line said that he had visited my blog in the past, and that he thought I looked familiar and mentioned that he remembered my hat. I was wearing the same Nuggets hat that I wore in the photo of me on the blog...so I was officially (sort of) recognized by a complete stranger that only knew me from VerticallyStripedSocks.com. So that was pretty cool, too!

Anyway, you can see video of what the line was like below. Although we were weaving in and out of bookshelves, so it's hard to get a good idea of how long exactly the line was. I'm not very good at estimating numbers of people, but there were definitely at least seven people in line.

Oh, and how did Bill sign my book? I was pleased with it... To: Craig, Bill Simmons P.S. Thx for the Socks! Plus I got to talk to him for about 28 seconds and he said of the socks, "These are really cool." so that was fun. All in all, I'd say for a guy who can get hundreds and hundreds of people to come and see him at bookstores, he seemed like a pretty down to earth and cool guy, so I was happy about that. Once again, Thanks Bill!









2 comments:

Steve G. said...

Nice entry, and cool! I got to meet the wrestler Chris Jericho at a book signing once, and I also had a unique thing for him to sign - a poster of his rival, Bill Goldberg. He got a laugh out of that, and he was just as friendly as Simmons sounds.

Scottie said...

No way man, there were at least eighty people there.