This past Monday was the special training camp held in St. Joseph for season ticket holders. It was also the camp I was invited to attend a special Q&A session with Scott Pioli and Mark Donovan.
It was raining heavily in KC & surrounding area Monday morning, so about 10:30 AM I phoned Chiefs Relations to ask if camp and Q&A had been cancelled. I was told both were still scheduled, so at 11:15 I began my 2 hr. drive from extreme South KC to St. Joe in torrential downpours. It rained all the way, but began to stop as I entered the town of St. Joe around 1 PM. I was told to be there at 2 PM for the Q&A, which was to be held from 2:15-2:45, Chiefs practice was set to begin at 3 PM.
As I turned in to the entrance of Missouri Westerns campus my cell rang, it was Chiefs Relations calling. The lady said, "we're calling to let you know in advance that the Q&A you've been invited to has been cancelled due to weather. As well, there's a strong possiblity the entire day's events and camp will be cancelled also, it will depend upon weather conditions shortly before 3 PM."
I kindly replied with a giggle, "I'm afraid in my case the advance notice at 1 PM, an hour before the Q&A, is a little too late. I'm already in St. Joe, since it was a 2 hr. drive allowing for rain delay I left KC around 11:15." The lady apologized and told me they intend to reschedule the Q&A at some point, which I would be notified of when & where. I told her, "oh, it's okay, I'm already here, so I'm going to wait it out & hope they don't cancel the Chiefs outdoor practice camp also. The rain seems to be moving out, besides, a few friends are here hoping for the same, I'll just hang out with them until gates open at 2 PM."
I pulled into VIP parking and saw friends Travis, Alex, & Randy. They were easy to spot, since they were the only fans there tailgating in the grass, complete with tent set up & grill, haha. As 2 PM approached we began to see activity among Chiefs staff driving around the campus in golf carts, the sun was beginning to peek through, and we took these as positive signs practice would not be cancelled. We were right, practice camp did take place, thankfully! Once past the gates near the training field we ran into friends Deb, Joseph, Mike & Anthony. The 8 of us hung out together watching the Chiefs practice, and we had alot of fun.
After practice many Chiefs players were gracious signing autographs for fans. Mr. Pioli and Coach Haley were also meeting fans & signing autographs. I've never met so many Chiefs players at once, it was a bit overwhelming when I think about it in hindsight. I met and spoke with Jamaal Charles, Tamba Hali, Brandon Carr, Dexter McCluster, Ryan Succop, Dustin Colquitt, Derrick Johnson, Ricky Stanzi, Demorrio Williams, Gabe Miller, Gaither, & others, I met Mr. Pioli too!
Although I'm very grateful for meeting all, there was only one player my heart was set upon meeting. I was on the wrong side of the gates however, he was greeting fans in an area I had no access to. I watched him finish greeting fans on the opposite side of the gates, then he began walking up the hill towards the indoor facilities along with other players calling it a day. All of a sudden he stopped walking, he was a good 20-30' away by that point. He turned around and looked towards us. There was a young boy standing beside me holding up his players jersey. The young boy hollered at him when he saw him turn around, "please D-Bowe, please D-Bowe sign my jersey!"
My heart was so happy for that young boy as D-Bowe began walking towards us, took the boys jersey from him and autographed it, hahaha. The boy was so excited grinning from ear to ear, hahaha. As he handed the jersey back to the boy he looked at me standing beside him, and then I asked Dwayne if he would mind signing an 8x10 photo of himself for me. I purchased the photo in the team store tent on campus just in case I did meet Dwayne, haha. I handed him the photo & asked him to include his signature phrase, he smirked a bit and said, "I don't think I know how to spell it"...I said, "oh yes you do, you use it after every comment on Facebook, haha." After he signed my photo I thanked him and wished him a successful 2011 season, which he gratefully seemed to appreciate in turn thanking me.
I didn't obtain any autographs for myself from the others I met, the only player I truely was hoping to meet & obtain an autograph from was Dwayne. That said however, I didn't forget our friend Aussie, haha. I purchased a Chiefs 50th anniversary felt pennant in the sale tent also, for our friend Aussie. I had Tamba Hali sign it for him. I would've had others sign it, but there were so many fans pushing & crowding by that point. The pennant has a white background & I was afraid it would be dropped onto the dirty wet concrete. I wasn't as crowded when meeting Tamba, haha.
It was a wonderful day spent among friends creating more cherished Chiefs related memories, and I met DWAYNE BOWE!!!!!! YEEBOWEHAW!!! I've spoken to Dwayne a few times over the last couple of years on his Facebook page, but I had never met him before. He is very much the kind soul I've always believed him to be. He's simply an awesome person! I don't want y'all just to take my word for it, so I'm sharing the following Facebook comments with y'all. I posted this on Dwaynes FB wall after returning home from St. Joe. :)