Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

NFL players will sign autographs for chance to slide down fire pole

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2002 10:00 pm

Two days before Thanksgiving, 15 teammates and I spent our day off in glorious fashion. Members of the Freeport Fire Department came to our practice facility to pick us up on Tuesday.

The players volunteered their time to visit with various firehouses in the Queens and Manhattan vicinities. After numerous pictures with the firemen, they drove us to the "Big Apple."

We rode in a caravan of five red Chevy Suburbans with lights and sirens through rush-hour traffic. I was sitting in the front seat when the driver told me to push a yellow button on the dash. lnstantly, the sirens blared and the lights flashed. The gridlock traffic parted like the Red Sea and we cruised down the parkway.Chris Smith

Now I understand the reason why highways are called parkways in New York, because of the bumper-to-bumper non-moving traffic every hour of the day.

Upon arrival at the Queens firehouse, we were greeted by dozens of firefighters and their families. Our community relations staff members provided them with team yearbooks. For one hour we signed autographs on books, footballs, jerseys, pennants and other Jets memorabilia.

After the signing festivities, we sat down for lunch to converse about every play they remember from the last thirty years of New York football.

Later, a tour of the house was provided. Not surprisingly, the house had a weight room, which was reflected in the size of the firemen. Jokingly, my one contingency towards signing autographs was that I would be able to slide down the fire pole. Ten other players and myself went to the top floor to glide down the 20-foot pole. Before sliding down the firemen told me not to break my ankle because the annual visits would come to an end.

I stuck the landing on the ground and felt an extreme rush run through my body. Though the pole made the trip exciting, the most satisfaction came from seeing the excitement on the firefighters' faces from our appearance.

Have a question for Chris Smith? If so, e-mail Scott Howell at scotth@lodinews.com or send a fax to 369-6706. All questions will be forwarded to Chris Smith and could run in the News-Sentinel.

Chris:

What sacrifices, if any, have you had to make to play in the NFL?

Anonymous

There are many sacrifices made everyday to play in the NFL. First, the offseason demands players to stay in top physical condition, which means not missing any days of working out. Also, during the season players must get their rest and that means not being able to stay up late or going out as much.

Chris:

How would I go about starting my NFL career like yours? I'm about 6-foot-6, 275 pounds and have never been timed in the 40. In fact, I haven't played since high school. Can you show my tapes to Herm (Jets coach Herman Edwards) if I send them to you?

Eli K.

Eli:

It's never too late to realize your dreams, but some things are harder to achieve than others.

Visit the San Jose Sabercats Web site to find an open tryout date and begin there.

Chris Smith of Lodi is a former St. Mary's High School and University of California, Davis football standout. Now an offensive tackle with the New York Jets, Smith is sharing his NFL rookie experience every Thursday throughout the season.


Comments about this column? Send mail to the News-Sentinel newsroom.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE LODI NEWS-SENTINEL

To subscribe to the Lodi News-Sentinel, fill out our online form or call our Subscriber Services Department at (209) 333-1400.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 30

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists