Ravens New Autograph Policy Good or Bad?

ray lewis signing autographs

By Jesse Jones

It’s a training camp tradition. Waiting after practices are over for autographs by some not-so-famous players and team faces adds so much more to going to training camp. However, the Baltimore Ravens are changing their policy on signing autographs after practices now.

Starting this year, the team will only sign autographs for children after morning practices, and no autographs will be given to anybody after the afternoon practices.

So is this a good move or not by the Baltimore Ravens?  The answer may be both.

The main reason the team is doing this is to prevent any potential dangerous situations.  Well, what danger can come out of autograph sessions?  Easy.  Older people will run to their favorite player when they see him, and in doing so, they will push younger children out of the way, run over them, and could easily hurt them.  And as somebody who has been to a Ravens training camp and has tried to get autographs, I have seen the madness that ensues.  For that reason, I can completely agree with the move.

But there is one reason why I do not.  How much do these children value these autographs?  They are so young that they have not been able to witness how great Ray Lewis has been for the team and why he is the face of the Ravens.  In fact, they might not even really pay attention to the entirety of the whole season, let alone one game.  They’re kids, they want to go run around and play 24/7.  And because these are the people getting the autographs of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Derrick Mason, etc., the people who have grown up watching them, following their careers, idolizing them, cannot get their autographs at the easiest venue to get it.  Instead, they will have to pay $40 to get Ray Rice’s autograph, and then get told that they cannot even pose with him for a picture (yes, personal story).

The move does prevent any potential injuries, but takes away from some of the excitement that comes with being at training camp, while also taking away a chance to stand 3 feet away from your favorite players, and get an autograph, which can mean millions depending on the person.

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July 2010
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