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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Seeing off the Saints

Dan with Saints RB Pierre Thomas

Wednesday's practice is over, and with it ends the 2 day joint practices with the New Orleans Saints. Now, I know there is certainly a benefit for the visiting team to be nice to fans on the road, makes the team look good. But I have to say this - when it came to autographs/fan interaction, the Saints absolutely put the Patriots to shame. The Pats should be embarrassed that the other team was THAT MUCH better than them. I thought day one was great for Saints autographs, but today was ridiculous. After practice, as all but about 6 of the Pats players walked off the field without a glance to the stands, literally 80% of the Saints guys headed out to sign. There were so many I couldn't even keep up! I definitely needed an assistant for these 3 joint practices to colelct autographs. Unfortunately for the Banner, I couldn't completely capitalize on all the Saints players because the VIP area was absolutely SWAMPED...I just missed Reggie Bush! But I stood my ground and was still able to get a couple of pictures to finish off the Saints-Pats Joint Practices Adventure. And as you can see, they're not the best pics as there's random people in both of them, couldn't quite get them out of the way of the shot. Today brought a couple of good ones too with RB Pierre Thomas (who added a nice New Orleans style 'Who Dat??' to the back of the banner) and C Matt Tennant, a former BC boy so I had to get a pic. All in all, it was a great couple of days with the Saints in town and I hope in the future the Pats invite teams in for more joint practices, it was awesome to see another team! And who knows, maybe some summer I can take Dan the Banner on a little road trip to some other training camps.
Dan with Saints C (and BC boy) Matt Tennant

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Props to the Saints! Dan meets the Wide Receiving Corp

Dan with Marques Colston & Devery Henderson
What a productive day for the Banner at the afternoon practice! First off I have to once again give huge thanks and credit to the New Orleans Saints...they have been a GREAT autograph team thus far at practice, it makes me want to head down to New Orleans to catch some practices. I love the Pats, but they've gotten increasingly worse as a team at autograph signing/fan interaction, and the Saints put them to shame today.
For Dan the Banner news, Dan made 4 new friends at the afternoon session, and they were the top 4 wide receivers with the Saints: Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Lance Moore, and Robert Meachem. All the guys were great, very nice, chatted a little bit, and even were patient enough to wait for a last minute photo-taker change by me when I realized I forgot the memory card in my camera and needed to use my phone. Got a pair of great pics with 2 guys each. Was already a big fan of the Saints, but will certainly be cheering for them even more this coming season!
Lance Moore & Robert Meachem

Looking forward to tomorrows last joint practice, perhaps I'll be lucky enough to get good 'ol #9!!

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Dan the Banner meets a Super Bowl Champ

Dan with Saints HC Sean Payton
Big day this morning as the Patriots kicked off the first of 3 joint practices with the Saints. Watching the teams go head-to-head was fun, though it would have been more so if the Pats defense wasn't getting absolutely manhandled by the Saints offense. Then again, that is what happened during the regular season last season, so maybe it wasn't a's just disappointing the Pats defense hasn't stepped it up at all since that debacle. But of course, it is only practice, so I'm not gonna get too far ahead of myself.
On to more important things, the post practice autograph session. Well first I'll say this, the Saints were a MUCH better autograph team than the Pats, with more guys hitting up the stands to sign for a longer period of time, and with more big names doing so. It was also certainly a lot more crowded where I was in the VIP section, which made it a little difficult for me to get a good position with the banner. For me, I didn't have a ton of success quantity-wise with the banner (JUST missed Reggie Bush who signed for awhile but was running to get to meetings by the time he even got close to me), but I did get one picture, and a great one at that with Saints Head Coach Sean Payton! He was a really nice guy, the last guy to leave the field after signing autographs for anyone who wanted to stay to get one. He signed for a good 10 minutes after the last player had left the field. I happened to be the absolute last person staying for a pic and autograph, but it was well worth it from the reigning Super Bowl champ.

Headed back in a little bit to the afternoon session, hoping for a little bit more success quantity wise from the Saints, I think there's a great opportunity to get a lot of pics.

Oh, and on a sidenote, Jon Bon Jovi was out watching this morning's practice, but I wasn't able to get close enough to even try to ask for a pic, again WAY more people than usual in the VIP section. Hopefully he'll be at the afternoon session and I can try again, and hopefully there will be less spectators at the afternoon session cramping my style.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Dan meets Pats WR Rod Owens

Little bit of a slow day today at practice, but after either needing to miss practices or practices not being held for about 4 days, it was nice just to be able to get back out to Gillette and see the guys practice. Plus this was the first day Dan the Banner made an appearance at practice as a Captain.
Slow day, but did get one picture with newly signed wideout Rod Owens. Probably a long shot to make the team, but it's always nice to get pics with Dan, and Rod was a really nice guy - he was the last guy to go in and signed for a lot of fans who had to that point been shutout (myself included). And of course, Rod now has the impressive distinction of being the first person to take a picture with Dan the Banner as a Captain. I'll have to look at his signature again a little closer, but at first glance it looks like he added an "S.O.S" after his it possible Coach Bill is running them too hard at practice and he's reaching out to Dan for help?? Dan the Banner to the rescue!
Dan with Pats WR Rod Owens
 Really excited for the next couple days as the Pats are holding joint practices with the World Champion Saints...been looking forward to these practices all training camp, can't wait to see what kind of damage I can do with the Banner!!

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Dan the Banner gets promoted!

So it took about a week after the same event for his 3D counterpart, but I am happy to report that Dan the Banner has officially been promoted to Captain! As upset as I am that there's no more Lieutenant Dan, it is quite an accomplishment for Dan the Banner and Dan the Man both. Congrats big bro!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dan the Banner rakes at Boston Cannons season finale

Dan and the 2010 Boston Cannons
What a big day for Dan the Banner yesterday, perhaps the most productive ever. After a few months, I had to use my intern position with the Cannons to my advantage where it pertained to Dan the Banner. I'd debated all season about what I could do with Dan the Banner - do I try and get pics with the guys after a game, at some event, or just nix the whole idea. Well that was until earlier this week when I learned that before Saturdays game the Cannons would be taking their team picture. BINGO...opportunity. What better time to get a picture with the most members of the team as possible then when they were all together taking the team photo. I pulled some strings, and after the photographer took the official team photo, I was able to sneak Dan into the back of the picture with the guys for what certainly will go down as the greatest team photo in Cannons (and perhaps all sport teams) history. This may very well be the best looking picture I've gotten of Dan the Banner with anyone. Of course, I got a few puzzled looks from the guys as I prepared the banner for his photo op, per usual, but they were more than happy to oblige the addition to their photo once learning of Dan's military status. Getting banner autographs from the guys was a little tough, as they had to leave right after the photo to get to pre-game commitments, but I did multi-task a bit after the game as the guys were heading to the locker room following autograph alley and was able to get a few guys to sign, among them Jordan Burke, Kevin Gould, Kevin Buchanan, Justin Smith, Brad Ross, Pat Heim, and  Chris Passavia.
AND just in case the team picture wasn't a big enough accomplishment on the day, it was also Mascot Night at the Cannons game, so I was able to get pics of Dan with Finz (Worcester Shark), Slyde (New England Revolution), Blades (Boston Bruins), and Lucky (Boston Celtics).
Dan with Lucky from the Boston Celtics

Unfortunately the Cannons dropped a heart breaker to the Bayhawks in overtime, but I think the Dan the Banner effect will only be a positive thing as the team prepares for Championship Weekend in Annapolis on August 21-22. Despite the loss, what a big day for the Banner!!!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dan visits Harvard Stadium

 So Dan and I headed out to Harvard Stadium today. I was going by anyway after work to catch some of the Boston Breakers v Atlanta Beat game, had Danny in the car, figured why not grab a pic at good ol' Harvard? Thanks to the very kind Team Ops people assisting me in my ventures, I was able to get a fantastic pic of Dan the Banner - who has been re-dubbed "Flat Danny" - from just inside the stadium gates with the field in the background. I had hoped to at some point get Danny out to a Breakers game this summer, but it doesn't look like he's going to be home until after their season ends. Fortunately Dan the Banner stepped into his "next best thing" role he does oh so well, and I was able to get a great pic from field level. Thanks again to the wonderful security staff for the help, and to make it even better the Breakers pulled out a 2-0 win on the night...the banner and I will certainly be taking partial credit for that victory!

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 6 of Training Camp: Shut Out Ends...Wes Welker!!!

Today marked Day 6 of Training Camp, practice #11. This was the 6th practice I've gone to and up to today, Dan the Banner had been completely shut out. Well not anymore, as in a big day for the Banner, Dan today met All-Pro Wide Receiver Wes Welker! This was a very exciting day for me to get Wes because he was my main target going into the summer, and goal achieved today! What a way to end the shut out. I was a little bit of a mess today as a lot of players were coming by and I was trying to balance getting pics with Dan of the guys I didn't have yet, and just trying to get autographs of the guys I have already gotten pictures of with Dan. Quantity-wise, it wasn't my most productive day as there were a couple of missed opportunities, but quality-wise can't much better than getting Wes. Very exciting day for the banner. Won't be able to get to practice for a couple of days, but have a new found bundle of energy and confidence now that I've finally gotten a pic in 2010 with the banner.

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