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Old 08-22-2011, 08:12 AM
Location: Smyrna
163 posts, read 455,370 times
Reputation: 82


Rather you are fan or not, is it worth the drive? We live in Smyrna and with the practices and autograph sessions being around 3pm, that would put us coming home during rush hours. We would have our 3 year old with us...oddly enough she likes to watch Foot B Ball, as she calls it, so I thought it might be fun to take her.

Also, how are they handled? You bring what you want autographed, or do they supply something? Are pictures allowed?
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:38 AM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
36,723 posts, read 35,492,956 times
Reputation: 68859
I took my youngest son last year when he was 6. I don't think I would take a 3-year-old even if they were into football. Looking at the experience from a child's perspective, this is what they will remember: walking in the blazing sun from the parking lot across the street to the practice facility, standing up against a chain-link fence in the blazing sun in a crowd of adults while trying to see (through the blazing sun) some guys in helmets waaaaaaay over there on the field. And sometimes hearing some cuss words.

It's not set up as a "fun fan zone experience." It's a real practice where they let fans watch from the sidelines. Typically you bring something to have autographed but there is no guarantee you will get your item signed. You can take as many pix as you want. It might be more crowded now that the season is on and they did well last week. Plus it's the last two open to the public.

The one good thing they did when we were there was they allowed small kids to enter a separate fenced area to get up close with the players rather than have to compete with adult autograph seekers. My son got picked, but they didn't let me come in with him. (I think this keeps eBay freaks from bringing a kid along so they can get up-close access.) He was only about 15 feet (and six rows of people) away from me.

This is fun IF your child doesn't freak out when separated from you and IF they have a RainMan-level knowledge of every obscure Titans player. Otherwise it will just be them looking at some giant guy they don't know.

You never know who will be coming over to sign. About 6 or 8 players came over the day we went. No marquee names, but nice guys overall. Sometimes this helps you get to know the personalities of the lesser-known players, and you tend to root for them more during the season. One year Donnie Nickey was really nice and took some time with my older boys (they were about 10 at the time.) I will never forget how years ago Derrick Mason totally ignored the kids even if they tried to ask him questions or say nice things to him. He just signed stuff with his head down. Last year after one of these sessions my boys became huge Mark Mariani fans because he was so cool and down to earth.

If you can get a sitter, you could drive downtown and get some dinner to let rush hour pass by before you head home. If you can't get a sitter, just prepare your 3-year-old as you would for any other hot activity where there's lots of standing around.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:35 PM
Location: Smyrna
163 posts, read 455,370 times
Reputation: 82
Thanks! Very informative! Things fell through anyways since hubby has to work late and won't be able to get off. And I am not taking her alone. lol

Maybe next year we can do it.
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