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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Looker gladly puts signatures on unwritten pact

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Aug. 04 2007

    Since taking over as Rams coach in 2006, Scott Linehan has made it a point to
    have his players sign autographs after every open practice at Rams Park. At the
    start of training camp, a schedule is set designating certain positions to sign
    on certain days. After every practice, the coach issues a reminder on who is
    signing that day.

    But there is one Ram who signs every day: wide receiver Dane Looker.

    "I made a pact with God," Looker recalled Wednesday. "I said, 'I'll sign every
    autograph. Just let me make this team.'"

    That "pact" occurred in 2000, at the height of the Greatest Show on Turf.
    Looker didn't make it through Rams camp that year as a rookie free agent. He
    was traded to the New England Patriots that Aug. 7.

    It wasn't until the 2002 season that Looker latched on for good with the Rams
    and the NFL. He has been in St. Louis every season since, and every training
    camp — first in Macomb, Ill., and now in St. Louis — he has signed autographs
    after every open practice.

    "There are days when you definitely want to get into the cold tub and hit the
    showers, but it only takes probably a half hour — maximum 45 minutes — of my
    time," Looker said. "But these people come out to meet us up close and
    personal. They come out here and spend time in 95-degree heat to watch us. The
    least we can do is sign autographs for them.

    "I watched Kurt (Warner) do it the whole time he was here. He spent hours out
    there, it seemed like. You've got to give back. These kids come out here — they
    may idolize you — and you don't want to let them down."

    Every day, as each player heads over to sign after practice, he is handed a
    Sharpie, a towel (most are still sweating from practice), and a bottle of water
    by members of the Rams' community relations staff. On this day, at least, there
    didn't appear to be any commercial collectors among the spectators — those
    trying to make money off the players' autographs. These were just fans, looking
    for a smile and a signature from a pro athlete.

    Many players peel off their shoulder pads and jerseys as soon as practice ends.
    On Wednesday, Looker signed in his T-shirt. Even so, everybody seemed to know
    who he was — an interesting phenomenon for a wide receiver who didn't catch a
    single pass last season.

    "Being an undrafted free agent, and having to fight basically every year for
    your job, it makes you appreciate being here," Looker said. "I could walk out a
    couple years from now and come back as a fan, and no one would even recognize
    me. ... So I might as well enjoy people asking for my autograph while I still
    can."

    Looker, who caught 47 balls for the Rams' last division championship squad in
    2003, usually signs: "Dane Looker, 89." But if there are fewer people seeking
    autographs, and he has a little more time, he'll add: "Dream Big."


  2. #2
    RamFan_Til_I_Die's Avatar
    RamFan_Til_I_Die is offline Registered User
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    Re: Looker gladly puts signatures on unwritten pact

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    "There are days when you definitely want to get into the cold tub and hit the showers, but it only takes probably a half hour — maximum 45 minutes — of my time," Looker said. "But these people come out to meet us up close and personal. They come out here and spend time in 95-degree heat to watch us. The
    least we can do is sign autographs for them.
    Exactly. I don't understand how 99% of athletes think it's ok to snub fans. I remember one time about 5 years ago at a Dodgers vs Giants game me and a group of about 20 other fans were waiting after the game near the players parking lot. We saw Barry Bonds coming out to get on the team bus. He took the time to actually come over to us....and laugh...he stood there just smiling and laughing as people begged him for his autograph...after about 3-4 minutes he got on the bus. Instead of being an ass, he could have taken those 3-4 minutes and signed an autograph for every person standing there.

    Now I know way too many athletes have contracts with memorablia companies that allegedly doesn't allow them to sign autographs for fans without charging a fee, but still I wish more athletes had the attitude of Looker and Warner.

  3. #3
    timsum1283's Avatar
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    Re: Looker gladly puts signatures on unwritten pact

    my respect for dane looker has just shot up. I never really knew anything about him except that he holds the PATs and is the 5th wideout. But apparently he is a genuinely nice guy with a great set of values.

  4. #4
    rams_fan81's Avatar
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    Re: Looker gladly puts signatures on unwritten pact

    When I went to the Rams camp I got Travis Fisher's, Kevin Curtis', and Looker's autograph Fisher went in after a while but Curtis and Looker stayed for quite a bit after practice.

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