Mike Green signs Gabriel's Jersey

Mike Green Arrives for his own Autograph Session 2 Hours Late. With a car like that though, we'll still call it 'fashionable.' (Photo Mark Randle)

Mike Green arrives 2 hours late for his own Autograph Signing. With a car like that though, we'll still call his tardiness 'fashionable.' (Photo Colin Randle)

The last thing I heard as I was leaving my girlfriend’s apartment today was: “You owe me big time, tomorrow.” Why? Because I made Ashley go with me to attend Muscle Milk’s Mike Green Autograph Signing at a Giant Food Store in the dredges of Columbia, Maryland. Did everything go smoothly? SIGH. No. Does it ever when you’re dealing with professional athletes?? Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

“But it looked so pretty from the window”

At 9:45AM this morning, Ashley’s futuristic horns of hell alarm went off and we slowly started the process of waking up. One of the first things we noticed was all of the light that was escaping out of her bedside window. What followed was cute. Ashley curiously got up out of bed, stumbled over, slowly pushed the curtain aside, and then gently pressed down on one of the blinds. After several seconds of what seemed like intense observation, she turned to me excitedly and exclaimed “Ian! It’s such a beautiful day outside!!”

I appreciated the enthusiasm. All week, I had been so excited about actually having a Capitals player up near Baltimore. Ever since the Capitals built their beautiful practice facility in Ballston, Virginia, I’ve rarely been able to find the time to go to player appearances or events held by the club. Commuting an hour and a half on weekdays in psycho Virginia traffic is not my vision of fun. And when there are actually weekend practices at Kettler, it’s a total madhouse. Thanks but no thanks, you know?

So when I heard that Muscle Milk was doing the unthinkable and bringing the NHL’s Best Defenseman, Mike Green, up to a Giant 10 minutes away from where I live, my attendance was totally mandatory.

As we both readied ourselves to leave, I quickly started checking my email on Ashley’s computer. While I did so, my tag-team-partner-of-love innocently asked me to check weather.com and tell her how warm it was outside. When the page loaded, I gulped in terror. “Honey, it says it’s 35 degrees outside.”

“WHAT?”


A lot Of People Like Mike Green
mike-green-line2

We arrived at the Giant around 11:15 AM, 45 minutes before the signing was supposed to start. There was a huge line already wrapping around the right side of the store. We even had to park behind the strip mall where there was only 10 or 15 spots left in the entire parking lot. It was nuts. Ashley and I got out of the car and quickly walked over. After considering where we were in line, I was happy. I was definitely going to meet Mike Green.


Or was I?
mike-green-line

With a mandatory morning Caps practice at 10:30AM in Ballston, Virginia, realistically it made sense that Mike Green was going to show up a little bit late. Like maybe 12:30. 12:45 at the latest. But at 1pm, the 1,500+ Autograph Seekers started to grow restless. “Damn it, where is Mike Green?” Nobody knew. The Muscle Milk people weren’t telling us anything.

Finally, news broke in the form of a @GreenLife52 Status Update on Twitter, read aloud by an excited 14 year old girl with a super complicated looking phone I could never use.


Mike Green’s Tweets
mike-green-mugging

GreenLife52: Going to be bit late traffic is crazy 20 mins

And then after 40 minutes, another update:

GreenLife52: There was an accident on route now 10 more mins

Then Remorse:

GreenLife52: Sorry Everyone & GreenLife52: I’ll be there til the last person comes…. I’ll meet everyone know woeries


Boredom and Hypothermia Kick In: Gabriel, Stones & How To Properly Rock A Mohawk
kids-play-hockey-with-shopping-cart

As Ashley cupped her frozen hands inside my knit hat and started to physically and emotionally shut down, I became so bored myself that I started observing how other people were coping with the situation. Maybe that would make the time pass quicker I thought. No. It didn’t. As I watched little kids in the hill adjacent to us barrellroll down a muddy hill, I started to die a little inside. Some other kids started playing hockey with a crushed aluminum can and a tipped over Shopping cart as the goal. That was clever. How about conversing with the people around me? Bingo.

I started talking with the wonderful family in front of us. They had a cute 3 year old named Gabriel. He was rocking an Extra-Small Alex Ovechkin Jersey that went down to his feet and a mohawk just like his idol. Oh man, too adorable. As I watched him happily drink apple juice and climb over the sewer bars giggling, I kicked over a rock to him, initiating the only enjoyable time I had in line.

Gabriel kicked back. I did a soccer passing drill with him for the next 15 minutes and time started to pass fast. Ashley’s heart warmed. The family in front of us laughed. Everyone was feeling good. And then:


Mike Green Finally Freakin’ Shows Up
mike-green-arrives-in-muscle-milk-truck

Greener showed up in his Pimped-Out ride and parked in front of the building. Then the Muscle Milk Crew herded him into their ridiculously decorated Humvee and drove him around the entire building. At that point, the line stretched around the entire mini-mall. And everyone’s spirits were immediately lifted.


At 2PM, Mike Green Signs Autographs & Poses For Pictures
mike-green-game-over-signed-jersey

After a 45 minuter wait, Ashley and myself made it up to Mike Green’s booth. He was incredibly nice, posed for a picture with Ashley, and when he signed my jersey, he graciously agreed to add his monicker “Game Over.” Oh man, so cool. Here are a few more pictures.

ashley-poses-with-mike-green

mike-green-poses-with-gabriel

mike-green-signed-bobblehead


Finally, What Exactly Is Muscle Milk?
muscle-milk-ad
Even after leaving today and seeing multiple people drink the product, I still wasn’t completely sure. But the Muscle Milk Promoters certainly tried to help me understand. Here’s what the 50 cent off coupon they gave me said:

Muscle Milk is a delicious, functional drink packed with protein and essential vitamins and minerals your body needs for a healthy, active lifestyle. Protein provides a sustained source of energy. It also promotes the development of lean muscle, which – along with a regular workout routine – increases endurance, fat-burning, and strength. So whether you’re training for a triathlon, your wedding dress, or the cover of Quads Weekly [Ed Note: Loving the humor there], drinking Muscle Milk will help you get results.

Anyways, Green joins an All-Star Muscle Milk roster that includes pro athletes like Adrian Peterson, Shaquille O’Neil, Ryan Braun and Brandon Roy. For real?? I had no idea.


In Conclusion

I wanted to extend a public thanks to Mike Green for spending his afternoon in Columbia with his fans after a grueling morning practice. I’m sure he got handsomely paid for the appearance, but the way he conducts himself in public – where he’s so down to earth and humble – makes it easy for me to say that I’m going to root for him even harder the rest of the year. Sorry journalistic integrity, maybe next year.

Finally, what did my day with Mike Green earn me? Missing the Capitals game tomorrow to spend time with Ashley’s Family in Gaithersburg. That my friends is called compromise.

  • http://camarowrx.blogspot.com Karen

    I woke up at 10:45 and thought about heading over to Columbia (about 15-20 minutes for me). I figured that a Columbia appearance might mean “small crowds.” After reading this (and seeing the pics)…. obviously, I was wrong!

  • Taylor

    haha, i saw that kid and gave him a high five. You didnt get pictures of the BACK of the line though, it went all the way around the back of the building.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Russian Machine Never Breaks

    I knew it went back that far. A few of my friends went back there and checked it out while we were waiting. Apparently after Green showed up he regretted saying “I’ll sign for everybody.” He was completely shocked how many people were there. What a fun day!

  • Katie

    did you notice that his bentley had PA license plates and was a dealer car?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Russian Machine Never Breaks

    I noticed the PA Plates when we were leaving. That was kinda odd considering he lives in Virginia.

  • Katie

    oh and PS – he totally had the same facial expression for me when i took the picture. oh mike green.

  • Katie

    so i kinda stalk the players and have seen their cars:
    when Green was inquired he had somebody else drive his lambo and he drove a black car that looked like a bently, but probably a mercedes since they’re sponsored by them. anyway backstrom, semin, and boudreau drives them as far as i know since i saw them last and backstrom drove by and was like “omg people are talking to me i must speed away!” anyway I know that morrison is a Taurus driver. that is all.

  • http://neverletyouseizecontrol.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    Lol. Wow, that’s some damn dedication from you as a Caps fan.
    well duh amirite?
    I like the cool flow of epictry this post has. It’s quite and adventure to read and also funny considering that fact it HAD epictry. I was gone all day rock climbing and helping some small Girl Scouts gear up to climb.

    Anyhow, DAMN. It’s crazy how many people went! Holy bejeezus!
    Like I was telling you on FB, I traveled [started trip at 2am, didn’t sleep] 4 hours to LA and waited from 6am-11am JUST FOR A PASS TO GUARANTEE AN AUTOGRAPH from Gerard Way [singer of My Chemical Romance and author of The Umbrella Academy].
    btw, the whole thing was for the premiere of the second volume to the series. The signing was at 8, we got there 5 hours early and were like 30th in line so we waited til then and got to stare at him and have him sign a comic for a whole 2 minutes or less. :|
    That might sound like I resented it but no. Considering he is one of my idols, it was nice to meet him and finally see him in the flesh. Through so much trouble. [Pulling all-nighters after Thanksgiving, taking a 4 hr trip.]
    Anyway, my point is, the adventure was waiting in general for him to show and in the time I waited, I made friends and had some laughs and stuff. So it is nice to read your story on how the journey of meeting Mike was. It always turns out to be longer and more of an adventure than really meeting the person.

    Another note is that thank Bob [I use Bob instead of the Lord] he wasn’t an ass. Not saying he is, but some people who have fans in general, can be very pissed that day and don’t feel like taking pics with people or anything and be stuck up. So it’s super totally awesome he did that unlike Gerard. Plus, he looked like he was tired or not very exited to be there.
    Well, yes it may not be a very coherent essay or anything, but here it is. Even if it may be hell-ish to wait and crap, it’s still cool.
    I enjoyed reading this, thanks for taking the time to post. I know if it were me, I’d be like “Ughhh tomorrow…” :)

    So props to you on everything. This made my day.

  • Melissa

    Excellent story!!! Not to mention well written and funny. I’m totally jealous you got to meet/get an autograph from Mikey. Unfortunately, a friend and I had other plans set before he announced he was gonna be at Columbia. And yeah, he looked a bit tired and worn out but:

    A: Props to keeping his word and signing for everyone even if he didn’t want to.

    B: I love that he drives himself and doesn’t have a driver. I’ll also use this as his excuse for his poor spelling in the one tweet :-)

    C: I want that kids mohawk.

  • Ashley

    So honey, it’s ok if I replace your picture on my bedside with me and Mike Green?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Russian Machine Never Breaks

    Sigh.

  • rockcreek

    Tough break, G.

  • Jordan

    Wow, I know that Giant. Then again, I live in Columbia.

  • Rick

    What happened to the white Lambo? Did MG52 grow up a bit???

  • http://twitter.com/LynnLynnLynn_ Bobbielynn

    Wow. I couldn’t even begin to describe how jealous I am. I met Greenie once a couple of summers back. It was pretty nice, of course that was at the Verizon Center, during the summer time, so it was super hot, and packed with a lot of people. A couple of Caps alumni were there too, got pictures and autographs from all of them.
    I couldn’t imagine having to wait an hour for him to get there though, but it seems like you had fun passing the time while you waited for him to get there. Glad you had fun! And awesome pictures too!

    And in reply to Ashley’s comment, I laughed for a good 20 seconds straight when I read it.

  • http://neverletyouseizecontrol.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    Lol. Ashley’s comment. xD
    As I said before, epictry. Pure epictry.

  • Oksana

    Literally right next door to where I work. Good thing that was the one day all year i was sick as a dog and couldn’t drive across the street. My life is fantastic.

  • CapsFan1975

    And after that appearance in Columbia, his next destination was to go out to the Dulles Town Center in VA for, you guessed it, another appearance.

  • ally

    my friend is a devils fan who lives in maryland, and her mom sells stuff at verizon center when something is going on. her mom just so happened to be selling caps sweatshirts during a caps game, and after it was over ad everyone left, mike green comes up and asks if he can buy a sweatshirt. and my friends mom was like
    “well, we only have mediums left, and i dont think it will fit you.”
    he looks at her and jokingly said “what, are you calling me fat?!”
    and she goes “no! im calling you buff!”
    lol

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