I got a phone call from my brother on Wednesday night that Derrick Rose was going to be at a Nissan dealership in the suburbs of Chicago on Friday between 6-8pm. I of course posted it on HobbyKings in case anyone was interested in going. Richie (MJCredentialKING) said he would meet me up. I planned on getting there about an hour and a half early to get in line - hoping there would be only 50 or so people in front of me. Friday morning comes, and my friend Abby is getting an oil change in the same Nissan that Rose would be signing at later that day. She sends me a message that there's someone lining up already at the dealership, at 9AM! Hard core! Apparently they had a cooler and everything. I admit, I was a bit worried knowing that people were actually camping out for Rose. I mean he was easily the best player on the team last year, but seriously? Waiting 8 hours in line for him?
Richie texted me at 3PM and told me that he had just called the store and found out there was already 50 people in line. I planned on being there an hour and a half, so I was just hoping we'd be there in time to even get an autograph at all. I zoomed through traffic from my work and got there at around 4:45PM to find a line of about 150 people. I wasn't quite sure I would make it or not.
Richie got there shortly afterwards and we were just chatting about the hobby and catching up on life and such. He's actually friends with my brothers too. Soon enough, it was 6PM, but the line wasn't moving. Finally at around 6:30PM the line started moving. The guys that were in front of the line at 9AM came out with their signed goods. But then they went to the back of the line in hopes to get a second shot at some more autographs. Wow. They just spent 8 hours to get an autograph so they figure they would try for another one? Sorry, I would just go home. Behind us was about another 75-100 people waiting and hoping to get an autograph. I don't know if all of them ever got in.
We started talking to some of the guys in front of us and they were telling us about some of the regulars at these types of events. Apparently there are some older grandparent-like couple that get their autographs and then try to bribe some kids behind them in line to get more autographs. Another guy brings four of his kids so he can get multiple autographs. Being that I am not really into the whole in-person autograph community, I am not sure what to think about this. But it does sound kind of shady business going on, and some of the guys in line would tend to agree.
Anyways, we finally got inside the building around 7:15PM. I completely forgot that B.J. Armstrong is Derrick Rose's agent. I totally wished I had a sweet B.J. Armstrong picture for him to autograph too, but Richie and I settled for a picture:
We got to Rose, but weren't able to get a picture with him, while he was looking at the camera. Seriously, would it have taken THAT long? Anyways we were happy with the items he signed, turned out real nice!
...and here are the final results:
It was definitely a much longer line from when Nissan had Ben Gordon a few years back! It really did open my eyes to this new community and side of the hobby that I had never known about. Needless to say, I am glad that this experience was a pleasant one!