I’m watching a documentary on Don Shula.


Don Shula was the coach of the Miami Dolphins for decades and he had a perfect season. Won every game and then won the Super Bowl


The only team to ever do it.


I met him.


Steve Largent, a wide receiver for Seattle, introduced me to Don Shula at a charity function.


There had been a signing earlier so there were people bringing in footballs to get signed by some big legendary football people.


When I met Shula, I was basically at Steve Largent’s side when he went to say hello.


Under the table next to us, an empty table, was a football in a box. The kind of people had been bringing in to get signed. But there was nobody around.


Somebody just left the football.


So I picked it up and asked Don Shula if he would mind signing it.


He signed it.


So I went home that day with legendary coach Don Shula’s autograph on a football. The football alone probably cost $30. But Don Shula signed it and I got it – and I kept it in the closet for a long time.


I figured, this guy is a legendary coach and he autographed this football and I met him and he autographed a football for me.


It was like a prized possession.


Don Shula doesn’t sign a lot of stuff.


After I had it for a year or two, I would pull it out every once a while and look at it. I realized that it was really a great thing to have. A piece of history.


Our next-door neighbor did a little favor for us. He runs a nursery and he was able to get us some trees for our backyard. Little ones. That he got us at cost. Then he put them in for us.


We all live in Tampa but he was a Miami fan.


So after he does that favor, it got close to Christmas.


I gave him the ball.


His wife came over for something and I said you know what, I have something I think your husband would really like. I’d like to give it to him as a thank you present and a Christmas present. I got the ball Shula signed, and her eyes about popped out of her head. And to hear her talk about it later, her husband’s eyes about popped out of his head when she gave it to him on my behalf.


It was worth several hundred dollars.


But I didn’t pay anything for it, and as much as I enjoyed having that piece of history, it seems like a shame for it to sit in the closet. Meanwhile, a few doors down, lived somebody who would love and cherish that thing and look at it every day with pride…


It needed to be his. So I gave it to him.


And every time I think about Don Shula or watch a show like this, I think about how I met a legend and he signed a football for me and then as much as I loved having that, I was able to give it away.


My first thought is always, hey, I have an autographed football by him. Then I remember, no I don’t.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

8 thoughts on “Value

  1. I never understood the point of having something autographed by someone famous. Then again I don’t understand the point of “meeting someone famous.”
    For me, if I can’t have a real conversation with them, it’s just a waste of both our time.

    1. Yep.

      On the other hand, let’s suppose you could meet with Shakespeare. Or you went to Niagara Falls. And you had a great great great experience. That’s what souvenirs are. A way to remind us, and a physical keepsake of the good time we had. And so an autograph is just a slightly more personal souvenir. Just a way to remind us of something we enjoyed.

      1. LOL. I buy art and sculpture as souvenirs so I can decorate my house. There’s a different between meet and meet with. The latter I am interested in. It suggests conversation on some level. Meeting, is me saying wow you’re Johnny Depp will you sign bar napkin for me before 1900 other people who didn’t realize it was you now rush over and elbow me out of the way.
        There’s no space for real dialogue there. And that’s what I want.
        So meet with Shakespeare over a pint of mead, hell yes.
        Get his scribble on a bar napkin, hell no.

  2. How nice of you to do that, Dan. It was exciting to actually have a piece of history though, right? It still is part of your memories so you haven’t lost it yet. Ha ha. It felt better though to give than receive. Blessings to you.

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