Yesterday I was perusing the Miami Dolphins team shop and saw some great deals on autographed pictures. Mercury Morris, Earl Morral, Larry Little, and others. I added them to my cart and then looked over at a few other autographs I have around my computer desk. It amazes me what people will pay for a signature. A simple signature. A name.
On Sunday, I watched the entire three hour memorial service for the 9-11 remembrance. I watched as family and friends ran pencils and chalk over paper to capture their lost loved ones names. A tradition that started with the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. Again, it’s a name. Yet, a name in and of itself brings so much more than simply a persona or identity.
I have a lot of Miami Dolphins memorabilia and autographs and pictures. Some mean more that others and some I honestly don’t know why I have them at all. I still can’t quite put my finger on why someones name or signature has such meaning. A child will get a rush of excitement when a players signs his card or hat. I still get excited at times when I get an autograph of some great former player. But it’s still just a name.
So what is it? What drives many fans and even non-fans to ask someone for an autograph? I suppose the etchings from a memorial make more sense. It’s a final way to reach out and touch that person that is no longer here. In a way you are not touching their name, you are touching them personally even if only in your mind.
This is really irrelevant to anything other than a simple random thought that for some reason or another I felt compelled to share.